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December 3rd to December 8th
MONDAY DECEMBER 3
Not very festive...
Around this time of year, I start to get a lot of letters from people who are living in dread. For them, the festive season is anything but festive. It's a drag, a chore or source of terrible stress. It can be a time of sad memories - or social pressure - or family guilt - or financial anxiety - or for feeling obliged to keep up the most painful pretences. What's worse, people say, "If we dare express our doubt about the whole affair, we get called a Scrooge." Do you have feelings on this topic or suggestions about an alternative way to pass the holiday? If so, do drop me a line firstname.lastname@example.org.
TUESDAY DECEMBER 4
Yesterday, along with millions worldwide, I took a minute to meditate on the memory of George - whose music gave us all so much pleasure... and whose famous spiritual quest inspired so many of us to look within. The more I hear about his final moments, the more I feel touched... and moved. It would seem that he and his family faced the time of ultimate change with dignity and wisdom. They believe, in accordance with many Eastern teachings, that this life is just a dream. On our departure from this world, we are re-awakened. Our return to the reality of eternity is to be celebrated, not feared.
WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 5
Christmas exhaustion - plus your feedback - click here
On Monday, I mentioned that some people do not enjoy the holiday season. I have since had many emails - including this from Corinna who writes that at Christmas... "My mum always looked exhausted but seemed to feel that this was a necessary gauge of the event's success. Even as a child I felt over-dressed, overstressed and quite over-wrought by the time things were over. I always knew my parents had spent a fortune that they didn't have in order to "keep up". They did it to please too many people and to meet too many abstract expectations. People with whom they did not really get along were invited to dinner. Folks who brought anger disguised as gifts came too..." If you too, find the Christmas season less than wonderful, do drop me a line, email@example.com. Don't forget, if you do email us, please let us know which part of the planet you are writing from.
Thank you to everyone who emailed with "alternative" ways to pass the time for the holiday season - we have compiled a selection of your replies - click on Feedback link above.
THURSDAY DECEMBER 6
Since moving from South Africa to London with my English husband, I have come to dread Christmas. It is the most stressful time for me. I feel too much emphasis is put on the gifts and decorations. My children, who get toys every week, will be spoilt rotten by their father who insists on spending hundreds on big toys. Then the rest of the family will have to get about ten presents each which makes me go crazy as I never know what to get them. I feel such pressure to pretend to be jolly that I feel I could slit my wrists. My husband accuses me of being a scrooge but I firmly believe this excessive style of consumerism has to stop. I can't wait for the 27th December. Meanwhile I will get through this terrible time by drinking copious amounts of Baileys.
Merry Xmas, Cynthia
FRIDAY DECEMBER 7
Christmas gift ideas plus Astro News
An astrologer has a duty to be even-handed. So, even even though I have spent much of my energy this week presenting the case for a less materialistic emphasis at Christmas, today, by way of balance, is the first of three special Astro News guides to choosing the right Christmas present for each sign. Today we focus on the zodiacís "Fixed" signs: Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius. Click here for Astro News.
SATURDAY DECEMBER 8
Tracy Pollan: June 22, 1962 (Cancer)
Michael J Fox: June 9, 1961 at 12:12 am (Gemini)
Michael is a Gemini. Tracy was born on the "cusp" of Gemini and Cancer. Close investigation of her chart reveals that she is actually a Cancerian - by just a few hours. These two signs don't always get along so well. Cancerians often see Geminis as shallow. Geminis can find Cancerians overly emotional. For such a partnership to thrive, there has to be a common enemy. In this case, it's adversity. True to the form of his adaptable sign, Michael is managing to find ways to live with Parkinson's disease. Tracy meanwhile, is displaying classic Cancerian caring qualities. Their future together will be surprisingly long... and happy.