A few weeks ago some Irish people, thinking about the leaner Christmas looming this year, were probably wistfully hoping that this might actually be a "white Christmas," something a bit magical to make this a Christmas to remember fondly. Not any longer as I doubt anyone in Ireland is "dreaming of a White Christmas" today.
Early last Saturday morning I had to wake early to bring my daughter to the train. She was heading to Limerick to play in a basketball tournament. We left the house around 5:50 or so. There was a light flurry in the air and a dusting of snow on the ground, but I thought little of it.
By the time I got her to the train, it was snowing pretty hard and the roads were covered. As I headed home two thoughts were running through my head: (1) The need to go SLOW and (2) the hope that it would last long enough for my son to get out to play in it.
I needn't have worried. The snow didn't melt quickly as it usually does and he got to play in it. Later that night it snowed again - more this time - and on Sunday we had a little more snow.
And so it went on and off snow and cold, crisp days and nights. Very unusual for Ireland. Today is the first day since Saturday that we've had no snow at all.
Somewhere along the way, the picture post card scenery and sounds of children laughing and playing wore out for Irish people. Of course, the roads were never properly cleared, although at least there was extra sand and salt around for treating the roads compared with last winter's snow debacle. The sidewalks are this evening a slushy, icy mess that will probably - if the recent trend holds - be frozen solid come morning time. Nobody's looking forward to that.
People are having trouble getting into work. The economy is losing €7m ($9.4m) a day thanks to the lost productivity.
Even the children seem less enthusiastic today. Fewer seem to be out throwing snowballs or building snowmen or just running around in it. Some have been off school all week and are probably looking forward to getting back to normal on Monday.
Everyone just seems a bit fed up with the snow (& ice & cold). The magic is gone.
We are three weeks from Christmas, but I suspect that a lot of people are already sick of 'glistening treetops' and would be happier to settle for the traditional Irish 'green Christmas' even with the standard wet and windy.