Your guide to sharing a Thanksgiving table, Christmas dinner, New Year’s Eve party (and everything between) with anyone—no matter their zodiac sign.
Does your Thanksgiving history include a buffet of complex dynamics? As much as we laud the holiday season as a time of comfort and joy it can be hard to escape the drama of the drunken uncle, guilt-tripping grandma or entitled child who has had one too many years of attachment parenting.
Fortunately, the stars can assist with a social strategy for the holidays. (Start asking your fellow revelers their birthdays at once!) Armed with the zodiac’s cosmic code you can sail through the holiday season smoothly with any of the 12 zodiac signs.
Holiday astrology tips to manage yourself (and your guests!)
Our advice for navigating the holidays is broken down by:
- How to handle yourself! (e.g., If you’re a Virgo…)
- How to celebrate with any zodiac sign (the Do’s and Don’ts)
Which zodiac sign is most likely to delve into that taboo topic? To bring a bottle of wine? To bring the drama? Even if you think “my cousin’s wife is too political!” or “I can’t get along with an Aries!” … let us tell you how you can! Click on a sign below to find out how:
If you’re an Aries
Holidays are a mixed bag for you, Aries. While you’re never one to pass on a party, the high-pressure requirements of cooking, cleaning, decorating and following up on those RSVPs are simply draining for you. One word: outsource.
If you’re hosting this year, use your stellar leadership skills to assign duties to everyone involved. Make sure you have a project manager on board who can handle the follow-ups. Since you value chill time, those days off could be better spent lounging on a beach hammock than dealing with aggravating family dynamics. Send everyone an artisanal fruitcake then hop on the next plane to Barcelona.
If you’re celebrating holidays with an Aries
DO: Sit down for one-on-one chats with the Aries in attendance. Crowds can overstimulate Rams who prefer to focus on one thing at a time. They love to ramble about their latest hobbies or musical interests. You might just want to open up a new file in your Notes app because you’re sure to get some great references.
If you really want advice, there’s no one sharper—or more hardcore—than this sign. They’ll listen keenly but they won’t mince words. Only ask for their input if you’re sure you can handle the truth.
DON’T: Expect Aries to take on too many tasks or you’ll wind up with a cranky, frazzled and pissed off party pooper. Give them ONE big thing to handle. Maybe it’s the turkey or making a signature craft cocktail or playlist. And don’t get mad if you have to email the details of your request to their VA. Aries are Very Important People with Very Stressful Lives. You’ll be sure to hear about it over the cranberry-ginger martini they so artfully concocted.
If you’re a Taurus
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, Taurus! Seriously, if anyone believes in the power of the holiday season it’s your tradition-loving sign. The sensory overload of fresh pine boughs on the tablescape, turkey roasting in the oven, the Yule log burning — it’s an olfactory orgasm Bulls live for.
As an earth sign you are stable and family-oriented but you also prefer a calm, relaxing celebration. Rule No. 1: Keep the bad seeds off your guest list. Better you should screen your unstable cousin’s calls than let them wreak havoc on your artfully prepped celebration.
Your cozy abode, movie collection and general warm vibes give relatives (the ones you like) reasons to stick around for hours. Or even turn the affair into a giant slumber party with a home-cooked breakfast in the morning.
If you’re celebrating with a Taurus
DO: Classing it up is a must if a Taurus is at your holiday table. This sign may love simplicity—but they are elegant and a touch snobbish in their tastes. Ping them for ideas on the menu, assign them a main dish, or let them play sommelier for the event.
Make sure that customs are adhered to. This is a holiday about gratitude so it’s important that the celebration touches on this theme. That’s what the rules say and that’s how the Bull plays. Now, tell the nice Taurus what you’re thankful for this year.
DON’T: So you got your table decorations at the local dollar store, used Stove Top for your stuffing selection. Shhhhh. Otherwise you may notice your Bull doing the plate shuffle without eating a bite (“I had breakfast too late, I guess.”) or slipping mounds of microwaved breadcrumbs to your eager corgi.
