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    Hi, mugs full of mulled wine! Welcome to this week’s Friday Open Thread, a meeting of the witch coven funded by Autostraddle dot com. (Usually I open with a joke, but that seems a […]

    • best gift I ever had was yesterday : I GOT MY PHD YOU GUYS. I ruled the defense, and earned highest honors.

      I’m gonna get so drunk this christmas.

    • I don’t have any witch powers, sadly, but I did go as Ginny Weasley to a Con once (my hair color matches hers rather than Hermione’s). So, I can at least pretend.

      I’ll share an awkward Christmas gift anecdote. 

      My first semester of college, the RA of my dorm floor decided to do a Secret Santa exchange. I had no idea what the get the girl I…[Read more]

    • I already got my Christmas present this year: my dream girl.

      I recently left a long-term, bad relationship with plans to break from all the walls I’d built for myself & travel. I quit my job and left North Carolina to live with friends back in Indiana until I had travel plans arranged. I decided to contact my ex who I hadn’t spoken to in over…[Read more]

    • Hmm well speaking of presents my friends all gave each other gifts but forgot me. Everyone at school yesterday had their dragon-shaped candles and Hanukkah sweaters and there I was, carrying around my colored pencil box to look like one of the cool kids with a gift. Still. I do have friends. That’s a gift enough in itself, right? And I like to…[Read more]

      • Get on those outfit pictures–I need some holiday outfit inspiration and you never disappoint!

        I know you’ll figure out the girl person situation, but in the meantime savor that sweet awkwardness! Maybe take some walks together? That’s always good for getting away!

        Also you can definitely get closer than that in a theater, full or no. Just…[Read more]

        • I will then! If I don’t get out of my pajamas today then it’ll be tomorrow, but I will.

          Ooh yes walks, I hadn’t thought of that but it’s a good idea.

          I’m quite sure it is possible to get closer than that in a crowded theater; however when it is your school’s theater and there are teachers and people you know every two feet, it can sometimes…[Read more]

          • I was an over achiever in my youth, but have since lowered everyone’s expectations. Don’t worry too much about growing up–everything will straighten out with time :)(except our sexualities heheheh)

      • That gift thing is hard. It sounds like you’ve leveled out in terms of seeking validation. This is lifelong learning. You’re doing so well. :)). You and Girl Person are either in the throes of subtle seduction, or not dating. It sounds like the first one!! Make time to figure this out. Not having time sounds like cold feet on a hard walk. …[Read more]

    • At my old job we had a white elephant gift exchange every year, and one time my co-worker brought in this beautifully wrapped gift which turned out to be a huge, framed, autographed black and white photo of himself. He was a quiet, unassuming, fortysomething dad type figure so it was totally unexpected.

      I am notoriously bad at giving gifts, and…[Read more]

      • This last part is my life right now.There are like six totally adorable gifts that would be perfect for my girlfriend for Christmas. I’m trying to pace myself.To ensure that our relationship lasts, I’m going to hint at the fact that if she sticks around until next Christmas her odds of receiving another gift are quite good.

      • That’s a hilarious white elephant gift, I might need to steal the idea for this weekend…

        • My cousin did a version of this one year; his was three small pictures of himself in a triptych frame, and also a he wrote poem about himself, dedicated to the present-getter. My sister had it in her room for years because it was so hilarious!

    • Best gift was a precious copy of the Norton Anthology of Children’s Literature, which I dearly wanted but had just been published and was exorbitantly expensive even on the secondary market. A good friend managed to find one in her local used bookstore. I cried.

    • The best gift I ever received was the Christmas of 1993, when my sisters and I unwrapped our first Super Nintendo and realized that the pinnacle of gaming was finally in our hands. To this day, it’s still my favorite system.

      In other holiday news, I’ve been reading the letters on Your Holiday Mom, and they are warming the very cockles of my heart.

      • Legit started crying during the first paragraph of the first letter, and I have a pretty great family! I’m not sure which part of the heart is the cockle, but I’m pretty sure mine are warming up as well :)

    • Way back when, I got a password journal from GirlTech and you would have thought I won the lottery. My almost-preteen self became obsessed with keeping a diary though I’d never expressed interest. My choice of passwords at that age though were great. I have fond memories of screaming ‘Rocket Power’ and ‘N’SYNC’ at this hunk of plastic. I was pretty…cool.

      • For reference, this is what I’m talking about

      • I remember the commercials for those journals. They looked so cool! I always wanted one.

