‘Tis the season to spend money you don’t have on people who are spending money they don’t have on you. It’s beautiful, it’s terrifying, and it’s happening all around you. As you put off checking your credit card balance until 2018, you may find a different stressor creeping in: deciding what to gift your loved ones. Even if you only have two friends and a neighbor’s dog to think about, gift giving can still be stressful. If you’ve already accepted that you’re going to hit the ground crying under a pile of holiday-induced debt come the New Year, you at least want your purchases to be worth it.
While we may think we know our loved ones well, people generally suck at gift giving: Nearly $70 billion worth of gifts are returned every year following the holidays. Faking elation while opening a present is second only to faking orgasms, or so we assume. So we spoke with Broadly staff astrologer Annabel Gat to help identify the perfect gifts for our loved ones this year, according to their sign. The best part about it? All you need to know about them is their birthday.
For your Aries friends and family, Gat recommends surprising them with something a little flashier than they’re accustomed to. When it comes to objects like jewelry and decor, Aries people rarely splurge on themselves—and that’s why they have you. But, Gat warns, you need to be careful. “Don't get anything too rare or valuable because they're probably going to lose it, unless they've already proven to you that they can take care of such things,” she says. This means that both your great grandmother’s diamond brooch and your favorite antique finds are off limits—it doesn’t matter how much you love them. Aries are the first to defend you against your enemies, so you’ll want to keep them happy. A nice gift should help—so long as it’s not too nice.
When it comes to Leos, “Make sure whatever present you give them is more expensive than anything you give anyone else,” says Gat. Or, at least, make sure they think it’s the most expensive gift on your list this year, if you’re sketch like that. The Leo in your life love feeling like royalty, and that’s something to keep in mind as you shop around for them. Although, tangible gifts aren’t the only way to please them. Gat suggests taking Leos anywhere that’s hard to get in, whether its a club, restaurant, or whatever else they’re into. Bonus points if it’s somewhere with a days long waitlist. Moral of the story: Get them something pretentious.
“Sagittarius people always pick up the tab when they go out with their friends,” says Gat. Turn the tables on them by taking them somewhere nice and ensuring that they don’t drop a penny. Sneak your card to the waiter on your way to the bathroom or work on your reflexes for when the check hits the table, but do what you have to. Sags are also very touched by souvenirs from trips you’ve taken; they like knowing that you thought about them while you had every reason to forget about everything and everyone back home. A book on whatever subject they’re geeking out about at the moment (even if you wish they’d shut up about it) will also make them feel special.
“Taurus is the most sensual sign in the Zodiac so whatever you get them either needs to taste good or feel good,” says Gat. What will get a Taurus in your life excited? If it’s food, you can’t go wrong with something home-baked. Because they tend to be big fans of getting stoned, they may get extra pleasure out of your gift of brownies if you make sure they are weed brownies. Though, if your goods are of the elevated variety, make sure they know it first! If the Tauruses in your life are into self care, and chances are they are, face masks, bath bombs, and natural skin creams are always a good idea. “They're very connected to their senses, so giving them a gift that inspires their senses is the best thing that you can do,” says Gat. If you want to get them clothes, focus on the feel of the fabrics, and if you’re going with perfume, make sure the scents are cozy and comforting.
Virgo, like Gemini, is ruled by the planet Mercury. “A very cute gift to give your Mercury friends is a planner because both of those signs like to stay organized and on top of their social calendars,” says Gat. If they’re into astrology, she suggests gifting them a calendar in which you’ve circled all the days that Mercury will be retrograde. Virgos like to know ahead of the time when their life is going to flip upside down. They also enjoy art supplies and music equipment—especially things that will help them keep these things organized. Organizational gifts can be boring so be picky. Look for antique jewelry boxes or record holders.
“Capricorn is ruled by Saturn which is the planet of time,” says Gat. “It's very fitting that the new year falls during the sign of time.” As such, a lovely timepiece is a gift that Caps tend to enjoy. Though it may seem that watches and clocks are outdated, Gat assures us that “Capricorns love anything that reminds them of the past.” Nostalgic gifts, as well, will give the Cap in your life the twinkle in their eye you’ll be watching for as they unwrap their present. Reminisce on the relationship you have with your Cap loved one and get them something that takes you both back—but don’t make it too cheesy.
Like Virgos, Geminis love to stay organized so a calendar or planner is always a good idea, but make sure you add something personal to the pages or it will be too boring. Air signs are all about communication, so they’ll appreciate a meaningful letter the most. Feel free to get a little cheesy here. For Geminis (and really all air signs) you can spend more time working on your card or letter than the actual gift itself. They really appreciate quality time—especially if you have something juicy to tell them—so think about gifting them a date.
“Libra is also ruled by Venus, just like Taurus, so giving them something beautiful and that also inspires their senses is a really good idea,” says Gat. Libras also really value spending time with people they love, so think outside the realm of tangible gifts for them. They’ll be extra pleased if they get to do something that involves both their senses and spending quality time with you. Libras love an out-of-the-box spa treatment, so think about grabbing a two person bird poop or vampire facial gift card.
“Aquarians love anything unusual or wacky,” says Gat. Finding the right gift for the Aquarius people in your life may lead you on a trip to a quirky magic shop or a game store. Look out for kits that will help them perform illusions or make something silly. Slime is all the rave these days and may be just what your Aquarian loved one needs to de-stress (or become a hit at a party). They’re also super into board games they can play with a lot of people, but they will likely also make you play, so if you’re not down for that try to gift and dip!
“We always think of Cancer as being this homebody sign that loves to cook,” says Gat. And while they will be happy with a KitchenAid mixer or a cozy mug, don’t forget about their witchy side. Cancers love being gifted anything and everything that has to do with the occult, whether that’s candles, crystals, or a new tarot deck. Since they love to be at home, you may want to think of gifts that can enhance the experience of staying in, like an essential oil diffuser or a video game.
Like Cancer, Scorpios also enjoy playing with tarot decks and candles, but they’re also the sign of sex. That said, if your Scorpio friend is a bit more than a friend or if you’re just close like that, you may want to surprise them with a healing crystal dildo. Gat also suggests a gift certificate to a lingerie store or a book about tantra. If you and your Scorpio loved one aren’t quite on that level, or they’re your mom, perhaps stick to witchy gifts instead.
“Pisces love to get lost, so give them something that they can check out of reality with,” says Gat. Luckily for you, you’ve got a lot of options and you’ll have to use what you know about the Pisces in your life to find just the right thing. How do they prefer to check out? If it’s through substances, a nice bottle of wine or bag of weed could be just what they need. Other Pisces prefer music or making art. In that case, a vintage vinyl record or piece of art that reminds you of them is just thoughtful enough.