Unless something extraordinary happens, this will be my last post of the year as I immerse myself in the Christmas spirit, several bottles of which are waiting close by.
Once again, the titles were shared around during a year in which snooker remained as open as it has ever been.
Mark Selby demonstrated a steely nerve to reach the Wembley Masters final courtesy of three deciding frame finishes and then made four centuries to see off Stephen Lee 10-3 and become the first debutant in 19 years to land the game’s top invitation event.
Selby showed us the other side of his game by scrapping back from 8-5 down to beat Ronnie O’Sullivan and win the Welsh Open, his first ranking title.
Stephen Maguire and Shaun Murphy fought out the year’s best final at the China Open in Beijing, which Maguire edged 10-9 after a duel full of quality.
Murphy’s 10-9 defeat of Marco Fu in the UK Championship was not of the same standard but still gripping.
John Higgins was not at the top of his game but still won the Grand Prix.
Ricky Walden beat five players with 88 ranking titles between them to win the Shanghai Masters as a qualifier.
Neil Robertson won the Bahrain Championship from a depleted field which nevertheless did not detract from the quality of his performance.
O’Sullivan won the one that really mattered and in some style. His 17-6 defeat of Stephen Hendry in the World Championship semi-finals was arguably the best single performance of the year.
He went on to win the Northern Ireland Trophy and was runner-up in two other finals but his lead at the top of the rankings has been eroded to the extent that it is not as inconceivable as it once seemed that he could be caught, although this is still unlikely as only Maguire can reasonably catch him.
As ever, O’Sullivan also starred in a few controversial moments – most notably at a press conference in Beijing – but he remains the game’s dominant figure.
Several established names showed signs of decline. Ken Doherty dropped out of the top 16 and looks unlikely to return.
Mark Williams will probably get back but Peter Ebdon is in danger of relegation.
Hendry proved what a great player he is by reaching the Crucible semi-finals without playing at his very best.
However, the seven times world champion faces a fight to stave off a slide down the rankings.
Davis is still enjoying himself and although he dropped out of the top 16, at 51 he remains a fierce and much respected competitor.
Ding Junhui failed to rediscover his best form as his fellow Chinese Liang Wenbo came to prominence with his entertaining, attacking style.
Judd Trump finally made a breakthrough but the dearth in younger talent remains.
The World Series and Championship League were welcome independent promotions which gave the players more opportunities (and money) and snooker fans more action to watch.
Ali Carter certainly benefited from the latter and I make his maximum at the Crucible my break of the year because it was a major turning point in his career.
Joe Perry and Ryan Day both impressed but, like Carter, they are yet to win a ranking title.
The WPBSA began the year with sponsors for each the four BBC tournaments. They end it without 888.com and Saga Insurance and with no official news as to whether Royal London Watches and Maplin are to renew their deals.
The global economic position does not bode well when it comes to getting replacement sponsors in 2009.
The worst thing that happened this year was the whispers surrounding matches which attracted unusual betting patterns, in particular Liang Wenbo v Peter Ebdon at the Northern Ireland Trophy and Stephen Maguire v Jamie Burnett in the UK Championship.
The governing body did little to reassure the world that snooker’s house is in order by announcing an investigation into one match but not the other.
There were the usual rows, controversies, great matches, wonderful breaks and a variety of winners in a sport that is increasingly difficult to predict.
We also had grumbles and complaints, flashpoints and differences of opinion.
But what keeps us all coming back is the game itself, which remains as fascinating as it has ever been.
I hope I have, in some small way, contributed to your enjoyment of it during 2008 and would like to thank all those of you who have read this blog and left comments.
Merry Christmas to everyone in the snooker world and I’ll see you in 2009.