Astrologically speaking, Mercury retrograde is associated with negativity, as the planet 'reverses its spin' NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington

It is that time of year when the family gathers to celebrate the holidays, spread cheer and merriment, but a Mercury retrograde may just play spoilsport, warn astrologers. Spanning from December 3 to December 22, the current Mercury retrograde is the final one of the year.

What is Mercury retrograde?

Mercury retrograde is an apparent change in the movement of the planet through the sky. It happens when the relative positions of Earth and Mercury are set in such a way that it looks like Mercury is moving backwards when, in fact, its orbit is the same as ever.

Astrologically speaking, Mercury rules communication, travel, contracts and automobiles, and therefore it is important to be flexible, allow time for extra travel, and avoid signing contracts, warn those who believe in it. Because the planet appears to be moving backwards during the retrograde, they also believe it can bring negativity into one's life. Be warned, however, that there is no scientific basis to suggest that Mercury's movement can affect your life, so take this with a pinch of salt.

How does it affect you and how to deal with it

Tali Edut, a popular astrologer from the AstroTwins explained to NBC how the final Mercury retrograde of 2017 will affect your day to day life.

"Mercury is the messenger planet, so it rules communication, mobile devices, transportation, email, snail mail, and all things data. Networks go down mysteriously and messages get stuck... Minor grievances can escalate into major blowups if we don't choose our words wisely."

A Mercury retrograde could have a big effect on your relationships especially when it comes to communicating with your partners. An expert from explained to Bustle, "Communication is the number one challenge during [Mercury Retrograde] because Mercury is all about communication. When people are unaware of Mercury Retrograde, they can take what's happening to them very personally (like anyone would), but when you're aware, you can use it to your advantage."

"Meet your (and your partner's) Retrograde experience with a mindset that it's purpose is to deepen your life and love. Relationships improve by practising compassion and accepting that it's just three weeks in your long, beautiful journey together," the expert added.

Can it affect your children?

Beware of crying kids and their tantrums during these days. Dr Athena Perrakis of Sage Goddess explained to, how toddlers are not immune to its effects

"Mercury as a planet governs all aspects of communication, and toddlers are not immune to its effects. In fact, I often think children are even more aware of the energies around them, since they have not yet learned — as we adults have, sadly — to doubt their intuition or question what they are experiencing energetically."

Perrakis also offered some suggestions on how to deal with it. According to her, you should be taking time to ask your children how they are feeling, and be sensitive to the fact that, just like you, they may be feeling overwhelmed.