It's the most wonderful time of the year. Where public servants from Gungahlin to Tuggeranong cast off their lanyards and partake in the most hallowed of traditions - the office Christmas party.
And what better way to celebrate another spin around the sun than by finding a costume inspired by a year in the Canberra bureaucracy?
There's certainly been some fertile ground to till, for the savvy public servant in the market for an ironic costume.
Or so I thought, when I pitched this column. I know a few public servants who've put a lot of thought into nailing the perfect Christmas party costume, and I didn't think it could be that hard.
But every costume idea I came up with became increasingly problematic, the more I thought about it.
My first brainwave was a gender neutral toilet in Prime Minister and Cabinet for example (otherwise known as just a toilet in homes all around Australia).
It would be sure to get someone tweeting about you if you turned up wearing a toilet seat pilfered from one of those tip recycling shops (obviously after thoroughly disinfecting it first).
But making light of this story through costume feels icky to me, even with all of the Harpic.
Bathrooms have been a battleground for discrimination against transgender people across the world.
As the New Yorker put it in 2016, "restrooms are not just toilets; for more than 100 years, they have implicated questions of who really belongs in public, civic, and professional life". I reckon people should be able to use the bathroom that best suits their gender without anyone mocking that.
A costume based on robodebt would be just as unfunny. Sure, the fact the government has now admitted one of the key planks of the program is unlawful is one of the biggest political and public service stories of the year.
And yes, while the pushback from Coalition senators about the name robodebt being a misnomer would lend itself to a cyborg Hollie Hughes get-up, it would be poking fun at a program which has ripped off hundreds of thousands of Australians.
It could be a gas to grab a few mates and go as Strike Force Garrad, the NSW Police taskforce investigating an altered version of a Sydney City Council report that formed the basis for Energy and Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor's political attack on Sydney lord mayor Clover Moore. But that would be a poor career choice if you worked in the Department of Environment and Energy.
So too would dressing up as NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller's rubbish bin, if you worked in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. It would be extra dicey if you got an offsider to channel Scott Morrison and wheel you in, in a neighbourly fashion.
An easy costume would be to grab a couple of black garbage bags and go as a plain-clothed police officer raiding (sorry, executing a search warrant on) the home of a Canberra public servant. But given the Australian Federal Police still won't disclose why they carried out the raid or what charges the official is facing, that one seems decidedly unfunny also.
One could always go as Alan Johns or Witness J. You could literally just wear whatever you want given the secrecy around his case is so tight we don't know who he is or what he did. Festive, right?
Other costumes I don't even know how to pull off. What does a Quiet Australian look like, for example? Or how does one create a wearable Canberra bubble?
I'm starting to think there's only one non-controversial thing that happened this year that could lend itself to a costume: the Australian War Memorial pigeon.
That bird, caught stealing poppies from the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier to make a nest for itself, is the purest thing that's happened in this city in a year that's otherwise too dire to lampoon. Stick an artificial poppy in your mouth and you're good to go.