TIS the time of year when one should display a generosity of spirit that twinkles like the lights around the Christmas tree, and share widely the suffusing warmth that arrives with the third brandy of the morning.

How far should this seasonal beneficence extend? To friends, certainly, and perhaps, at a push, family; to the postie shivering round the houses in unseasonal, standard-issue shorts, and the clinkingly reliable if rarely glimpsed milkman; to the taxman, the estate agent and – because it’s my column and I say so – that humble seeker of truth, the journalist.

And we must take our goodwill further still, to the deepest depths of diabolicalness, to the cobwebbiest corners of the dankest dungeon of degeneracy. For, as Sting almost sang, don’t MSPs love their children too?

This, I believe, is the true meaning of Christmas, giving the present of love to the unlovable and forgiveness to the unforgiveable.

If you feel I am asking too much of you, reader, know this: I ask it also of myself, and only for as long as it takes us both to reach the end of this article.

After all, 2017 proved hard pounding for our elected representatives. Nicola Sturgeon had it tougher than most, sitting through a series of one-to-one meetings with Theresa May, an endurance test akin to having your eyeballs shaved. Her charitable offer of a second indyref in the wake of the Brexit vote was rejected by an ungrateful electorate, who instead defenestrated 21 SNP backsides in June’s General Election.

It’s been tough, too, for Ruth Davidson who, as well as running the opposition at Holyrood, has taken on a second job running the opposition to Boris Johnson at Westminster. Ms Davidson spent much of the year being pressed on her future plans, finally admitting she intends to become first minister in 2021, and if that falls through will accept the gig of prime minister.

It’s been no easier for the Scottish Labour leader. Probably. Whoever it is.

Still, they do their best, and I thought I would demonstrate goodwill by dishing out prizes to those politicians who have made a real impact across the past 12 months. After all, everyone likes a Christmas bauble. So, here goes.

The Above and Beyond (and Down Below) Award. The first of our trophies goes to Ian Blackford, the new leader of the SNP at Westminster. Blackford is required to lay a wreath at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday, and arrived for his chilly debut wearing the startling combination of dinner jacket and what appeared to be a micro-kilt. Imagine a cross between James Bond and Lulu. When Blackford bent over to place the wreath his teeny weeny kilt rode wincingly high. It is not clear whether the watching Queen was given unexpected sight of the crown jewels.

Fashion Plate of the Year. Alex Salmond, who offered to give young MP Mhairi Black a makeover when she first arrived in parliament, will believe this award is rightfully his. I must disappoint him.

He will be further saddened to learn it’s not even going to his close friend Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh, the glamorous ex-MP who favours lurid colours and dramatic make-up and who Mr Salmond suggested might take Ms Black out shopping for a new – presumably lurid and dramatic – wardrobe. Ms Ahmed-Sheikh isn’t even the snappiest dresser in her own home. Her husband Zulfikar’s Twitter feed reveals him as a popinjay extraordinaire who leaves his wife trailing drably in his wake.

Zulfikar poses moodily in designer gear, usually in sunglasses, sometimes with three shirt buttons flirtily undone, sometimes in futuristic jumpers and complex jackets that would be rejected as de trop by an Old Firm star planning a Saturday night in the Merchant City’s Corinthian. Each photo is accompanied by a slice of Zulfikar wisdom, such as “Red is just not a colour it’s a state of mind. When in doubt Keep calm and be the man in red...”. Okay he’s not a politician, but he styles it out. A worthy winner.

The Not Letting It Go Award. He got to be PM in the end, and predictably made a right old hash of it, but Gordon Brown still hates Tony Blair. In his memoir, My Life, Our Times, Brown blames his predecessor for pretty much everything. The great sulk that began when Blair got to be leader in 1994 is now, entertainingly, in its 23rd year, with little sign of closure.

The IDGAF Award. Kezia Dugdale, of course, who preferred to spend two weeks in Queensland eating sheep’s anus than stick around to hear who was replacing her as Labour leader.

Her surprise appearance on I’m a Celebrity… showed she didn’t give a stuff what her party thought of her. Her limp performance on the programme suggested she didn’t much care what the viewers thought either.

Anyway, mission accomplished: her audacity completely overshadowed the announcement that her successor was, er, hang on … that guy with the hair … it’ll come to me … Loudmouth of the Year. Richard Leonard, that’s it. There’s a story that Winston Churchill was going through his papers in No 10 and was distracted by the foreign secretary booming away in the next room.

“He’s speaking to the ambassador in Washington,” an aide advised, to which Churchill responded: “Can’t he use the telephone?”

Similarly, Leonard’s early appearances have been characterised mainly by the ear-splitting volume of his contributions. A wincing Derek Mackay was forced to point out in the recent Budget debate that he was already being amplified by microphone.

Bridge Builder of the Year. Nothing to do with the new Queensferry Crossing. SNP MSP John Mason managed to unite the nation in mirth when he questioned whether Skye is a “real island”, pointing out it has a bridge to the mainland.

His fellow members of the Rural Economy Committee confirmed that Skye is, in fact, an island. Local MSP Kate Forbes noted that “otherwise we would have to rewrite the Skye Boat Song”.

There we have it. Long may our politicians entertain us with their outsize egos, their bad behaviour, their clunking misjudgments and their occasional brain-melting stupidity. What, in the end, would we do without them?