All signs point to perfect presents in 2014
by Nathan Raine, Noelle Chorney, Jamie Backstrom ,Johnny Allen Bonesaw, Lisa Johnson, Jorge Ignacio Castillo and Stephen Whitworth
Ah, the gift giving season: theoretically the most joyous time of the year, but all too often fraught with confusion, stress and disappointment.
Sometimes (most times, really) it’s almost impossible to know what to buy for even the most important people in our lives, the ones we know intimately. How the hell are we supposed to know what they really want?
Well worry no longer, because we at Planet S have just hit on the most stunningly perfect formula for pleasing everyone in your life with presents!
The method, you ask? Science, we respond! The real, honest-to-goodness hard science of astrology!
It’s simple: everyone has a birth sign, and those signs correspond to their personality traits, their likes and hates, and their deepest desires. No really, it’s true — it said so right at the top of one of the astrology websites I looked at, so there!
So, in the spirit of scientific discovery, we present this “Can’t Miss* Christmas Gift Guide” based entirely on astrology! /Chris Kirkland
(*Warning: May well miss. Perhaps badly.)
ARIES (The Ram) March 21 – April 19
Your Aries is likely a sensitive soul who fights for the causes she or he believes in. You were thinking of buying another mood candle, but honestly, that just don’t cut in any more. If your Aries is of the fairer sex, get her some Punjammies. Punjammies are loungewear made by women in India who have escaped human trafficking. All of the proceeds are invested back into the company to help more women and girls forge a new, liberated life. So do something good for once, dammit. Get some Punjammies. /NR
ULTIMATE WINE BOTTLE
Your Aries, for their humours and adaptive nature, will delight in this gift (as will anyone who might consider themselves a wino). Imagine if you no longer had to return to the wine bottle over and over to refill your glass, but a built-in glass just happened to sprout from the top of the bottle! That’s exactly what the Ultimate Wine Bottle offers. Pour any wine into this ingenious device and never worry about refilling your glass. There’s no shame in it, Aries: you’re an Aries and you drink an entire bottle of wine. With style. /NR
TAURUS (The Bull) April 20-May 20
UNCLE MIKE’S SOAP AND DEODORANT
Norwood Clothing Company
The Taurus is known for an appreciation of beauty and a weakness for sensual pleasures, but also for being prone to laziness and pig-headedness. If you mess with a Taurus, you’ll get the horns, or at least a nose full of body odour you’d think was being produced by someone with a fire sign rather than this tender, practical earth sign. Get him or her some fine, handmade natural soap, and you’ll be rewarded with a soft, fragrant and non-carcinogenic touch. /LJ
HANDMADE CUTTING BOARD
$50 and up
If you want to please a Taurus, don’t get them china (ha!): get them something useful, practical and high-quality. Something with staying power, as solid and reliable as the Taurus you’re shopping for. Barry Warwick, for example, sells beautiful hand-joined, hefty cutting boards that will delight your Taurus, and last for years. Your Taurus will put it to good use making meals for the people she/he loves — including you! /NC
GEMINI (The Twins) May 21 – June 20
Geminis are one of the most dreaded signs to buy gifts for — tough to predict, they can turn from hot to cold in less time than it takes to down a glass of boozy egg nog. So a 3D printer ensures that they get what they really want, no matter what their mood is. Let them make it themselves! Think of it as getting a genie in a bottle and being able to wish for more wishes. /JAB
Generally $400 and up/pair, plus supplies
Exotic Pet Stores, Kijiji, the Internet
We both know Gemini is the sign of the twin, and what’s more twin-like than a breeding pair of leucistic Texas rat snakes? Nothing, that’s what.
I’ve found you the perfect Christmas gift, my Gemini friend.
First, I realize pets are terrible Christmas surprises. No one should ever give a live animal to someone without warning and consent, and that goes double at Christmas. That’s why I’m giving you a heads-up on this gift now: I want to make sure you’ll have time to prepare for the responsibility of owning exotic reptiles that will live for 20 years before you pull the bow off the squirming burlap sack under your tree.
Second, I know Texas rat snakes have a bad reputation as six-foot-plus, biting, striking hate machines. Well, jeez. They calm down, you know. I’m giving you captive-bred baby snakes. Just handle them a lot: they’ll be fiiine.
Leucistic Texas rat snakes have a recessive genetic mutation (leucism) that makes them alabaster white with blue-grey eyes. They’re spectacular animals. They’re also fun to handle, as you’ll see when your calm, confident and curious pets flick their tongues on your nose, which they will probably not even bite. You’ll have to keep them in separate tanks, feed them dead mice and clean up their poop, sure. But don’t worry, you won’t mind. And like I said, this is a breeding pair, so in three years, if all goes well, you’ll have a batch of rat snake eggs in your incubator!
Leucistic Texas rat snakes! The perfect gift for anyone in the Zodiacal spectrum, but especially for you, my Gemini chum. You can thank me later. /SW
CANCER (The Crab) June 21 – July 22
Amazon, the Internet
The homeward-bound crab is usually all about family — but sometimes, get the fuck out and leave her alone. When she gets moody, she can either take it out on you, or she can take it out on a fantastic vibrator like the Bendi Teaser. Yep: it’s bendable, and it also has 10 functions, it’s waterproof, and it’s two-pronged for twice the satisfaction. Martha Stewart never had it so good. Then again, maybe she did… /JB
$10 and up
Cancers are homebodies that like to make their nests “just so.” If you want to let your Cancer know you understand them, and to encourage them in their quest for the perfect nest, you’ll go to Etsy.com. Choose from hundreds of one-of-a-kind houseware items, like hand-printed floursack kitchen towels, or handmade decorative pillows in your Cancer’s chosen colour theme (which should be easy to discern, if you don’t already know it, by looking at the accents around your Cancer’s home). /NC
LEO (The Lion) July 23 – August 22
That special person in your life who won’t shut up about their opinions — which is really aggravating, because they’re often right — could benefit from saving their breath. Reduce carbon dioxide emissions with a bold tee that does the talking for them. The possibilities at Amazing Stories are virtually endless, but my favourites (yes, I’m that guy) include: “Higgs Bozon Gives Me a Hadron,” “Hedgehogs: Why Don’t They Just Share the Hedge?,” “Shamble to the Cure — Zombie 5K” and “Abstinence: 99.99% Effective” with a picture of Madonna and baby Jesus. /JB
BAD FEMINIST BY ROXANE GAY
Any local bookseller
Leos are strong, fierce, and do whatever the hell they want. If they are so blessed, they will probably be spending time with their family this holiday season. So if you know a Leo whose relatives have zero tolerance for politics at the dinner table, you should buy her or him this book of seriously charming pop-culture criticism — it could be a life-saving pressure release valve. Furthermore, if the Leo in your life is a know-it-all dick, as they sometimes tend to be in the year of the Horse, they can learn something seriously fresh (and later claim they thought of it). /LJ
VIRGO (The Virgin) August 23 – September 22
$2.50 – $39.99
The Rider Store
Virgos are highly team-oriented and co-operative. But if they don’t take the time step back and prioritize their lives, they can get impatient and temperamental. If that doesn’t sound like any Rider fans you know, then you don’t actually live here, and you’re just reading this mag while you pretend to be interested in your conference or whatever. Virgos are also intelligent and curious, and can put their brains and ideas to good use by writing them out. Indulge both sides of their personality with some paper and pens, like the light-up Elevator Pen ($8). /JB
CARDS AGAINST HUMANITY
It’s a game where people get to talk, and your Virgo can demonstrate his or her natural charm. They also get to work together in a team environment, analyze the best outcome, and exercise their intellect. All things that make Virgos happy. Sure, Cards Against Humanity, with its off-colour humour, may at some points come in conflict with your Virgo’s superior moral compass, but don’t worry — they’ll enjoy talking about that too. /NC
LIBRA (The Scales) September 23 – October 22
Libras are known for their balance, tranquility and steadiness. Not surprisingly, they like to surround themselves with symbols of harmony, beauty, peace and stuff from Etsy.com. If they live in this dry-ass snowy climate, however, they’ll suffer from the occasional chaffed knuckle or flaky scalp, so you should probably give them a humidifier and balance the air moisture in and around their chakras. It’s good-looking, and they can pop essential oils in there. Handy qualities, since your Libra is probably a hypochondriac, or a hippy (or both). /LJ
ON BULLSHIT and ON TRUTH BY H.G. FRANKFURT
Any local bookseller
Libras care about fairness. In their fight for the underdog, you wouldn’t go wrong giving them one or both of these philosophical treatises on truth and its greatest enemy: bullshit. Libras are consummate debaters, and whether they are railing against bullshit in a fight for the Truth, or using bullshit to further their own ends, they’ll find some pointers in these books. For the Libra in your life, they’ll be delighted to find support for their whole worldview outlined in two smart, slim volumes. /NC
SCORPIO (The Scorpion) October 23 – November 21
DARTH VADER GIANT PEZ
Darth Vader: cool, confident, focused, withdrawn, argumentative and bold. Scorpio: ditto. Put their mind to a task, and they carry it through with (possibly ruthless) determination. With the Giant Pez, you can insert some sweet into that sour old puss — and as an added bonus, they’ll tirelessly scour the Internet searching for giant candy refills. Good luck with that. But hey, that’s that much less time they’ll spend lording over you how much more productive they are. /JB
SODASTREAM HOME SODA MAKER
The fact the astrological sign of the would-be receiver has a lethal stinger should give you a clue about what to give. Scorpios are individualistic to the point of self-involvement, and if they can find pleasure in little things, they’ll go for it. This makes the SodaStream machine ideal for them. It gasifies their beverages at home! If you’re concerned about the Scorpios having moral objections regarding the present (SodaStream products are partially manufactured in Israeli settlements) consider the power that fizzy water will wield over them.
SAGITTARIUS (The Centaur) November 22 – December 21
No one is more in tune with the universe than the cook. And while the impatient Sagittarius is just such a thinker, s/he has no tolerance for such tenacious gunk as accumulates on a barbecue grill. For an intensely thoughtful person, they sure take glee in a ridiculously quick fix for the most mundane of problems, and Grillbot is just that — ridiculous. Picture their face on that fair Christmas morn: “You got me a Roomba for my barbie? Squee!” And then a wet, sloppy, philosopher kiss. (Sorry, that’s the worst kind.) /JB
$6-$13, depending on the size
The Sagittarius men or women you’re buying for fancy themselves philosophers. High-minded, independent, and adventurous, they love to congratulate themselves for being clever. They can also be charming, fun-loving, and come with a great sense of humour (but be warned, it’s a Portlandia kind of funny: they never get tired of the same relentless joke). You could get them a laptop, or a colourful moleskin, or a leather-bound hand-stitched pad. Or you could get them a book made of elephant shit. /LJ
CAPRICORN (The Goat) December 22 – January 19
Known for their practicality and ability to solve problems, this little gadget is perfect for any Capricorn. Need to open a bottle or can? Check. Tighten some screws? Check. How about measuring… um, something, while you’re bored? Double check. This little credit-card-sized multi-tool comes equipped with nearly everything: bottle opener, screwdriver, ruler, wrench, and package opener, among others. And the entire thing slips nicely into one of the credit card pouches in your wallet. It’s sharp though, so make sure your Capricorn doesn’t just throw it loosely in his pocket. A bloody scrotum isn’t very practical. /NR
INKLESS METAL PEN
Pencils simply can’t be trusted. The lead dulls in no time at all, and who carries sharpeners? Pens might be even worse: ink is antiquated, and like that old, flaky friend, completely unreliable to show up when it’s needed. Your Capricorn deserves a smarter, more reliable option. Your Capricorn needs an inkless metal pen. With a special alloy tip, the inkless pen deposits tiny amounts of metal onto the page. The markings are permanent and the tip never needs sharpening. Plus, they don’t leak ink, so those pocket protectors your Capricorn sports might soon be obsolete. /NR
AQUARIUS (The Water Bearer) January 20 – February 18
What mass-produced commodity could you possibly give an Aquarius, humanitarian revolutionary to the core? Owing to the ruling planets of Uranus and Saturn, the only correct answer here is: solar-powered wristwatch. Plus, we know December will be lucky, based on the alignment of the fifth moon of Venus (obviously), so they’re going to be seriously rewarded with all kinds of Christmas stuff (insert horoscope liability statement here, such as “so long as they dedicate themselves to the task at hand”). The only way to stand out in the middle of this windfall is to give your Aquarius a timepiece that says, “think of me often, and also of money.” /LJ
BIRCH BARK BASKETS
Down-to-earth (er, water) Aquarius is almost too thoughtful for her own good. She has a keen eye for simplicity, function and creativity. Also, she treasures her causes. Give her a box made from trees by First Nations handcrafters, and emblazoned with unassuming (but cute! Important: cute!) designs, and she’ll treasure you forever, too. Assuming that’s what you’re after. Other benefit: there’ll be jam next fall. Delicious, delicious jam. Come to think of it, better go to Lee Valley and get her a canning funnel, too. Just don’t tell her you’ve already got something planned for whenever canning day comes. /JB
PISCES (The Fish) February 19 – March 20
HOBBIT TALES FROM THE GREEN DRAGON INN
Your fishy friend is faithful, cautious, giving, quiet and passionate. Also, s/he keeps a low profile. So low, in fact, that s/he secretly wants nothing more than to be a hobbit. They’d never tell you this, of course, so you’re going to have to take my word for it and never ask them directly. Get together some tobacky and ale (recommended: Paddock Wood Winter Ale) for a night of card-game-assisted storytelling. In the game, all the players are hobbits — including you, so go ahead and let your toe hair grow out. No, wait. Please don’t do that. /JB
Ever had to rely on a Pisces to make a decision? It’s not pretty. They’ll talk in circles, try to get you to choose for them, or just go limp. Choicemap lets you plug in your decision options, some criteria, and your priority rankings on a sliding scale, and then helps you come to a decision. I forwarded this to my sister, a well-established Pisces, and she said, “I can’t decide if I should get it!” Which is why you should get it for your Pisces this Christmas. /NC