Also be careful about bringing up subjects like politics or religion with a Bull in attendance. This stubborn and outspoken sign often confuses fact with opinion (theirs) and could polarize guests by insisting that their view is the only view.
If you’re a Gemini
As is fitting for your dualistic sign, Gemini, you tend to have mixed feelings about the holidays. While you adore your family, they work your nerves; it’s hard to predict whether or not you’ll be able to keep quiet about their emotional transgressions.
Plan in advance: Pack the video game console, price out ticket blocks for The Nutcracker, look up showtimes for movies and make a list of cool hotel bars for an after-dinner escape. Keeping the focus on entertainment is the way to go. No apologies: You’ll probably have a better time hanging out with grade school nieces and nephews than the annoying adults. Excuse yourself from the table and go build LEGOS with them.
If you’re celebrating with a Gemini
DO: Place Gemini right at the perimeter of the kids’ table. This sign has a gift with the wee ones, probably because of their own eternally youthful vibe. Letting Gemini’s playful side emerge kills two worrisome birds with one stone: 1) The kids won’t act up because Gemini will have them all raptly involved with an imaginative game; 2) Gemini won’t start playing devil’s advocate and riling up the guests. This seating chart is just a win-win.
DON’T: Geminis love to gossip—though they’d never label it that. They’ll insist that they’re “just being honest” as they spill the tea on your cousin’s latest relationship gaffes. There will always be more than just an element of truth in a Gemini’s sharp assessment and one that can leave people feeling forced to take sides. If you see the family Twin pull someone into an empty room, it might be wise to “naively” intervene. Excuse yourself quickly if Gemini’s acerbic comments start to fly. Even listening “compassionately” heaps fuel onto the fires of a potential family feud.
If you’re a Cancer
Ready the tissue box, Cancer, and not because you have a seasonal cold. The tears always seem to flow for you at this time of year. Did you luck into the penultimate Cancer dream of a happy family? Knit everyone together with a PowerPoint presentation of old photos and a legendary dish “just like grandma used to bake.” Are your kinfolk the troubled types?
Put on that emotional armor ASAP so you don’t wind up as the lightning rod for everyone’s repressed conflicts. “Let’s talk about that LATER,” should be a line you rehearse until it feels natural.
Do you feel like a revisionist historian each time you try to convince yourself that this year things will be different? No guilt, Crab! Rather than forcing togetherness, get adopted into a friend’s family for the holidays. As long as you’re around warm, loving vibes, you’ll feel fine.
If you’re celebrating with a Cancer
DO: Let’s get one thing straight: Cancer gets first dibs on hosting for a holiday. This is the rock of the family we’re talking about. What kind of person would deny them their right to shine in their element? Be sure to at least extend them first rights of refusal.
If a Crab is joining your celebration, let them weigh in on your menu choices, guest list, course timing, etc. It’s annoying to sacrifice control, but you won’t be able to stop them from opining anyway. Honestly, their advice could save you major stress.
DON’T: Easy now with the cup o’ cheer refreshers. You have a water sign seated at your table and one that doesn’t readily show just how sensitive they are. With enough liquid courage, Cancers can get sloppy sentimental in the worst kind of way. “Drunk in love” is a status best left to Beyoncé, not a slurred “I’m so thankful for all of you” speech when they are three sheets to the wind. Or worse, the brandied eggnog can uncork a bottled up Cancer who feels emboldened to bring up a family issue that would be best addressed in the therapist’s office. Another pitcher of water, please!
If you’re a Leo
You live for the holidays, Leo, and all the pomp and circumstance surrounding them. Lioness Madonna even wrote the paean, “Holiday. Celebration. Come together in every nation!” But while you have a knack for making everything into a major production, don’t forget that you’re a social butterfly above all else. Would you rather be slaving over a hot stove or relaxing with a champagne flute and catching up with all your dear friends and family?
