Christmas cheer is here, Parliament has risen for the summer and 'tis the season of goodwill, even in politics. It's a time rival parties and their supporters might be a little more generous about each other around the barbecues, giving praise where it is deserved.
National Party supporters might acknowledge the three parties in the Government are working together better than they expected, certainly better than the chaotic multi-hued crew of the "other boat" depicted in National's election ads.
Labour people might acknowledge that National's support in opinion polls is holding up remarkably well in the circumstances. Normally a new government storms ahead in the polls in its first term because New Zealanders generally like a change every nine years.
Normally the party that has just lost power spends the next few years languishing, struggling for traction in the polls and blamed by the Government for every problem it sees. Labour has certainly done that. "Nine years of neglect" has become its constant refrain.
That is conventional politics but it seems we are not in conventional times. The last published poll of the year, by Colmar Brunton for 1 News, had National on 46 per cent, up on its vote at the 2017 election and seven points ahead of Labour, which was also up on its election tally but not by enough to retain power at next year's election, for New Zealand First would be out of Parliament.
The poll has given supporters of the governing parties much to ponder over the summer. It tells Labour and the Greens they will almost certainly need NZ First to survive if they are to get a second term. Any frustration activists may be feeling at the Government's lack of truly "transformative" achievements will need to be tempered.
All previous elections in our living memory, even those under MMP, have produced a government led by the party with the most votes.
When National was in this position on election night, 2017, convention gave its supporters good reason to celebrate as they did. And when Winston Peters' party defied convention, many National supporters felt cheated.
If there is a reason National is still polling as high as it was on election night this might be it. It is hard to see any other reason. The leading figures in the previous Government have all retired from Parliament. National's new leader and most of its front bench were ministers in that Government and the party hardly has a fresh look or fresh policies.
The Government does have a fresh look at least. Its Prime Minister still presents a youthful, emotive idealism to the country and to the world. Instinctively inclusive, she is the right leader for a coalition of co-dependent parties rather than one in which a single party is dominant.
Both sides of politics now take a break with election year shaping up to be a race with an even bet.