Still wondering what to buy your loved ones? If all else fails, consult the stars, says Margaret Neylon, who believes the Zodiac holds the key to the perfect present. From fiery Arians to balanced Librans, it’s good to know the signs.
ARIES (MAR 21 TO APR 19)
These fiery individuals, the pioneers of the zodiac, will enjoy anything new to the High Street. Their boredom threshold is low, so engage them with the buzziest, brightest, newest, rarest gadget. If they’re the first to have it, you’ll be their hero.
Arian: Saoirse Ronan, actress (above) — while she flits around the world from one film studio to the next, keep this gadget queen happy with the latest craze.
TAURUS (APR 20 TO MAY 20)
The touchy-feely Earth sign should be easy to shop for, with such a range of interests. Anything for the home, from a violin to elegant Regency furniture. If finances aren’t good, settle for handmade chocolate or herb-infused cooking oil. They’re foodies, too.
Taurean: Enda Kenny, An Taoiseach — with an eye for quality, please him with anything from an antique to a gourmet hamper.
GEMINI (MAY 21 TO JUNE 20)
Questions, questions, questions... Geminis get bored quickly, so consider the latest in IT — phones, games, tablets — to keep their active minds busy. If you can’t afford a Kindle, quizzes or board games should keep them alert and, if you want quiet (and who doesn’t around these constant communicators?) consider a book token.
Gemini: Colin Farrell, actor — being a fast thinker and easily bored, perhaps a new film script will keep him engaged?
CANCER (JUN 21 TO JUL 22)
Governed by the Moon, Cancerians are never happier than at home with their family. Any food and drink they can share, games they can play, DVDs they can chill over together... For personal presents, choose scented candles or luxurious body lotions. While they love to nurture others, it’s good to nurture them.
Cancerian: Jennifer Saunders, comedienne — she will enjoy chilling out at home with a bottle of wine and a wacky DVD.
LEO (JUL 23 TO AUG 22)
Leo shines when centre-stage. Whatever you give, big or small, make sure it’s in the glitziest, brightest, shiniest gift wrap, because they love the anticipation of what’s beneath.
With the Sun as their ruler, they also love sunny climes, so if you can afford to treat your favourite Leo to a holiday in the Antipodes, or closer to home, they’ll love you forever.
Leo: Frances Fitzgerald, Minister for Children and Youth Affairs — it’s suntan lotion and the latest sunshades for her.
VIRGO (AUG 23 TO SEPT 20)
Virgos are pernickety, but don’t panic, there’s a broad range of gifts to interest them. These Earth signs, governed by Mercury, are thinkers, logical and patient. Anything that requires concentration will delight them: logic games, chess, model-making, jigsaws.
Virgo: Niall Horan of One Direction — what to do when off the stage? Something to keep his mind occupied, so what about a Rubik’s Cube?
LIBRA (SEPT 21 TO OCT 20)
These air signs love a debate, as long as it doesn’t end in fisticuffs, so books on politics, philosophy, and civil liberties will engage them. Balance is their keyword and they like to be active, so anything from a pedometer to a trampoline will keep them on their toes, and the need for balance can also refer to their finances, so a gift voucher will be welcome.
Libran: Simon Cowell, TV celebrity — this Libran has no problem with his finances, but perhaps he needs a course on work-life balance?
SCORPIO (OCT 21 TO NOV 20)
These water signs are deep and have a deductive mind, so subjects involving hidden desires, forensics, murder mysteries, psychology and profiling will all keep them enthralled.
They can also be the most sensuous of the signs, so a visit to the local perfumerie and lingerie stores might give you some bright ideas of how to thrill them at Christmas time.
Scorpio: Katy Perry, should enjoy observing others, so a book on profiling or behaviourism?
SAGITTARIUS (NOV 21 TO DEC 20)
It is the thought that counts, and the bigger the better for these sun signs, who are governed by generous Jupiter. They have short-term commitment, so offer something that can be enjoyed instantly, such as some handmade chocolates or a vintage wine. For a larger budget, they’re adventurous souls, so entice them with long-distance travel or an adventure weekend.
Sagittarian: Singer/songwriter Taylor Swift — like all Sagittarians, she loves to travel so how about a travel voucher?
CAPRICORN (DEC 21 TO JAN 19)
Hardworking and quietly self-contained, Capricorns are quite ambitious under the surface, so competitions can be a winner. They tend to think long-term, so consider jewellery, or clothing in darkish colours: green, blue, brown, black. Governed by Saturn, they enjoy self-improvement, so what about books on self-awareness, an annual membership to a museum or concert hall?
Capricorn: Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge — as a new mother, this Capricorn would love peace and quiet, and good baby’s story-book.
AQUARIUS (JAN 20 TO FEB 18)
This air sign will love the challenge of discovery, so anything that’s scientific, technological and holistic should keep them enthralled. As they tend to be about a decade ahead of anyone else, you can be as unconventional in your choice of gift as them. The word ‘quirky’ might have been coined for Aquarians, so there’s no end to wacky ideas for your favourite Aquarian.
Aquarian: Joan Burton, Minister for Social Protection — with her long-term interest in politics, this busy Aquarian might enjoy some biographies.
PISCES (FEB 19 TO MAR 20)
Very sensitive, these water signs are often artistic and creative, so head for the nearest arts-and-crafts store when you’re choosing for them. They are physically sensuous, too, so what about a gift token for the nearest health spa, where they can be indulged with massage and aromatic oils? Ruled by Neptune, Pisceans are deep thinkers and usually enjoy a good read.
Pisceans: Queen Latifah, singer — Pisceans are often deep romantics though they may not like to admit it. Poetry might inspire this rapper.
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