      • Rocket Power is the most hilarious password I’ve ever heard and I wish I could use it but now it’s too late

      • My high school architecture teacher, who is a real cool person, did some drawings for a Rocket Power episode. He even had a still of the episode he drew on the wall in class.

      • I totally had that exact same password journal!!! This was when I was 7 or 8, and my best friend had moved to a different city, so whenever we visited each other we would write down ALL OUR SECRETS in the journal. The secrets were usually, “Little brothers are so annoying!” We thought we were so cool.

    • Hey guys!! it’s almost Christmas! Happy holigays! It’s getting colder out here in SoCal which to some people it’s still warm! We wore santa, reindeer and elf hats the other day at work and sang carols to our boss. We also had our Christmas party on Sunday which was really fun. It was pretty much getting drunk, dancing like crazy and taking A LOT…[Read more]

    • Also also, I just watched The L Word for the first time. Guys. Seriously. What is this show?! It’s so ridiculous and I can’t wait to watch more.

    • Last year a friend gave me a recycled Altoids tin filled with different colored craft paper cut to fit perfectly in the tin. Each paper had a different reason why my friend loves me, and memories, and drawings. So many happy tears and feels!

    • Growing up, my parents tried to encourage my interests in technical fields by putting the science section of the NY Times in front of me, and my dad always made sure to point out the cool space related articles. Alas, I became a graphic designer, but I still fell in love with the cosmos. A few years ago my dad got me a giant sized book of photos…[Read more]

    • Right now, I am (intermittently) packing my suitcase to go to the States and see a certain American. That’s a pretty awesome Christmas present in itself.

      Growing up, most memorable Christmas presents are the time I just got a shedload of books (that was awesome) and the year we got a Playstation (the first one), which I think was mainly for my…[Read more]

    • My guide to x-mas gift giving:

      Step 1) Buy highly inappropriate but hilarious x-mas cards.

      Step 2)Add Money to them.

      Step 3) Write: “Go buy yourself something nice.”

      As for the best x-mas gift ever received? When I got my very first pair of rollerblades. So awesome.

      I’m currently at the office all alone, wishing I could text my…[Read more]

      • I feel bad telling my family I just want money for christmas but like…I feel weirder asking for a scissoring sweatshirt so they can just fund it unknowingly.

        So good job, A+ classic gifting!

      • Its okay Ive asked my wife to leave her cp on if the cat’s in her room so I can talk to him while she does laundry. Hahaha.

    • The year I went to live with my Aunt, she bought my cousin a kitten named Sophie. He was not a brat or anything, and they already had a cat, this wasn’t the *least* responsible thing they could ever have done. But he also got a new star wars video game, so I co-opted this particular gift for a disproportionate amount of time. I was sleeping in the…[Read more]

    • I forgot to mention this but not gonna lie probably the best present I’ve ever received (aside from love and kindness and all) was when I got my computer last year because no one had ever gifted me technology before and I sorely needed one. I haven’t named her yet even though it’s been eleven months, but I’m thinking about calling her Jesus…[Read more]

    • I think the best present I got was a puppy when I was like 12? I wrote my parents all these letters and essays for like two years on why I wanted one/would take good care of one, and it was the best Christmas ever (sadly my mental health was shit and I wasn’t in a good enough place to take care of him, but he lived a long happy life with my…[Read more]

    • I think losing my comments on friday open threads is like my new thing or something. second week in a row of it, anyway. moving on…!

      I guess in a manner of speaking, my parents gave me a girlfriend for Christmas last year? they funded my trip to visit a friend over New Years, and that trip directly led to me dating that girl for a while. even…[Read more]

      • 1) Sometimes I write mine in another window to keep from losing them!

        2) A+ parental travel gifting!

        3) make everyone waffles for christmas

        4) Have fun with your family! And Also good luck with your family!

        5) <3 <3 <3

    • For years, my brother and parents would keep joking that he would get coal for Christmas, so one year, they actually gave him coal.

    • Can I just use this as an opportunity to brag about gifts I’m going to give next week? Because, thanks to a sweet Amazon gift card from my boss, my two oldest friends are getting these ridiculously impractical beauties for Christmas:

      I can’t handle my excitement!

