One down, one to go. All the lovingly selected wrapping paper now scrunched into the recycling bin, all the empties discreetly deposited in the black one. (I find it marginally less embarrassing to chuck them in as a group.)

All the guilty memories stored of the fab food, chocolate excesses, and implausible quizzes. Every year the same frantic rush to serve up the friendly ghosts of Christmasses past, and every year the disbelief at it being so suddenly all over.

On the other hand, not a bad time to wave goodbye to a thoroughly bad tempered, strife torn year, characterised by stubborn wars, inexcusable famines, and some world leaders of whom absolutely no one will ever say they were the giants on whose shoulders future generations would be proud to stand.

Step forward, if you can manage it, Donald J. Trump, surely the very antithesis of a statesman.

It’s one thing to be a tyro politician unversed in the demands of the most important office in the western world. Quite another to dismiss all assistance; advising the world that you are already wiser and smarter than anyone else.

And dangerous as the narcissistic madman is in the not-so-small matters of international relations and diplomacy, what is depressing is that the self-serving Tweets he punches out constantly (having checked the Fox News oracle for the line he should be taking) have almost lost their ability to shock.

America finds itself with a fake President.

In fact one of the most alarming features of 2018 is how our collective shock threshold climbs ever higher. Where was the sustained outrage when children were taken from their parents at the US Mexican border and left in tented prisons in the deserts? Or at the thousands of refugees languishing in European camps or drowned in the Med trying to reach safety and what they thought would be succour?

Why are we no longer properly aghast at footage of the utter desolation of what once were handsome Syrian towns, full of heritage and culture. We almost fail to register the extent of the misery inflicted upon the innocent families in Yemen faced with famine and a lost future.

How many fatal fires, horrendous storms, and “natural” disasters does it take to make governments take climate change seriously? The end of the world might actually be nigh, and climate change conference delegates bicker over the small print. While Trump, of course, knows it’s all just fake science.

And back at the UK ranch, the Brexit Follies still reign. Nero, fiddling whilst his city state burned, would be lost in admiration at the ability of the UK parliament to indulge in personalised hissy fits whilst the handcart to hell rolls merrily on.

Anyone who has witnessed the shenanigans in the Commons before the children went off on their hols might be forgiven for thinking that the mother of parliaments had morphed into the mother of panto.

You will gather, then, that the hanky is not tear-stained as 2018 becomes history. Let’s hope for some more compassion and common sense in 2019. The bar is not high, after all.