Holiday gifts, according to the stars

Holiday gifts, according to the stars
By Walter Ang
December 16, 2010
Philippine Daily Inquirer

For this year, astrologers recommend patience and allowing for delays and snafus when you do your holiday shopping because there is a Mercury retrograde that started on Dec. 10 and will last until the 30th.

Mercury, the ruler of electronics, communications and transportation, will look as if (from our vantage point here on Earth) it's going backward in its path in the sky. Whenever this happens, its "powers" are "reduced," and there's usually a lot of weird miscommunication, weird traffic patterns and weird weather incidents. Also, gadgets tend to go haywire. Computers get virus attacks, fax machines break down, cellphones hang, ATMs and credit card swipers bog down.

You can already imagine how irritated people will be at the malls. By the way, electronics have also been known to drop in prices after certain Mercury retrogrades?so stave off on any electronics purchases.

That advice done with, we have astrology to use as a guide if you've run out of ideas on what to give as gifts. Whether you're one of the inherently thoughtful signs or one of the inherently absent-minded signs, you can pick out certain gifts for each of the signs (including yourself!) based on some general characteristics for each.

Earth signs
Practical and productive (bounty of the earth) but also stubborn as rocks.

Taurus (April 21-May 21)
Creatures of comfort, they like anything that adds to their sense of luxury or security without going out of their comfort zone (their beds). Their favorite piece of clothing is, more often than not, a pair of ratty (but comfy!) slippers. Once they find a restaurant they like, they eat there for life. A gift certificate to their favorite restaurant and a pair of slippers and you're good to go.

Virgo (Aug 23-Sept 22)
They love to be organized but sometimes their secret shame is that they're not really all that clean (it's that connection to earth). They all secretly want to be professional closet organizers. Get them a six-pack of body soap and some of those transparent plastic sock dividing-organizing thingies.

Capricorn (Dec 22-Jan 20)
In a positive light, determined to get to the top; the same trait expressed in the negative extreme equals super obstinate. Give them ten (they like collecting things) mugs labeled with "World's Greatest Boss" (even if they're not the boss yet). Best of all, you can give them the same kind of mug for every other occasion thereafter. "For your collection!"

Water signs
Still waters run deep (ooh, mysterious). But have you ever seen a tsunami (drama queens)?

Cancer (June 22-July 22)
The home is the power base of all Cancerians. There, they get to nurture and tend to everyone. That's also where they retreat (into their shells) when the world gets a little too much. Give aromatherapy candles to help soothe the soul of your frazzled Cancerian friends. Oh, they like red and white gingham tablecloths, too.

Scorpio (Oct 23-Nov 21)
Scorpio is the sign of secrets. They like nothing more than to uncover the truth(s) in their usual intense manner. It won't cost you anything to tell them a secret for the holidays. They'll like that even more than the second-hand Nancy Drew or Hardy Boys paperback you can get them. "Guess where I this book from!"

Pisces (Feb 20-Mar 20)
Their powerful imagination can either be channeled into artistic creativity or into daydreaming in circles. Bodies of water help them relax or focus all those ideas that constantly pop into their heads. Other than a membership to a sports club with a pool, fill a glass bottle with water, drizzle the outside with glue, then pepper with glitter. "I made this water sculpture just for you!"

Fire signs 
Source of life and warmth. And explosive blazes.

Aries (Mar 21-April 20)
Alive, awake, enthusiastic! Always raring to ram the goat's horns against every new thing in town because they see the world through a child's eyes. The newest model of anything will get them excited for sure. Otherwise, comic books or animated movies will be just as fine. If you can get the newest model of something that features a cartoon character, well, jackpot!

Leo (July 23-Aug 22)
Their lion's mane, hair, is super important to Leos (the bald ones are most likely deliberately that way because they'd rather chop off thinning or bad hair than be caught dead with it). A comb, brush, hairband, barette or any hair tool or accessory will win you points. A pocket mirror is okay, too. They'll think of you every time they preen and purr.

Sagittarius (Nov 22-Dec 21)
The sign of the archer, shooting arrows all over the place, though not necessarily aiming anywhere in particular. For them, the journey is definitely more important than the destination. They like to physically do stuff and they like to laugh a lot. Treat them to the amusement park. Or give them a couple of comedy DVDs with the labels covered up. They like surprises.

Air signs
Just like air, can be friendly and easy breezy. And can be all over the place or up in the clouds.

Gemini (May 22-July21)
Their mile-a-minute brains love words: reading words, writing words, saying words, inventing words, etc. They all want to have their own talk shows. You can get them anything they can read or write on. You can get lozenges for the ones who get you into trouble in class because they talk to all the time and your name ends up on the board under the "Noisy" list.

Libra (Sept 23-Oct 22)
They love to meet new people and make new friends, collecting a network of contacts they'll eventually tap when they run for public office. That is, if they can decide fast enough if they really want to run or not after weighing the pros and cons (sign of the scales). A planner-and-directory will help them keep track of deadlines.

Aquarius (Jan 21-Feb 19)
Because they're preoccupied with the future rather than the present, they can either become visionary innovators or they end up forgetting everything that needs to get done today. Something that beeps or lights up with reminders would be nice. A nice comfortable pillow will also be nice for the ones who think so much that they get insomnia.

Also published online: