IT really messes up the lyrics to Bing Crosby's festive hit but this year the early forecast for Christmas Day is looking a lot more dry than it is white.

At the moment it looks like families will be waking up on December 25 to highs of 8 degrees with light cloud and a gentle breeze. 

It's bad news for anyone hoping for snow for the big day but is favourable conditions for anyone who loves to stretch their legs with a Christmas Day walk. 

The long range forecast from the Met Office adds: "Next week looks likely to start rather unsettled and possibly windy, with further showers or perhaps some longer spells of rain in places, but also drier brighter interludes.

"However, after a mostly mild start to next week, there are signs that the weather may become drier and quieter, at least for a time, around Christmas, with an increased risk of frost and patchy fog.

"How long any such quieter, somewhat colder spell lasts is very uncertain, but there is a possibility that it could last to the end of next week.

"However it seems more likely that the weather will become more changeable again with near normal temperatures, particularly in the north and west, with more spells of rain and strong winds."

It's a similar story for last-minute shoppers this weekend. 

The weather will mainly be dry with highs of 8 degrees and light cloud.