Aries

Your Week Ahead: At this time of year, we all make a special effort to be nice to one another. Or, at least, we feel as if we should try. That very sense of obligation can become a source of stress. Perhaps Christmas, this year, would be more enjoyable if only more of us stopped striving to try to force it to be enjoyable. Yet the overall astrological outlook for you this week, speaks of positive things happening naturally. Give the most important gift of all this holiday season. Allow yourself to be yourself and let others do the same.

Taurus

Your Week Ahead: We can't turn on the radio or even visit a store this week, without being bombarded by festive melodies, each bigging up the idea that this is no ordinary time of year. With all those singers keen to remind us of what a special season it is, what are we to assume if, for some reason, we do not share all their joy and wonderment? Surely, there must be something wrong with us! Yet there is nothing wrong with you this Christmas. Your realistic approach to the holiday will yet, in itself, prove to be part of the reason why it is so magical.

Gemini

Your Week Ahead: Astrologers have to be very careful at this time of year. If, for example, we predict that a surprise is in store, what will people say? 'It's Christmas. Of course, there will be surprises.' Yet the unexpected developments that I foresee in store for you, are not merely the kind that involve opening presents. It looks more as if, over the course of this holiday week, someone is going to open themselves up to you, revealing truths and secrets which may call for some seasonal discretion. Be generous with your attention.

Cancer

Your Week Ahead: There is always a New Moon in your opposite sign around Christmas and New Year. That goes some way to explaining why you rarely get through a holiday season without having to help someone close to you cope with a crisis of some kind. This year, that New Moon falls this week. The same New Moon, can often give rise to issues of trust, causing you to wish that you could retreat at the very time when most folk are plastering on their most extrovert personalities. But this year's drama will yet have a sweet resolution.

Leo

Your Week Ahead: Why kiss and make up for Christmas if there is a serious intention to go back out, all guns blazing, in the run up to New Year? Yet if the holiday season doesn't hold forth a genuine possibility of peace and reconciliation, what is the point of it? This week's New Moon, plus a harmonious link from the Sun to Neptune, all speak of a rare chance to turn the saccharine artifice of festive pretence into an actual exchange of true depth and meaning. If you are big enough to let bygones be bygones, the future will yet reward you.

Virgo

Your Week Ahead: We all know what we are supposed to be doing in Christmas week. The ads on the TV never stop telling us. The songs we hear and the looks on the faces of the people we see keep hammering home the same message. Shop till you drop, eat till you burst and pretend that everything is just fine. Yet on Christmas Day itself, Mercury triggers the square from Uranus to Pluto, obliging you to face real issues between real people. Your intrinsic honesty will yet create a kind of magical stardust that has true healing power.

Libra

Your Week Ahead: The social pressure to observe and celebrate Christmas seems to intensify every year like a battle campaign. Conscientious objectors are subjected to suspicious scrutiny. Nobody wants to be considered a Scrooge. Yet if, for some reason, your heart is not in the celebration and you are finding every invitation an imposition, how can you relax and enjoy the week? Even if bitter-sweet memories trouble you and tricky tensions arise, you can do what Santa himself has no option but to do. Give, and keep giving. All will yet be well.

Scorpio

Your Week Ahead: 'It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...' So the old song goes. And, like the hands on a broken clock that tell the right time twice a day, so this melody makes sense once a year. It is, indeed, beginning to look a lot like that. But are you beginning to look even a little like the kind of person who has time or enthusiasm for all the seasonal shenanigans? Actually, despite intense astrological alignments, there is a strong celestial suggestion that a hurting heart can be healed and even a lingering resentment can be cured.

Sagittarius

Your Week Ahead: Christmas, as astrologers never tire of telling anyone who will listen, is celebrated according to the solar calendar. It does not conveniently converge with fortuitous events in the firmament. So some years, the outlook reflects the spirit of the season and other years... Well, interestingly, this is one of those other years! Or at least it is for everyone but a Sagittarian! You may have to compensate soon for a lack of natural spirit in the hearts of some companions. What a good job that you are such a natural Santa.

Capricorn

Your Week Ahead: Shop. Cook. Eat. Drink. And repeat! That's the festive formula in a nutshell, isn't it? Well, not quite. There is one additional activity that is de rigeur at this time of year. We are also supposed to give (and under this category comes a rather more difficult kind of giving called, forgiving!) That is never an easy thing to fake. And for a Capricorn currently experiencing tense alignments to Saturn from Venus and Mercury, it is a special challenge. Yet interestingly, a New Moon in your sign insists that you can rise to this triumphantly.

Aquarius

Your Week Ahead: Slap bang on the cusp of Christmas, the ruler of your sign reaches the end of a long retrograde phase. So that's OK then. You can hang out the flags, revel in the glitter, dive into the feast and generously share your mood of merriment with all for whom the festive season might otherwise seem like a bit of an empty charade. There are, of course, some tensions that you can't entirely ignore or forget. But if you now hold tight to your highest hope, it will yet scoop you up like a sleigh and turn you into the living embodiment of a magical elf.

Pisces

Your Week Ahead: Children take one view of Santa when they are tiny tots and another as they grow into adulthood. They are not encouraged to treat the other main hero of the seasonal story as quite so easily dispensable. But given the sharp materialistic focus of the festival, some can be forgiven for wondering just how real any of this actually is. And this week, the astrological climate is putting you through a phase of doubting many assumptions that others seem only too happy to take for granted. But the week may yet end with faith restored.