THERE was no Christmas cheer to be found at First Minister’s Questions on Thursday.

Elsewhere in Scotland, folks are gearing up for a lovely few weeks of good food, fizz, and time with their families.

Meanwhile in Holyrood, it remains the season for bickering, barracking and a bucket load of bad news.

Around this time of year, I always find myself fantasising about the possibility of a FMQs Christmas special. 

READ MORE: FMQs: Shona Robison attacks Tories on health funding

I’d leave it to the parliament bosses to iron out the finer details, but I imagine it would include themed jokes, Christmas hats and a mandatory requirement for the party leaders to wear comedy festive headgear.

At the end of the session, the Presiding Officer would lead the chamber in a rousing chorus of We Wish You a Merry Christmas and a good time would be had by all.

That Christmas special will only ever be possible during times of political calm and stability.

It feels like as a country we’ve been playing on hard-mode for far too long.

So if politicians could hurry up and sort out the mess that would be great. If the wellbeing and prosperity of the people they represent isn’t enough of an incentive, then surely the prospect of bucks fizz at lunchtime is.

Judging by some of the issues raised at FMQs this week, it’s clear that the utopia needed to make a Christmas special possible is a distant dream.

Douglas Ross (below) kicked things off by asking about ambulance being backed up for hours outside hospitals.

The National:

The Scottish Tory leader was in possession of an FOI request submitted by his team, which found that an ambulance was stuck waiting outside a hospital in Ayrshire for fifteen hours.

"The government has known about this problem for years. So why does this scandalous situation keep on happening,’’ he asked.

In response, the Deputy First Minister said that the Scottish Government has funded the ambulance service with an additional £50m as part of the winter plan.

The Scottish Labour leader was up next. Anas Sarwar asked about the mortgage support scheme, citing figures that show a 30% increase in the number of families at risk of losing the homes they own.  He went on to say that the scheme has not supported anybody since 2015. He also raised the issue of families with children languishing in temporary accommodation.

"Shockingly, that means 9500 children will wake up on Christmas morning without a home to call their own," he said.

The bad news just kept on coming, as MSPs used one of the final FMQs of the year to ask the Scottish government about issues such as depopulation in rural areas, NHS pressures, the mental health crisis, UK debt levels and police station closures.

READ MORE: EU sees Scottish Government as 'reasonable and reliable', says MEP

I’ve saved the full list on my computer so I can tick off these problems as and when they get sorted, knowing that will bring us one step closer to my light-hearted end-of-year FMQs dream.

In the meantime, we should probably look far away from the corridors of power to find sources of festive joy.

The Muppets Christmas Carol is always a good bet.