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Ask the Astro Poets: How Do I Survive the Holidays?

Ask the Astro Poets is the advice column by W's resident astrologers, Alex Dimitrov (Sagittarius) and Dorothea Lasky (Aries), who take a breather from writing poetry and horoscopes to take your questions about love, career, even the big existential questions in life. From matchmaking and compatibility, to friendship, professional, and dating advice, the poets of the stars are here to guide you through any challenge:

Dear Astro Poets,

I'm an Aquarius who isn't "good" at the holidays and I don't exactly like them either. Around the end of November I notice that just browsing Twitter and Instagram I'll start to get depressed because everyone is so "happy" (especially at the end of the year). My moon is in Sagittarius and I always feel like I'd rather take a vacation for one than have to put up with everyone in my family. Should I do that this year?

A No Bullshit Aquarius

Dear No Bullshit Aquarius,

I really appreciate your question because I think all of us experience some version of this since we're constantly on social media. It's true—the end of the year is the most homogenous time on my timeline. Everyone is posting the same things: food, family, some corny list of resolutions as a caption, and a photo of them smiling (probably at the gym). It can be cringe-worthy. It can also make you wonder if people actually have interior lives or if everything's heading toward performativity (even "love").

Being an Aquarius—one of the most heady, honest, and no nonsense signs—I can see why this bothers you. Aquarians love to have people around them, but they have to be people they've chosen and people they genuinely trust and respect. In other words, anyone they don't have to perform in front of. We think that those people should be our family, but that's not necessarily always true. The holidays are this strange time when everyone is acting out of the past, or trying to project something that may not have to do with the truth, but with appearances. Your Sagittarius moon can care less about appearances. It is going to push you toward being straight-forward and even "rude" at times (all in the service of honesty, but people still won't like it). Your moon is also where your question comes from (classic Sagittarius impulse to get away and be by yourself).

I've both endured the holidays and also done what you suggest several times—taken a vacation away from everyone right in the middle of them. Both have been stressful. Because even by yourself there's the strange guilt the culture puts on you to "feel the holiday spirit"—whether that's online or hearing Christmas music while you wait in line for cigarettes. What you have to remember is that the holidays are like Mercury retrograde. No one is communicating clearly, everything is exaggerated, though regardless of all that, they end. Sometimes they can even bring you some small clarity. Even if it's as simple as what or who to avoid next time. I won't lie to you, being on a beach alone somewhere does feel like winning for a few hours. But memory follows you everywhere. For better or worse.

Your equally escapist Sagittarius,

Alex

Dear Astro Poets,

This year I'm going home to my boyfriend's family for the holidays for the first time. His mom is a Cancer and I'm a Leo. Sometimes things can get sorta tense between us, even if just under the surface. I'm worried that spending four whole days with her might turn into a disaster. Any advice for me?

A Nervous Leo

P.S. My boyfriend is a Sagittarius.

Dear Nervous Leo,

Well, first let me say: Congratulations! That's awesome that you are and your boyfriend are taking things to this level and you are going to spend some quality time with his family. Leo-Sagittarius is an amazing match, and it's extra special that he is feeling this serious about you. Sagittarians are notoriously not into commitment (although in my experience, I haven't always found this to be the case).

I know you are worried about how it's going to go, but I am here to assuage your fears: It is likely going to be fine. Cancer moms can be tricky, but they really do want things to go well, especially if their child is this into you and especially around the holidays. Cancers tend to love things like holidays, because these sorts of traditions tend to center around two things they love greatly: family and food. There is nothing a Cancer likes more than a feast with all of their loved ones extra close, and she will likely be in a good mood for most of the time, no matter what happens.

The trick for you to keep her in good spirits is to make sure you understand that for these four days, she's in charge. Cancers tend to give off this giving and sweet air, but they are Cardinal signs after all. When a Cancer mom is in her domain (the domestic sphere) that is going to be her space to be in absolute control of and your main mood should be "dutiful." As a Leo, you tend to have a feisty spirit and don't like to be told what to do, and this may cause tensions. I am an Aries, and have a similar spirit to yours, so I totally understand how in the past your interactions with her may have seemed like a ride on the Passive Aggressive Train. But again, for this visit, just sit back and enjoy the ride, because you will not be driving the car, to say the least.

But, I mean, if you are happy with your sexy Sagittarius and want to continue things past the holidays, then a little sitting back right now will definitely be worth it. Don't worry, it will go well!

Love,

Dorothea

Related: Ask the Astro Poets: Is My Crush Trying to Ghost Me?