I PLANNED to write one more column mentioning nothing of Christmas before plunging headlong with gusto and exuberant abandon into the festive season – living it and writing about it.

However, what was it that some wise soul once said about best laid plans? I don’t recall exactly, but in any event, if I look back over what I have been up to lately, I find that most things have a Christmas tinge.

We went to the Penarth Christmas light switch on and stood with my good friend Sue.

We bumped in to some other lovely friends and cooed over the goats dressed as reindeer and ahhh’d at the pigs in jumpers (pigs in blankets, a friend suggested and at that we both pulled a face as if to say, ‘Ah, I see...’).

I spotted Owen Money on the stage above a sea of bobble hat covered heads and reassured my children that whilst they couldn’t actually see the stage, they’d see the lights and then we’d go to ‘The Windsor’ for a delicious Sunday dinner (which we did and it was).

I have booked my Christmas appointment at ‘Ener-Chi’, knowing only gel nails will withstand the onslaught of continuous cooking, cleaning and washing up that surrounds the festive period and still make me look groomed and ‘on it’, for what screams the reverse more than chipped polish?

I have booked pantomime tickets and am quite giddy at the thought. I hated pantomime as a child, ever since I went on stage and Sinbad made me eat Turkish Delight (I’d enjoy it now, but had no truck with the stuff as a pre-schooler), but now love taking my own children and it has become quite the eagerly-anticipated tradition.

I’ll be trimmed and tinted at ‘Blu’ in advance of any Christmas parties and on that, I have already booked several in the diary so that December is already looking like a whirl of jollies with much dancing and even more feasting.

I’ve got the letter about attending the Children’s Christmas show and the costume fairy in me is already in action working out the sourcing of such items that the school have requested (plus face paint).

I’ve started buying nut selection boxes, which I know are a more expensive way of buying nuts than those in a bag, but some are chocolate covered or dipped and I tell myself those nice presentation boxes will make impromptu parties look oh so much more elegant.

Of course, chipped nails and nut selection boxes do not a Christmas make or break.

Merely the plans are in place to try to make this time of year feel more special, less pressured, more like the adverts on the tele tell us our Christmas should be. I’d love to leave Christmas wholly until December, but the truth is if planning helps, great, do it, but be mindful that a really good plan is to be kind to one another and have fun, not worrying about nails or nuts.