Workplaces at the end of the year tend to turn into sausage roll morning teas, a bar tab at a local pub, secret Santa stress or candy canes and Christmas cards.
Parliament’s end of year break-up is an adjournment debate.
Technically the debate is an argument about whether or not to end the sitting and when to return.
In reality that’s not mentioned because they’ve already decided when to return next year so the debate is a bit of free for all.
Despite the general nature of the debate, there are common subjects that crop up each year.
People get reflective at the end of the year and MPs are no different. Their final speeches for the year are often a recap of achievements or failures depending on which side of the House they sit.
"It is clear—in the short time that I have available—that this has been the year when we've been getting things done," Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said after listing her government’s achievements including increasing minimum wage, scrapping NCEA fees, and cheaper doctors visits.
"Now, we will never claim perfection, but we will always claim progress," she said.
Across the House, the leader of the Opposition, Simon Bridges used part of his speech to argue the opposite.
"By any measure, this government has failed to deliver on its promises in 2019. After Treasury predicted — surgery, that too — surpluses as far as the eye could see, in just two short years, we're back in deficit. That's not just a broken promise; that's rank incompetence by this government."
Bridges listed a slowing economy, a rising cost of living, and a lack of infrastructure packages as examples of why the government isn’t fit to govern.
Amongst the slinging matches was mention of 2019 as a year of tragedy.
"I can't help but reflect on the extraordinary insight I've seen, in particular into our front-line public servants, during events like 15 March, and, more recently, Whakaari / White Island — again, testament to the extraordinary people who work in our health services," Ardern said.
"I want 2020 to be a better year, because 2019 has been a tough year for many New Zealanders. When Whakaari / White Island happened the other day, many of us reflected on just what else was going to happen this year,” National MP Chris Bishop said.
"We have got through it together as a Parliament, and extraordinary bravery and determination has actually been shown by both the government and the opposition in so many ways in response to some of the tragic events this year.”
There are a couple ways MPs are sure to be featured in media reports. They can either be kicked out of the House or start a bit of a fight, or they can be clever and funny.
The latter is more difficult but that doesn’t stop them from trying.
"One of the top branding guys that I've talked to has told me that alliteration can help with these things. So here's my big idea for the National Party: change Strike Force Raptor to "Strike Force Stegosaurus". It's completely on brand as well: lumbering, Jurassic, pea-brained, and extinct," Labour MP Michael Wood said.
Details on Strike Force Raptor here
Bridges got into the festive spirit by adopting Santa’s naughty and nice list.
"This year, I got hold of Santa's naughty and nice list; I found it on the Treasury website, actually, after Santa asked Grant Robertson to take good care of it and make sure it doesn't leak!" he said.
"So on to the list and what is on it. Jacinda Ardern: she's on the nice list; in fact, she's probably on the cover of it because she says lots of very nice things."
MPs wouldn’t be able to do their jobs without the work of hundreds of people who often remain unseen so the last speech of the year is used to say thank you to the unsung heroes.
"Parliament is an ecosystem," National MP Barbara Kuriger said.
"Being a whip, I believe, gives you a greater understanding of just all the things that tick over in this place. So a big mention to those that feed us, those that provide our security, the people who work in our offices."
Fellow National Party MP Judith Collins also took the chance to show gratitude.
"I'd like to thank all of our parliamentary staff here within the complex and also the contractors. I'd particularly like to thank my own staff and also my family for the support that they give me."
There was also a bit of niceties between the parties that are usually at war with many MPs thanking the Speaker Trevor Mallard for ruling over the House.
"Mr Speaker, I'd like to thank you for your presiding over this House," said Kuriger.
"Sometimes it's easier than others, but also over the precinct. I know you take your role very seriously. So thank you for all that you do."
Ardern said the Speaker’s job wasn’t an easy one but it was appreciated by the staff at Parliament.
"I want to pay special tribute to what you've tried to embody in this place through simple acts like putting a slide on the forecourt of this Parliament, which I think speaks to the kind of place we wish to be in the world."
The final word goes to the Speaker who took the opportunity to thank National MP Anne Tolley who is also the Deputy Speaker of the House.
"She has put in tremendous work, over and above the normal expectations of a Deputy Speaker, in order to attempt to bring the Parliament together around a way of working which will make this place a better place," he said.
"It's something that I think it was important that an opposition MP lead, and to have someone of the character of Anne leading that work is something which I very much value."
An MP's job isn’t easy said Mallard and he wished everyone a restful break.
"It is exceptionally important to all of us that we do get the rest, that we get the recuperation, and that we come back to Parliament in good form so that we can handle the pressure that will inevitably come on every one of us during that year."
The MPs final act was to vote on whether or not the House should adjourn to which they all agreed (unsurprisingly) and they’ll be back in the chamber on the 11 February 2020.