ARIES (March 21-April 19). You respect words and have a rich vocabulary. You'll pick up a few more choice terms as you spend time with a book or in conversation.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20). If you never reflect on your past, you won't have an understanding of how far

you've come.

GEMINI (May 21-June 21). You have an excellent imagination, although today you won't have the luxury of letting it run wild.

CANCER (June 22-July 22). When things get out of place, don't rush to clean up the mess. Savor it first. It's evidence that change and growth, essentially life, have happened.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22). You have been known to leave your belongings in other people's territory. This reminds them of you after you have left. But will the remembrance be positive?

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22). The work that's before you is rather exacting. Luckily for everyone involved, you find this kind of thing relaxing.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 23). You don't mind being the center of attention, especially when you are the one most qualified to explain or exemplify the main reason for the gathering.

SCORPIO (Oct. 24-Nov. 21). You wouldn't dream of shirking your duties. However, when someone offers to handle a responsibility, there's no reason you shouldn't share the burden.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21). There's a time to say "let's go" and a time to say "no, thanks." You're no stranger to trouble, but you know better than to seek it out.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19). Although you usually find it appropriate and necessary to put business first and emotions second, your heart is softer now.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18). You don't like to talk a lot and draw attention to yourself. However, there are times when it's important for you to speak up.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20). You tend to be quiet around people you don't know. As much as you'd like to join the party, you have to first be sure that it's a party worth joining.

TODAY'S BIRTHDAY (Dec. 24). The friendships that mean so much to you make for laughs, fun times and travel. But you're also more business-oriented than ever. Your vision becomes more real because of the work you do in January. Greater freedom is yours in March. Leo and Scorpio people adore you. Your lucky numbers are: 8, 2, 14, 32 and 49.

Holiday Mathis is the author of "Rock Your Stars." To write to her, go to www.creators.com and click on "Write the Author" on the Holiday Mathis page, or send her a postcard in the mail. To find out more about Holiday Mathis and read her past columns, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.