They twinkle away, smugly certain of their own beauty, but come Wednesday, Twelfth Night, they'll be torn down and stowed away. Every year I promise myself to carefully package them up in labelled boxes but this year, like every other, I'll be muttering swear words to myself under my breath as I stuff them into the nearest plastic bag and fling them, over-arm, to the back of the attic.
I'll miss them. It's tempting to leave the fairy lights pinned up around the kitchen shelves and the mantelpieces and the bed-heads. Everything is both gentler and more glamorous in their talc-soft light. Including me.
I forced others to over indulge too. I dragged them down to my glorious level, by baking spiced apple cake and making ice cream. I pushed custard like a smack dealer.
And now, according to every magazine and on-line forum, I must pay for all this pleasure. By joining a gym, backing away from the buffet, and by hating the thighs that spiced apple cake built. I must drink water all the time, even while I sleep. I must read food packaging like a scholar bent over the Book of Kells. I must loathe the soft swathe under my chin and I must turn away from the mirror as if I've been scalded.
I refuse to do all those stoopid things. New Year abounds with must-do's, but I won't do any of them. It all reeks of self hatred, of distrust of your own flesh. OK, so there's a bit more of me than there was pre-24th December, but I'll deal with that in my own good time. I won't suddenly detox as the year turns, leaping into my barely worn trainers to wheeze around the park.
A little less cheese, a little more activity. Easy does it.