Mercury's Retrograde This Christmas—Here's How to Keep the Drama at a Minimum

Santa better bring an extra charger on his sleigh

A lit Christmas tree in front of an oversized Mercury planet outside in starry night
Adastra/borchee/Getty Images

We’ve finally made it to the end of 2023! But just when you thought you were free to float into the holiday season abyss, the cosmos has one last joke up its sleeve. That’s right: Mercury’s retrograde this Christmas. Mercury—planet of communication, transportation, and all things technical, you know things that are very important during the biggest travel and gift-giving time of the year—goes retrograde on December 13 and doesn’t station direct until January 1, 2024.

Yes, you read that correctly: Christmas, New Year’s and all the holiday season before and in between will happen during a time known for delays and miscommunication. We can hear the groans and sighs already, but before you freak out here are our tips for keeping drama at a minimum this holiday Mercury retrograde season!

Tip #1: Plan Extra Time for Travel

Mercury is the planet of travel and transportation so when something funky is going on with Mercury, you can be sure that something funky is also going on with planes, trains and automobiles. This isn’t the year for driving through rush hour traffic, getting to the airport with only a half hour to get through security, or buying last minute Amtrak tickets. Pack in advance, leave early, and double check your departure time so there aren’t any surprises!

Tip #2: Don’t Rely on Rush Shipping

That last-minute invitation to your cousin’s house on Christmas Eve is undoubtedly coming, and so is the panic over whether or not you need to show up with gifts for her kids. Instead of spending hours online to see where is still doing rush shipping, you’re better off just going shopping in person. Grab something cute at a local business (your money is always better spent there than Amazon anyway!) and that’s one less thing to worry about!

Tip #3: Grab an Extra Set of Lights for the Tree

OK, this one is a little silly, but hear us out. Mercury rules all things technical, and that includes the cute Christmas lights inside and outside of your house! Sure, you were so excited to get those fancy lights this year that project onto the ceiling and you can turn on via an app. But how much will you like them when they suddenly stop working just before your party on December 23rd? Pick up a simple set (twinkling or non twinkling is dealer’s choice) to keep as a backup in the closet just in case.

Tip #4: Keep Plans Flexible

Keeping things flexible is perhaps the most vital tip for holiday season Mercury retrograde. Even if you go above and beyond to double check the details, curve balls are inevitable. Throwing a holiday party? Assume that your friends who are never on time will show up early and your BFF who never misses an event might show up three hours late. Oh, and your aunt will forget the Chardonnay. Make sure whatever you’re eating stays warm on the stove and that you have some backup bottles of wine.

Tip #5: Embrace Happy Accidents

All the delays and miscommunications that come with Mercury retrograde are meant to slow us down so we have more time to reflect and think. Maybe the hostess losing your Christmas Eve reservation is a blessing in disguise — instead of a fancy night out, you and your partner get to enjoy some nostalgic cheeseburgers at your favorite casual spot. Maybe taking a later train back to your hometown finds you in the same car as your long lost high school bestie! Sometimes it’s fate and sometimes it’s just chaos, but when Mercury’s retrograde, delays usually happen for a reason.

Jaime Wright is an astrologer based in New York. You can subscribe to her newsletter for more musings on the stars.

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Jaime Wright is an astrologer and writer based in NYC. She has been writing PureWow’s weekly and monthly horoscope columns since 2019, and also authors the cult favorite...