Twenty fifth of December, seven in the morning. Young children across the world sprint down the stairs excitedly, with one thing on their minds. Presents.

Every year in December, we gather our friends and family to celebrate a day which was once known as Jesus’ birthday. Christmas is originally a religious holiday celebrated by Christians to honour the birth of Jesus Christ around 2000 years ago. In this day and age, it is now recognized for time off school and presents. Instead of being thankful, people fight at family gatherings and don’t appreciate the gifts they have received.

Around this time of year we could all use a little perspective on what's really important. Parents stress over buying gifts for the whole family, while teenagers get caught up in the "I want" syndrome. The result is a spirit of discontentment and a materialistic worldview that can destroy the home, especially around Christmas time. And yet, the God who created the universe was content to enter the world in a small barn. No bells and whistles. No complaints or apologies. No demands.

Making things worse, Christmas is an opportunity for many people to drink lots, leading them to get in terrible states. The NHS are having to cancel and delay major operations, as ambulances are being called out to drunk people, who are wasting their time and putting those at need at risk.

I spoke to Diana Hernandez, a mum of five and Christian. “Well for me there’s a lot of money spent food shopping weeks in advance. On the day getting all the food can be stressful as you want it to be nice, and want everyone to enjoy it. The entire day is spent cooking, tidying and cleaning non-stop. But obviously it is nice to spend the day with family. As a Christian, I am fully aware that it is Christ’s birthday, but it seems that most of society are distracted from the real meaning; spending fortunes on gifts all of which bring temporary gratification.”

One way to take back the real holiday spirit is to focus on traditions and service - and on putting real meaning into your giving.