Of all the uplift and inspiration the nation's capital has given us this year, surely nothing compares to this: politicians and Q&A on a Monday night in Christmas week.
Only a day prior, December-addled viewers of the Sydney carols were assumed so ill-equipped to comprehend Kochie's Santa Tracker the producers wheeled out Todd McKenney on a sleigh to explain it in song.
As a rule, the days leading up to the annual celebration of parents who remembered to buy batteries are not our sharpest week of the year. And apart from that one Christmas week when we misplaced a prime minister, it is not traditionally a time for politics.
And yet here we were on Monday night, going dense on Q&A, the program having run three weeks past its usual sign-off date.
It seems like a joke of the kind even John Alexander would think twice of telling depending on how many sheets to the wind he was at the time. And yet the joke was all Mr Alexander's doing: his citizenship muddle gave us the drama of a mid-December poll in Bennelong, and therefore robbed the staff of Q&A, Insiders and most of the Canberra press gallery of an early mark for Chrissie.
Everyone had to be here feigning interest in sifting the entrails just in case they meant anything and even if they didn't, and thus it was that Tony Jones wisely went on holidays. His seat was ably filled as always by Virginia Trioli - proof that yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus: he gave you this gig on an anti-climactic post-Bennelong December 18, but at least he gave it to you with a mostly interesting panel.
For instance, there was the famed oracle Greg Sheridan, who has the rare quality of looking like a sock that woke up with a fright and who can switch from avuncular to evangelist to avenger of Tony Abbott on a dime. Ideal Christmas company.
Labor's festive elf Anthony Albanese was also there, being all Albo and all elbows when required, alongside the Liberal's Greg Hunt, who has the air of being a dab hand with a bon-bon joke while wearing the hat.
Maxine McKew - who at Christmas and all other times appears likely to break into Ding Dong Merrily On High at any moment - was there, Bennelong and ABC credentials in her knapsack. Buzzfeed reporter Alice Workman - breakout press gallery star of the year - displayed her cross-platform chops with what was surely a Q&A first: she live-tweeted the show while on the actual panel, including threatening a closing group carol session.
Somewhere, Tony Jones was frowning.
The debate was light on festive cheer - we waited in vain for Trioli to throw some shade on Kochie with Q&A's own Tony Jones Tracker - but it was sometimes interesting.
I think you have to have a sense of humour in politics to survive, frankly says @AlboMP#QandApic.twitter.com/GWC5vw39F7??? ABC Q&A (@QandA)
The soundtrack to the year - Poke A Fork In Malcolm Turnbull - got an early airing, views ranging from Sheridan's "You can't really see any circumstances where the coalition government is re-elected" - to Workman's last-man standing analogy.
"I think Malcolm Turnbull's been a bit of a Steven Bradbury this year," she said, before concluding that he was "more of a Steven Bradbury than a Cathy Freeman".
There was argy-bargy over Sam Dastyari, the influence of China and the ban on foreign donations to political parties.
McKew was keen to broaden that discussion to the corrupt influence of donations in general, taking on Greg Hunt with such brio you wondered if she might be privately reliving her glory days grilling his kind on Lateline.
"This is yet another opportunity for Malcolm Turnbull ??? I'm hoping that, in fact, he comes back next year and does the unfinished business of this parliament and that is to clean up the show."
But McKew's most curious contribution came later, when a loosely worded question referred to the credible, impeccably reported underage sex claims against Alabaman senate loser Roy Moore as a "smear campaign.
Trioli queried the questioner's description. But McKew, weirdly, embraced the "smear" line and ran with it, without a glance at its erroneous context.
"I don't like the idea of any kind of smear campaign ??? I've got to say I have got a bit of a concern when people start running all the way in this direction and get a head of steam up, some not so guilty people get caught up in it."
She referenced the case of Geoffrey Rush, which was appropriate except in any context associated with a non-existent smear campaign against Roy Moore.
And then: "It worries me that campaigns and even talk of organised smear campaigns will get a head of steam and take all before it. Don't like that one little bit."
Trioli: "Where's the talk of the organised smear campaign?"
McKew: "The question."
Trioli: "You mean in the question?"
McKew: "The questioner just said that."
Well, yes. But really.
When Alice Workman gave examples of #metoo stories - "from someone who had a bowl of fried rice dumped on their head ??? to other people that have had genuine serious cases of sexual harassment" - McKew jumped in: "But Alice, isn't that the point, that the very significant is being caught up with the quite trivial?"
Eye of the beholder, I guess, and whether your eye has a bit of fried rice in it.
The debate will go one, perhaps even brightening your own Christmas lunch next week should you feel like using this festive season Q&A as your party planner.