IT was a sight to behold -- as wondrous as a big bright star over Bethlehem. For there, in the middle of the choir, harmoniously singing from the same hymn sheet, were Enda Kenny and rebel Fine Gael TD Peter Mathews.
"Deck the halls with boughs of holly," tra-la'd the unlikely duo, showing no signs that what they really wanted to do was deck each other.
But after the singing ended, there was a bit of a holly-like barb passed between them. "I forgive you," Peter informed Enda in a half-joking sort of way. "Only a month left," riposted the Taoiseach with a shark-like grin -- a seeming reference to the report that Peter has been given a month by Fianna Fail to decide whether or not he wants to join the party.
But overall, goodwill and peace abounded on the lawn of Leinster House as the lights on the Christmas tree were switched on by the Taoiseach, Tanaiste and various helpful political elves.
It's a jolly annual ceremony, when all the party leaders gather to push the red button and illuminate the tree.
As usual, the Ceann Comhairle did the official honours, and Sean Barrett even had a political metaphor he'd prepared earlier. "I hope the 15th of December will also bring more light into our lives and the precious gift of hope for our future," he declared.
Golly. It's only three more sleeps till Bailout Exit Day. And then we won't be all away in a manger. Sure we'll be away in a hack.