Sometimes the man in the Santa suit ringing the Salvation Army bell outside your local grocery store inspires a flood of goodwill -- your purse strings fly open and the dollars cascade toward where they're needed most. At other times, that same bell merely reminds you that you're out of pain reliever.
How can you find a happy head space during the holidays? Your Sun sign may have the answer!
Aries: Go commando.
People using pepper spray to ensure they get the last available flat screen TV? Christmas isn't just a holiday anymore -- it's practically a war zone. And since you're the warrior of the zodiac, you ought to have some fun with strategizing. The more time you spend planning, the better you'll revel in the execution.
Taurus: Just eat it already.
If you're thinking about losing five pounds to fit into that snug holiday party dress, here's where you might do yourself a favor: Just buy the size that fits you right now. You'll be happier when you ease up on your usual strict self-discipline and just enjoy yourself. Anyway, aren't weight loss plans for New Year's resolutions?
Gemini: Books. (Remember books?)
Long ago, you had time to read something longer than an eggnog recipe. Before you started spending your evenings stamping Christmas cards and wrapping presents, you used to enjoy reveling in the written word. Getting your read on will have a lot to do with getting your joy back this holiday season.
Cancer: Maid service.
Expecting yourself to do it all is simply unreasonable. Think about all the people who'll show up at your door expecting hospitality this year -- only everyone (plus a partridge and pear tree). Sounds as if things are about to become 12 times as messy. Find some help!
Leo: Permission to party.
Why wait until December 31 to party like it's New Year's Eve? You love getting dolled up in a festively fancy way; you also adore mingling with new (and old) friends. No, you don't have to throw a party -- you are the party! Book up your dance card accordingly.
Virgo: Ho ho ho.
If you set your mind to it, you could simply laugh the holiday away. After all, the wrong gift can be exchanged, and there's always another parking spot somewhere. If that route doesn't work for you, this is probably a good time to catch up on any 30 Rock episodes you may have missed ....
Libra: Priority one: Your happiness.
The bah-humbugs aren't just for Grinches or Scrooges anymore. Unfortunately, with the way things are going between Libra and Saturn this year, your sign is the one that's most likely to be afflicted by holiday woes. Just remember that the story ended well for both of the aforementioned Christmas-phobes, and it will go even better for you -- if you do what makes you happy!
Scorpio: Shop online.
Let others take care of the wrapping while you roast chestnuts over an open fire. If you can harness the commercial power of the Web, there's no storefront traffic to contend with, and everything is delivered right to your door (or your gift recipient's door). On top of that, many companies offer free shipping, and in some cases you avoid sales tax as well. What's not to like?
Sagittarius: Eat out ....
...or prepare all your meals in one day, then freeze them so you don't have to think about food preparation for the rest of the week. With everything you've got on your-do list, having to consider what's for dinner is one thing you could do without.
Capricorn: Secret Santa.
For big families, it relieves a lot of pressure if everyone doesn't have to buy everyone else a present. It's not too late to implement the plan of drawing names from a hat ... and since you're the one who's organized enough to get the word out to everyone, you'll be thanked like a hero at gift exchange time!
Aquarius: Make stuff.
Purchasing is overrated. And with Venus and Neptune giving you amazing creative energy this holiday season, people will fall in love with your homemade presents, decorations and even fashion and accessories. Consider writing a poem as a gift, or creating a special ornament, picture frame or stuffed toy.
Pisces: Bow your head.
More than any other sign in the zodiac, you truly feel the spirit of the holiday rustling in the winter wind. So why not acknowledge the ethereal realms of being every chance you get? It barely takes any time at all -- just a momentary shift of perspective -- and suddenly you're touched. Doing so will make you a little brighter, more vibrant and, yes, happy!