Dundee United’s players were entitled to raise a toast to each other as they enjoyed an early Christmas night out.
The Tangerines flew off to Dublin for a party after stretching their lead at the top of the division to nine points over second-placed Ayr United.
With no match until Morton away a week on Saturday, they were allowed out on the town.
Tis the season to be jolly but it is not just the festivities that should have the United players feeling merry.
The 3-0 win over Queen of the South on Saturday at Tannadice was their fifth straight victory.
It was their seventh in succession at home in the league – a 100% record – and 11th out of 14 overall.
They have now recorded five clean sheets in a row.
Their goal difference of plus 21 is almost worth another point.
As well as being well clear of the Honest Men, they are now 12 points ahead of Dundee in third and 13 better off than fourth-placed Inverness Caley Thistle.
Indeed, they have now opened the biggest gap at the top of a table in senior football on both sides of the border.
As a bonus, they exorcised the ghost of Palmerston, where the Doonhamers beat them 4-0 just a month ago.
Oh and they won without star man Lawrence Shankland, who was 2,000 miles away with Scotland as an unused substitute in their 2-1 win in Cyprus.
Maybe a pint or two and a bit of the craic in the Irish capital is fair enough under the circumstances.
Man-of-the-match Paul McMullan opened the scoring on Saturday on his 100th appearance for the Tangerines after 22 minutes.
Nicky Clark slotted in United’s second just before the break, with McMullan the creator this time with a brilliant forward pass that sent his teammate through one on one with goalkeeper Robby McCrorie – a contest won by the United man.
The second period was only four minutes old when Sam Stanton – the only change to the starting line-up from the Dundee derby – made it 3-0 to the Tangerines with a wonderful individual effort up at the Shed end.
McMullan was delighted to put even more space between United and their Championship rivals, saying: “With the teams closest to us not playing we knew that it was a good chance to open up the gap at the top.
“Thankfully, we did that.
“It is good and next time we play we will try to get even more of a gap.
“We are just trying to get as many wins and cleans sheets and see where it takes us.
“I thought, as a team, we played really well.”
All three goals on Saturday were crackers but McMullan’s was the best of the lot.
Liam Smith slid the ball up the right flank to Louis Appere, who bobbed and weaved inside the box before teeing up McMullan for his perfectly-placed, sidefooted strike.
He said: “I had a lot of time to think about it because Louis had two or three touches before he laid it back to me.
“My shot ended up exactly where I hoped it was going so I was pleased with the finish.”
It almost made you forget about Shankland…almost.
McMullan said: “Lawrence is our number nine so when you create the number of chances we do it is natural that he is the one who is scoring most of the goals.
“What this result shows is that we can get goals from other areas of the pitch, which is always nice.”
On the day when it was confirmed that the £70,000 target to erect a statue of legendary manager Jim McLean had been met, it was all good news for the Tangerines.
Manager Robbie Neilson was, understandably, satisfied to see his team reach the 33-point mark after just 14 matches.
They played crisp, attacking football, got their goals at good times and then closed the game out without any real trouble.
He said: “I was pleased with the players.
“I thought we started the game really well.
“We got the first goal and then it was great to get the second right before half-time.
“It was a good performance.
“We knew there was an opportunity, with a number of teams not playing, to add points and extend our lead.
“We have a two-week break now before playing Morton down at Cappielow.
“We got beat there last season so we have to stay focused and take care of that next match when it comes.”
As for the Shankland factor, you sensed all week that there was a real determination among Neilson’s players to prove that they were not just a one-man team.
They achieved that with plenty to spare.
The United gaffer added: “I think it was important for us because everyone has been talking about Lawrence because he has been scoring a lot of goals for us.
“We are heavily reliant on him because of that.
“He was away on international duty and I am pleased for him, although I was disappointed that he didn’t get any game time.
“What our result showed is that there are guys other than him who can step up and get goals.”
As for Queen of the South gaffer Allan Johnston, he was left tipping the Tangerines for the title.
“We knew United would start fast after the last game between us,” said Johnston.
“But we are really frustrated with the sloppiness of the goals we lost.
“When you’re playing against the best team in the league at Tannadice you have to take your chances.
“However, we failed to do that.
“It is going to be tough for anyone to stop United.
“You would imagine Dundee will be up there but at this moment in time it looks as though it will be difficult.”