Remember, the fete doesn’t have to rival Frozen On Ice or a palace soiree. If you’re hosting a holiday, let other people contribute to the menu—wine and dessert at least! Don’t overdo it with the gifts. You could create an uncomfortable dynamic by overspending on people who don’t have as much splurge-ability as you.
If you’re celebrating with a Leo
DO: Leos love to be in charge even if they are tweaking the holiday traditions to fit their modernized worldview. Give the zodiac’s royal reign over something, anything and be sure to help out. Pitch in as a prep cook, grocery store runner, decorations aid or dishwasher well in advance of the event so your overarching Lion doesn’t have a, stress meltdown the day of the party.
DON’T: Don’t destroy the magic bubble by refusing to participate in the sing-along or secret Santa gift exchange Leo has worked tirelessly to organize. There’s going to be a little Borscht Belt schmaltz to deal with if a Leo’s in charge, sure. But if you just loosen up a little you’ll have some fun — or at least a good laugh. Suck it up, put on the goddamn pilgrim hat and rehearse your lines for the pageant. Leo worked VERY hard on the script, you know.
If you’re a Virgo
Move over, Rachel Ray (a Virgo, incidentally). A food-based holiday is your epicurean sign’s slice of heaven. Concentrating your efforts towards the kitchen can keep you out of other people’s brewing drama. Seize the opportunity to demonstrate how your Le Creuset roasting pan evenly distributes the heat through its enamel surface to ensure a perfectly browned bird!
Though you’re a natural fixer, take a neutral stance on family feuds. The holidays are no time to stage an intervention or mediate a conflict—and we assure you that you’ll regret getting into the middle of things anyway. Walk away and tie on the apron. You’ll hear no evil over the hum of that Vitamix blender!
If you’re celebrating with a Virgo
DO: Keep a camera handy! We’ve discovered a little-known secret: this zodiac sign is the queen of the artfully posed Instagram shot. It’s where their attention to detail, coquettish seduction style and desire to be well thought of in the public eye collapse into a brilliant trifecta.
You might even spring for a Fuji Instamax or old school Polaroid and let Virgo run the “photo booth.” (Pinterest has a zillion holiday printables if you want to get your Virgo friend on this task, pre-party.) Guests won’t forget these souvenirs and best of all a busy Virgo doesn’t have time to be a busybody.
DON’T: Don’t dump all the work on Virgo even if they keep on volunteering to take on tasks and insisting that, “it’s no problem!” Virgo is the sign of service and they love to be helpful. Unfortunately that also translates to them taking on far too much and draining themselves.
The laundry list of resentment will grow so wrestle some responsibility away from this control freak (and uh, and good luck with that) before they melt down. Although they might protest, they will thank you when it’s time to sit down for the big celebration.
If you’re a Libra
Invitation overload! The holiday season always gives you a chance to flex your social butterfly wings, Libra. You’d happily bounce around, fluttering from home to home for short, sweet visits.
Unfortunately, this can have the effect of leaving everyone, including you, shortchanged of quality time. Rather than making cameos at six different celebrations pick one or two (mayyyyybe three) and send everyone else a hand-inscribed thank you card or a lovely cheese and cracker basket from Harry & David.
If you’re celebrating with a Libra
DO: You thought you’d be done with dessert by 9PM but Libra is just setting out the main course. If you’re feting the season with this sign, do keep a wide berth of extra time in your schedule because Libras hate to be rushed. They want to savor every moment: analyzing the notes of the wine and regaling guests with the lengths they went to in order to track down the Madagascar vanilla bean used in their dessert.
If you’re hosting, you might have to start carving the turkey before Libra arrives. This sign means well but have a habit of squeezing three engagements into the space where only one should fit. Don’t let latecoming Libra deflate your pumpkin soufflé. Start the meal without them.
DON’T: Gifts are not optional for Libra; they are essential. Don’t get caught empty-handed as Libra rings the doorbell, staggering under the weight of all those perfectly wrapped boxes (she’s wearing six inch Loubs, darling).
If you have the good fortune of sitting around a Libra’s holiday table, bring a nice bottle of Pinot or a bouquet of flowers. Whatever Libra is serving—from the smoked oyster stuffing to the shaved Brussels sprouts with tendrils of Applewood smoked bacon—this sign is downright decadent.
If you’re a Scorpio
Never mind tracking down your great grandma’s plum pudding recipe, Scorpio. First order of priority: get your exit strategy in place. Scorpios are very selective about who you spend your time with. Alas, you usually give up the right to control the guest list this time of year. So if you have to break bread with your awful second cousin at least you can limit the amount of time you spend together.
Buy movie tickets in advance (“Gotta run guys! We have tix for an 8PM screening.”) Make unbreakable plans for an afterparty with friends seeking a similar escape hatch (“It’s a bummer we have to go but these friends are only in town once a year.”) Make an appearance; then make your getaway before anyone has a chance to crawl under your skin.
If you’re celebrating with a Scorpio
DO: When it comes to family feuds, the Montagues and Capulets have a bit in common with the average Scorpio. There’s always at least one relative who has earned arch enemy status, or at the very least prompts an eye-roll from Scorpio at the mention of their name. If you’re planning to celebrate with Scorpio, put in a private call to find out who is on their sh*tlist. Even if you can’t leave Scorpio’s nemesis off the guest list, you can devise a seating chart so nobody winds up stung.
DON’T: So your idea of a perfect holiday involves going around the table, asking every guest to declare, “What I’m most thankful for this year.” Uh-oh. Forcing the exceptionally private Scorpio to open up around a group of people could provoke an intensely unpleasant reaction. It’s just a bad idea to put on a Scorpio on the spot about their lives—especially if they’re not super close with the other celebrants.
Here’s the truth: what they’re REALLY most thankful for is probably not suitable for a general audience’s ears. If you’re lucky, they might whisper the juicy tale to you after everyone else has slipped into a food coma.
If you’re a Sagittarius
The feast is on, Sagittarius! As a fire sign you can be masterful in the kitchen and the holidays give you a chance to really shine. Plus you basically suck at sitting still and doing nothing. You need an activity, one that can make the ticking clock move faster—one that spares you from making awkward small talk with relatives whose narrow political views or myopic lives activate your gag reflexes.
On that note, do try to tame some of that Sagittarian outspokenness. While you might love a hot debate don’t force the other guests to be privy to this verbal wrestling match between you and the other loud person at the party.
If you’re celebrating with a Sagittarius
DO: Add another pound to the bird you’re buying (or maybe two). Sagittarius is ruled by Jupiter, god of the feast, and can polish off a plateful of dark meat before most people have tasted their first side. They’ll want seconds and probably thirds so a bare-bones menu will leave them feeling totally cheated. Don’t bum out your Archer with a lame or lackluster spread. They don’t mind healthy fare, but if you’re going to make gluten-free stuffing it had better be packed with flavor crystals.
DON’T: Kids, don’t try this at home: force a Sagittarius to stick around all night to flip through photo albums, watch It’s A Wonderful Life, and rehash the same old stories from the family archive. This is the zodiac’s jetsetter we’re dealing with here and a few hours in one location is all this sign can stomach before the claustrophobia kicks in.
Don’t take it personally if the Archer already made plans to meet a high school friend for after-dinner drinks or ropes willing relatives to going to a 8PM movie before the dishes are washed. If you can’t beat ‘em, you might as well join ‘em.
If you’re a Capricorn
As the zodiac’s CEO you can handle the holidays like a pro—literally. Use your executive talents to project manage the whole cranberry-infused affair, Capricorn. Select responsible people for your A Team and let them govern a crew of underlings.
Once you have the VP of Side Dishes, Decorations Operator, DJ and Social Chair “hired,” you can get down to the business of doing something you enjoy like perfecting the glaze for your ham or compiling a slide show of family photos.
