Well, that's Christmas dealt with and receding in the rear-view mirror and by the time it reappears in the windscreen we'll have forgotten the details sufficiently to be able to convince ourselves it's something to be looked forward to again.
A woman I spoke to just before Christmas was about to have all her children and grandchildren descend on her little house for the holiday, like a flock of vultures.
"That must be nice," I said, shuddering, and she said she loved them all dearly, of course, but it did get rather tiring especially since she had a kitchen the size of an American fridge and only the one bathroom.
And then, of course, there were the non-bloods, the spouses, all of whom seemed to be intolerant of lactose or gluten or child-discipline to the extent that she would find herself having to bite her lip so often she would be spending the entire festive season dripping like a vampire.
I said that in her shoes I'd have booked a room in a local motel till they all went away and she said yes, she'd considered it. I must remember to ask how she got on.
But as I say Christmas is gone. Having loomed in the windscreen for weeks till it obscured the view of everything else it was suddenly sucked under the axles of the present tense and then spewed out the back to be forgotten, and we who have eyes only on the front of our heads are already craning forward to see what else is coming.
And what else is coming is New Year's Eve which, just like Christmas, we have also seen before.
Indeed, if one were of a cynical bent it would be tempting to argue that we don't differ much from those ponies they used to tether to mill wheels who walked round in a perpetual circle for their entire lives, condemned to see the same series of views in never-ending sequence until it broke their will to live and they fell in harness and were sold to the knacker's yard to be turned into glue, dog food or French delicacies.
Once I had got beyond 7 years of age I don't recall ever looking forward to Christmas but once I had got beyond 17 I did look forward to New Year's Eve.
It was, after all, a party and a party was a fine thing, defined as the compression of too many people into too small a space and then adding disinhibitant booze. The result was as likely to be distressing as it was delightful but it was at least, unlike Christmas, unpredictable.
And a few New Year's Eve parties have left enduring memories, either because of acute embarrassment such as the Bar Avril in New Brunswick in 1983, where I suspect they are still looking for me in the hope of presenting me with a bill for the damages (though I still blame the bloke with the bad jacket and the dobermann) or
because of pleasure, such as the party at Roger's house in 1978 where Mike found a black raincoat and an authentic-looking policeman's helmet in a cupboard, so around midnight the two of us went out into the street to stop traffic.
I have a suspicion I've told this story before but it's probably got better since I last recounted it so bear with me.
With Mike hiding giggling in the hedge I stood in the middle of the road and held up a peremptory arm, and to my astonishment the first car along drew up at my feet.
The driver was male, elderly and scared. Taking care not to breathe over him I asked if he had been drinking and when he denied it I asked to see his licence. Desperate to get his wallet out from his inside pocket he tore the lining on his jacket. I felt the loin-surge of power.
The next car, a Volvo, kept coming. I held my ground and he braked at the last minute.
"You seemed a little reluctant to stop, sir," I said when he lowered the driver's window.
"Yeah," he said, "it was your white shoes."
That was me finished. Mike took over the hat and coat, stepped into the road and raised his hand like a Roman emperor to stop an approaching Ford Escort.
It accelerated, swerved past Mike and screamed to a halt 50 metres up the road whereupon all four doors opened and seven or eight youths leapt out and ran for the hills leaving the car in the road with the lights on, the engine running, the radio playing and the doors open.
So Mike and I went back to the party.