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Your Astrology Zone Gift Guide Horoscope

Astrology Zone's Susan Miller predicts the best gifts to give this year.

Illustration: Meghann Stephenson

As much as we'd like to skip out on the whole gift-giving thing every single year, we can't get over the reaction we get when we totally nail the perfect one. But if we're being totally honest here, our gift premonitions are anything but consistent. So in a bid to better our odds this year, we went to someone who actually knows how to read the stars, astrologer Susan Miller, whose lengthy horoscopes draw in a zenith of diehard fans every month to her Astrology Zone. Let's just say her forecasting is really on point.

"No doubt, gift giving is an art, and can be quite a creative, heartfelt expression of emotion. How you approach gift giving says a lot about you, revealing what you value and how you view the one you love. A fine gift selection shows tender admiration, empathy, warmth or a host of other feelings for the recipient. A great gift is one that the recipient is thrilled to receive, doesn’t desperately need and never expected to get—the element of surprise and delight is almost always what we are after. After receiving a great gift, the recipient feels more deeply understood and closer to the giver.

Naturally, if we are to delight, we need to spend a little focused time putting ourselves in the recipient's shoes to see the gift from their point of view. Alas, too often the gifts we give reflect only our preference and have nothing to do with the recipient’s lifestyle or desires.

When you give a gift, more rides on getting your message right (that you care) and in creating the right outcome (pleasing your recipient) than on what you spend. An inexpensive or handmade gift can have big impact if it shows you put plenty of thinking and love into it. If you try hard to please, it will show. Conversely, if you ask your assistant to choose and buy the gift for someone he/she has never met, that too will show. That pressure can result in a less creative gift, such as a box of chocolates and a card or a bunch of flowers that you picked up at the corner deli. While there’s nothing wrong with those gifts, if it looks to your beloved like your assistant could have selected the gift for you on an errand, it will always lack that extra bit of oomph and sexiness that can only come from giving from a heartfelt gift that you took the time to choose. You’ll have to take a risk once in awhile, too. As they say: no risk, no reward.

Looking back in my own life, perhaps had my husband been a better gift-giver, we might still be together. My then-husband favored practical things. No woman wants to receive a flannel nightgown for Christmas. ('You need to be warm in winter!') or get a toolbox for her birthday ('The items in this box are ones you need to fix things!'). Over the 16 years we were married I never felt he truly understood me. Those gifts weren’t just poor choices but rather revealing symptoms of something deeper that was lacking in our relationship.

The last straw came one Christmas, when I opened the one and only gift under the tree. It was a fire extinguisher, ‘But you said you were afraid of fire,’ said my husband. Clearly, he would have benefited from the following gift-giving section I wrote for you for holiday and special occasion shopping. So whether you’re a man or a woman and want to delight your spouse, sweetheart, companion, best friend, relative, boss, agent, publicist, lawyer, coworker, assistant or anyone else you care about, read on. Help is on the way.

Astrology covers all of life, and is often an amazingly accurate predictor of personal preferences and that includes the gifts each sign would be happy to receive. Listen to what your sweetheart or spouse has said about gifts in the past. One day soon, ask about what gift brought the biggest response, whether positive or negative. Consider your beloved’s unique interests and desires, as well as past gifts you may have given that were either well received or sorry misses. My mother used to tell me, watch what others give you; for that’s the gift others hope you will give them.

While you’re at it, read the hints for some of the other zodiac signs, too. We are all a combination of many planetary influences, for a chart holds eight planets, plus the Sun and moon. If you know your sweetheart’s rising sign (which can only be known after having erected a chart with the day, month year, city and exact time of birth), read for that sign too. The rising sign is every bit as important as the Sun sign."

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