It starts innocently enough with fireworks on TV and people being ecstatic because it's the New Year and people have to be ecstatic about it. You 're allowed to dislike Christmas, being Scrooge is acceptable, but there is no opt-out for New Year.
It's the start of new and better things and we are all going to be new and better people. Hurrah!
It is a time to be really, properly sociable and greet total strangers as if we all live in a tiny, microcosm world where we have to get along or die (this one is true but not in the way New Year revellers think it is).
We have to be happy about the New Year.
We have to appreciate it.
We have to be positive.
As a back-handed compliment to the New Year, we are allowed to say the last year was complete rubbish, so long as we go right into how the next year is Our Year (I want to slap every last person who says this).
We must be revived overnight and see ourselves and our lives as glowing treasures at the centre of the universe.
And we must share it all with anyone who asks, no matter how little they really care about us.
Yes, for one night only we are all reborn in a secular frenzy of hope and visionary expectations. We go to bed as tired, used-up shadows of ourselves and wake the next day reborn. We may look the same and act the same but we are not the same! We are new for the New Year and we will be completely different, this time.
I am in favour of Grand Plans, readers, but I wish people would think of them all year round and reinvent themselves when it is a good and needed thing, not for the sake of a man-made date on a calendar. Become new! Become wonderful, glorious, shining. Become everything you want but do it on your own time, with proper effort and no extra push from the clock ticking past the midnight hour.
Do-over your life into a fragile new wonder because to not do it would diminish you. Do it because you are in love with your future self and need to meet this person or your heart will turn to stone. Do it now, when the dream falls like a feather into your waiting hands.
If you must have a new start set for you, then set it for yourself and say Tomorrow is a new day and I will become something other than I have been before. Or set the alarm for five minutes from now and then rush to meet yourself.
Take away the pressure to do it all at once because the planet turned and became January 1st. Do it when it is the right time, even if that means getting up in the middle of the night and rushing downstairs to start the day, just because the day cannot wait one second longer.
Happy new start, readers, whatever the time of year.