Welcome to Cancer season! Ruled by the moon, sensitive, complicated Cancers are the comforting — and sometimes tough-love-administering — mothers of the zodiac. Highly devoted to friends and family, Cancers will welcome any gift you give them, including and especially thoughtful gestures, no matter how big or small.
Lisa Stardust, an astrologer and the creator of “The Love Deck,” says, “Nostalgic, sentimental and emotional are words I’d pick to describe Cancer. They do have hard hearts due to their tough exterior, and they’ll let people in after time and trust has been earned. This means that they’re loyal — even though their moods change with the lunar cycle.”
With birthdays from June 21 to July 22, the sign of Cancer is symbolized by the crab. Drawn to stability and the familiar, they are homebodies who seek out comfort. They’ll appreciate items for the home, gifts to encourage self-care and coziness and anything relating to water and the ocean. Ahead, with Stardust’s help, we’ve picked out 24 birthday presents the Cancer in your life is sure to love.
As a water sign represented by the crab, Cancers tend to love anything having to do with the ocean. Picking scents out for someone else can be tricky, but if you’re looking to buy a gift like linen spray, a candle or a reed diffuser, go for something sea-inspired to bring the ocean into their home.
More than is perhaps true for any other zodiac sign, when it comes to celebrating the sentimental, emotional Cancer’s birthday, do not skimp on buying a birthday card. “It’s important to remember their birthdays,” Stardust counsels, “as this giving and tender sign takes offense if their friends forget — because they would never due to their sincerity.”
This 4-by-4-inch metal scrollwork picture frame is absolutely perfect for your sentimental, emotional Cancer BFF. Put a photo of the two of you in it and tuck a hankie in your pocket for when they inevitably tear up at the thoughtfulness of your gift.
Cancers have a lot of feelings, making a journal a wonderful gift for your favorite crab. This lined journal features the photography of Slim Aarons, which will appeal to the nostalgic, history-loving Cancer, and it comes in a seafoam green that the ocean-loving Cancer will adore.
We love this cheeky pencil set for a Cancer who is big on journaling or prone to doodling. The colorway was chosen to reflect the Cancerian love of “vintage, feminine colors, but also colors that represent the water,” and each pencil is embossed with a gold foil message that captures the unique spirit of our crabby friends.
Nostalgic homebodies, a Cancer will appreciate a special occasion gift for the home, like these pretty stemless flutes. They will be sure to cherish this delicate set and think of you fondly when they break out the bubbly. Pair them with a bottle of champagne to elevate the gift.
$89.95 at The Maryland Store
It is not universally true, of course — shellfish allergies and aversions aren’t based on the zodiac, after all! — but in my own life I have observed that Cancers really love to eat crab. If you’re shopping for a crab-loving Cancer, a crab-themed gift basket filled with everything from Old Bay to cream of crab soup is sure to please!
If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly crab-themed food item to give the Cancer in your life, there is a wide variety of crab-adjacent condiments and spice blends to choose from. This stone crab sauce, for example, is a mix of honey mustard and horseradish that can be used as a dipping sauce, or mixed into dishes like seafood salad to give them extra zip.
Of course, you could go really big — and really literal! — and buy a bushel of crabs to celebrate your favorite Cancer’s birthday! Female crab meat is sweeter and more dense, and will have crab roe, or eggs, unlike their male counterparts, whose flesh is flakier.
We love food gifts in general, but especially for a Cancer, the zodiac sign that rules the stomach! If your little crab isn’t a fan of shellfish, hot honey is a fantastic gift, especially for a romantic partner. After all, what better way to crack a Cancer’s tough outer shell than telling your “honey” that you think they’re “hot stuff” and the “bees knees” with Bushwick Kitchen’s Bees Knees Spicy Honey?!
Perhaps you are shopping for the lone Cancer who truly hates crabs and never wants to see another crab motif on anything, ever! The Mejuri zodiac necklaces feature gold discs with inlaid diamonds in the shape of the Cancer constellation for a more subtle turn on astrology-themed jewelry.
“Cancers like to get cuddly,” Stardust says, “so a comfy and fluffy blanket will help ease them into their comfort zone.” The Cancer in your life will love receiving a gift of a weighted blanket, which can help reduce anxiety by mimicking the feeling of being held, which signals the brain that it is safe to release tension. Our reviewer calls the Bearaby Napper “among the best weighted blankets we’ve ever tried.”
Another way to encourage a Cancer’s cuddly side is with a body pillow. Buffy, the maker of those cloud-like duvets, took the pregnancy pillow and redesigned it for the masses. The Wiggle Pillow is a floppy-yet-supportive, tie-able pillow that offers full-body support for sleeping or lounging. A removable, machine washable cover is available in three colors: cream, puff and toast.
We love a practical gift for practically any occasion, and this is especially true of Cancer birthdays. “Cancers aren’t about the flash,” Stardust explains, “they like gifts that they can use and are thoughtful.” Falling as their birthdays do in the summer months, finding ways to give a Cancer a warm weather version of a cozy classic is a great approach to gift-giving, like a set of cooling sheets so they can snuggle up in bed in July without dying of heatstroke.
Here’s a different take on the warm weather version of a cozy gift: a sun tea pitcher! A nice cup of tea is a staple of self-care routines, but who wants to grip a steaming mug in July? Swap hot tea for iced — the DIY nature of sun tea will also appeal to the Cancer’s homey side.
Cancers are ruled by the moon, so “a book about their lunar signs is ideal,” Stardust says. She recommends fellow astrologer Annabel Gat’s latest book, “The Moon Sign Guide,” for zodiac lovers who want to go beyond simply understanding their sun sign.
“Being that they love to luxuriate by the sea,” Stardust says, “a bucket hat to protect their skin is great for hot sunny days.” Pangaia’s organic cotton bucket hat comes in five summery colors, including two different shades of blue to appeal to the Cancerian love of hues that invoke the sea.
Maybe the Cancer in your life has more of a Coastal Grandma vibe — this floppy sun hat by San Diego Hat is pretty and practical, sturdy and delicate, and would make a great gift for the Cancer who loves to lounge outdoors with a good book.
Are you shopping for a Fourth of July baby? It must be annoying to have to share a birthday with America, but on the other hand, you’re guaranteed to get a fireworks display on your big day, so that’s nice! This set of ankle socks has a star-spangled vibe without being over-the-top patriotic, making them a cute gift for the person born on the Fourth of July.
“A nice bubble bath or bath bomb is perfect for this water sign, who finds comfort in the water,” Stardust says. We love a bath set for a Cancer birthday present, like this one that features a lavender and frankincense candle, bath oil, bath salts and a large bath bomb that can be used several times.
Bath products like bath bombs and bath salts are one way to go when picking out a birthday gift for water-loving Cancers, but for a true bath-lover, this full-body tub pillow is a gift that keeps on giving.
When they get out of the bath, treat the Cancer in your life to the gift of a warm towel. This standalone towel warmer has a built-in timer, and the extra-large capacity can accommodate two oversized towels, and can also be used to warm robes.
Like the crab that symbolizes their sign, Cancers typically have a hard exterior, but they are all tender flesh inside. “They have unconditional hearts,” Stardust says, “so a love deck can help them attract the relationship that works best for them and can last through time.”
Flowers are always a safe choice for birthdays, but they can feel a bit impersonal. Online florist Urban Stems solves that problem by offering a birthday bouquet designed for each zodiac sign; the jewel-toned bouquet for Cancers includes fluffy mums and crimson leucadendrons that are meant to evoke the stress-relieving properties of amethyst, the gemstone that inspired the arrangement.