So this is Christmas…

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One of the things I’m most grateful for from our recent road trip is seeing the lead up to Christmas in Britain. The Christmas markets, the lights, the mulled wine, the window displays, the mulled wine, the Christmas jumpers, the mulled cider, the Santa fun runs, the Christmas ads. It all seemed so Christmassy.

Here in Australia, it’s different. Although the decorations all start to come up after Melbourne Cup Day (the first Tuesday in November), it seems to take much longer than that for the Christmas spirit or feeling (call it what you will) to take hold. Perhaps it’s the heat and the light? It’s just different. Sometimes it feels as though we’re trying to hold onto a northern tradition that isn’t ours. Not really.

In my birth family we’ve always done the full hot sit-down roast with Christmas pudding for Christmas lunch- even when it’s been well into the 30s temperature wise (that’s celcius…). We’ve always done it. I remember as kids those hot summer days in the years before air-conditioning, driving down to Tumbarumba or Sydney from whatever country town we were living in. All six of us piled into the car with the dog/s for the 6-10 hour drive in the summer heat. The windows would be down for air and we’d stop for fresh cherries from the stalls on the side of the road, spitting the stones back out the open windows. Then we’d sweat through lunch and head back a day or so later, listening to the cricket on the radio.

These days we don’t travel- my parents are in Sydney, and my brother and sisters’ families are also close by. Our family of six is now eighteen strong with husbands, wives and grandkids. There are pools and air conditioning and long tables for us all. But Mum and Dad still like the tradition of the full roast.

My parents are both fixed signs- Aquarius and Scorpio- so change has to happen gradually. Over the years we’ve managed to replace the pre-plated dinner with a serve yourself style; and the pudding for pavlova and trifle. Last year a few prawns made it onto the table. This year we’re introducing a salad option.

The three of us Traceys have our own traditions around the day. Potato scones and champagne as we open pressies in the morning, a long walk before heading over for lunch at the Lyons Den with my family, and then back for prawns and bubbles on the back deck with our neighbours- our other family.

That’s the thing about this time of the year- we all have different traditions, and the family we spend it with doesn’t have to be the family we were born into.

One of the best Christmases we’ve had was the one four years ago when we spent it in Bali- just the three of us. We made it completely different to what we’d do at home. It was truly ours for that one year.

My point is, there is no right way to do it- there’s the way that’s right for us. It’s right that it changes with the years and evolves as the family grows and separates and…well, you get the idea.

It’s why, I guess, that I was so thankful to indulge in the northern Christmas, yet glad to be home for the day itself. (Have I mentioned how those short days- especially up in Scotland- did my head in?)

Why am I talking so much about family and traditions and Christmas and making your own traditions and family? Because this Christmas we also have a Full Moon in Cancer, and Cancer is, of course, about family, roots, traditions. This year that’s complicated by Uranus going direct – and Uranus is, of course, about individuality, independence, rocking the boat, doing it your way, creating something new.

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There’s this idea that to be fully functional as a family, we all just have to get along- and should get along- simply because we’re family. Yet the thing we often forget about families is that they’re comprised of individuals with different views, motivations and beliefs. The trouble and the arguments start when we don’t respect or acknowledge those differences…or resist the change that is inevitable for growth.

It’s somehow fitting that one of the lead stories in todays paper is about how Australian families are downsizing and the Aussie backyard could soon be a thing of the past…if indeed, with Sydney house prices the way they are, a backyard is already a luxury not accessible to many. Change and families.

Anyways, this Full Moon is at 3 Cancer 20’. Here in Aus, it’s exact at around 9.13pm. That’s 11.13pm in NZ, 6.13pm in Western Australia and much of South East Asia, and Christmas morning in the Northern hemisphere.

By now you should know how to work out what it means for you. If not, get a refresher with this post.

For me it falls in the fourth house- the house of home, family, roots and traditions. It trines my Mars exactly, and is square Saturn. Hmmmm. I’m thinking there could be issues with the parentals about the introduction of a green salad…or perhaps a blue over backyard cricket…or tears in the annual pool bombing comp- where the kids compete to see who can make the biggest splash…or simply gratitude and reflection.

However you spend your day, however you celebrate (or don’t celebrate) it, whatever or whoever represents family to you, I wish you and yours all the very best of the season.

Joxxx