Now, with only about a month until Christmas, the lights have begun to pop up around the neighbourhood to signal the dawn of the festive season.
No doubt supermarkets and corporate big businesses have already started to take advantage of the Christmas values of love, giving and community spirit in their quests for profit.
The mindset of the Christmas consumer was characterised surprisingly well by a friend of mine who works in retail. He pointed out that consumers were driven to make seemingly irrational purchases in their desperation to find gifts. Society's place of worship seems to have shifted to the shopping centre.
As a result of the capitalist system, Christmas has turned into a holiday defined by consumerism and superficiality.
Despite this, most people still see Christmas as a time of love, giving and community spirit. The gift-purchasing is merely a reflection of these values. These values are indeed good things, but what grounds them?
As I look around the streets of Sydney, something seems to be missing. Hidden behind the lights, the trees, the Rudolfs, the Santas, and behind the Christmas rituals of carols and gift-giving is the most important element of all.
Contained within the word 'Christmas' itself, is the word 'Christ' – the most powerful, yet the most hidden element of Christmas.
It is the challenge of the Christian
"Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, whom though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.
"And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death even death on a cross.
Let the love, giving, and community spirit you experience this Christmas season be centred on Christ.
This is the Christmas message which should shape the life of the Christian.
Anton Zhang is studying aeronautics and arts at the University of Sydney, he is part of a family of four, his hobbies include music, hiking and fencing. He is an active part of the Christian youth work at the Padstow Chinese Congregational Church.
Anton Zhang's previous articles may be viewed at