Christmas shopping, the Christmas tree; that last-minute dash to buy the present for the other person who just gave you a £2 gift from the local petrol station; the parties and turkey, and interminable series of social gatherings which lead you unconsciously into the New Year.

I don't think so!

I'm afraid our kids find me the biggest Christmas bore. Last year the Christmas tree was our only concession, but they weren't impressed by the fact that it was drawing on an A4 sheet suspended over the main doorway. At least they got the joke.

We're not Scrooges. Christmas is definitely a time to share and bless others and in recent years a part of our Christmas schedule was a stint with Crisis at Christmas providing food and shelter for alcoholics and the homeless.

But there must have been a time that first Christmas when Mary and Joseph stopped. With the crazy overland trek to Bethlehem, the house-hunting which ended in a stable, the confused and disapproving parents and in-laws, the well-wishers and the rest, it would have been a roller-coaster time. But there must have been that moment of peace and silence when they finally got a chance to stop and to let a moment of peace wash over them.

It's a moment I want to inhabit with them and I still hanker after that moment of peace.

Even as a child in 1960s England I used to feel it very powerfully in the hush of a pre-commercialised Christmas when everything and everyone stopped and the world paused to catch its breath. It never feels like escapism. Just stillness.

And whenever I sing Silent Night I feel I have walked into the true spirit of Christmas.

Joel Edwards is international director of Micah Challenge