If you’re celebrating with a Capricorn
DO: Don ye now your glam apparel — or at least your most elegant après-ski couture. Capricorns want any event they host or attend to be worthy of a photo shoot, preferably cribbed from a L.L. Bean catalog.
Bringing wine or spirits? Pull from as close to the top shelf as you can afford. Picking up a side? Whole Foods or bust. Tasteful selections rank high with this sign, so do the research and choose wisely if you want to be invited to this influencer’s parties ever again.
DON’T: The libations may be flowing but if you know that your good sense goes out the window after your third round, stop at the second. Capricorns like to keep up appearances. The worst thing you can do is to make an embarrassing scene or be loud, indiscriminate or vulgar at their tasteful affair. At the very least wait until Capricorn tells the first raunchy joke—their stuffiness will subside once they get comfortable. This just takes a little longer for them, so hold the dangling mistletoe until after dessert.
If you’re an Aquarius
Rustle up a folding table and extra chairs ASAP, Aquarius. The more is the merrier when it comes to your fêtes. Plus, you can’t bear the idea of a lonely friend eating Chinese food while everyone else is carving the ham avec famille.
Warning, Aquarius: try to be respectful of the head count. Some of the other guests in attendance may prefer an intimate celebration. Every “stranger” you add to the roster could really water down the family vibes. If you want to host a party for “orphans,” slate it for Friday or Saturday instead of squeezing your nine new friends around the already-crowded table.
If you’re celebrating with an Aquarius
DO: Excuse me, but is this turkey free-range? Are the collard greens organic and is there a GF option for stuffing? Altruistic Aquarius cares about making the world a better place. If you ask them what they’re grateful for, they’ll probably mention the fact that they aren’t suffering like a lot of people on the planet.
If you want to score points with the Water Bearer, be conscious about your choices. You might even have a collection jar set up for the charity of Aquarius’ selection. They’ll love spearheading this initiative and everyone will end the night with a feelgood buzz.
DON’T: Even if you didn’t plan for a plus-one (or plus-three), Aquarius rarely shows up alone for a celebration. They always know “a friend” who’s been left out in the cold and feel compelled to brighten this sad sack’s spirits. Don’t throw a fit if the Water Bearer arrives with an unexpected sidekick. They’d sooner skip the whole celebration than leave a lonely soul out in the cold. But then you’d lose the most entertaining person at the table and that would be a shame.
If you’re a Pisces
Bring on the warm-fuzzies! It’s not a Pisces party unless everyone is connecting deeply, sharing tearful “I’m so thankful for” tributes, and kicking off their shoes for a living room dance party. Appoint yourself de facto social director to ensure that this happens. If you’re bringing new people together for the first time, make everyone a cute name tag, invent an icebreaker game, maybe even hire a tarot reader to get guests to loosen up.
Make sure that the quiet person isn’t sitting alone in the corner. You have the gift of seeing things that other people miss so keep your eye on everything — you might even save the host from burning the meal while he’s busy gabbing away!
If you’re celebrating with a Pisces
DO: With a Pisces at the party, forget about making it a stuffy or formal affair. Even if everyone is dressed up, this sign craves connection. Ask Pisces to say grace, read a poem or holiday-appropriate passage. There probably won’t be a dry eye in the house when they’re finished. This sign has a special connection to music so invite them to make a few playlists: upbeat before the meal, ambient during dinner and danceworthy after dessert.
DON’T: Caution: guilt trips ahead. Pisces is notorious for saying, “I’ll do it,” then stewing in frustration because everyone has “dumped on” them. A cold fish Pisces can bring down everyone’s mood, a teary one will take a long time to talk them down from the tree.
Sidestep this issue by being more aggressive with offerings of help. Don’t ask, “What can I do?” or they will say, “Nothing.” Instead, just tell them, “It would be really fun for me to contribute.” Pisces needs to know you’ll enjoy helping out before they will pass the baton.