    • Oh goody Friday thread before sunset.
      This week and some of last week were kinda shit because I didn’t have it in me make my bed with my nice clean sheets so I’ve been sleeping wrapped in my comforter like it was a cocoon.
      It took me till yesterday to figure why I felt the need to hide in what is basically a pillow in blanket form.
      Eric…[Read more]

      • Your grandfather passed away? I’m terribly sorry for your loss… I’m sorry things are so tough for you right now. Please take care of yourself~ I send you consensual hugs<3

        • He’s been in ill health for quite awhile because Alzheimer’s does more than just screw with your memory. It can make your body forget how to walk and then you’ve got a urinary catheter and UTIs to contend with.

          But we don’t know why he died this morning and it feels kinda sudden but I’ve been mourning him since his diagnosis was concrete, not a…[Read more]

          • He sounds like an amazing person. I’m so happy to hear that he impacted your life so positively. So happy to hear that you can think about him, and feel good about each other.
            It’s never easy when these events happen so suddenly… I hope you and your family are taking time for themselves, to grieve as much and however they need. Also, it was…[Read more]

            • Thank you for your thoughts.

              Autostraddle feels like a safe space. I’m sure I’m not alone in the department of social justice mattering on a personal level based in the experience of injustice causing some sort of burnout or stress because issues at hand cut too close to home in some way.

      • *hug* Take care of yourself, and if you need to vent or want silly pictures of my dog texted to you through out the week, I’m here for you. For real dude, I know you can do this thang. Toss that studded vest on over your jammies and kick ass! <3

        • And also here’s a ridiculous picture of someone else’s dog that I keep looking at and laughing over

        • It would look quite fetching with the super soft fluffy set that’s as red as fresh blood. And now that I think about it would look pretty cool with this t-shirt of a video game character decked out all Christmas-y that has my name on it.
          I think I gots me a new warrior outfit in the works…
          Thank you and oh gods above that dog, that dog.

      • Sorry for your loss, Lex. My thoughts are with you. Hang in there.

    • i don’t know if i have a Best Present Ever, nothing’s coming to mind. i was pretty excited when i got Hark! A Vagrant though

      it’s been a rough week & yesterday was very very bad & im just drained. it doesn’t even feel like christmas at all.

      • that reminds me of when a friend of mine surprised me with kate beaton’s never learn anything from history. i asked him to get it for me from a con, and he told me it was sold out and then mailed it to my parents to give me on my birthday, including this cute dorky note explaining the situation to them.

        sorry it’s been a hard week. have a…[Read more]

        • !!! puppy!! puppy puppy puppy!!!! pupp!!y!!!!!!!!!!!!
          thank you ♥

          (sooo much better than last week’s santa)

        • jane replied 18 hours ago

          These pictures just increased my holiday enthusiasm by about 500%

      • If hugs will help you can have as many as you like.
        I’m sorry it’s being so tough – keep on doing the best you can, and know that we’re all an invisible network of support-lines that are snaking through the atmosphere going ” Yay Caitlin! We love you! You’re doing your best! Hang in there!”

        Please know that we are all happy for you to ask for…[Read more]

    • Quick lunchtime add – one of my favorite gifts was this incredible book that my grandmother wrote for me when I was 12.

      Nothing shows you love like 300 pages of perfect, beautiful writing! It’s an amazing adventure divided into 12 days and nights along the lines of “The never-ending story” or Harry Potter, in that it is adventure, comedy and…[Read more]

    • You guys! You guys. I’m about to get real sappy all up in here. I feel like I’ve been really fortunate with regards to presents. Like, my birthday is the 23rd of December (OH GOOD LORD IT’S SO SOON I FEEL SO OLD AGGGH calm down calm down you’re only turning 26 SHUT UP I HAD TO GET MY OWN HEALTH INSURANCE I’M ANCIENT AND USELESS AND HAVE…[Read more]

      • eeee my envelope is so cute c:

        don’t worry friend, we are both turning 26 (my b-day’s actually the 25th heheh) & getting nice & crusty old. we must find our teeth. (actually wait idk if medicaid covers dental so let me not joke about that. why have to get own health insurance; it’s confusing :( )

        • Wait, does it cover dental? This is a real life grown up question help help

          And happy early birthday!! Let’s grab our compression socks and go play bridge!

      • I see my envelope & it’s so pretty I love it already. Also, if that is your definition of adulting, that is very much how I would like to adult instead of the whole “adults can’t have fun and make silly faces at cameras from the insides of random objects” stuff.

        (I’m embarrassed but I used to think a hitachi was a type of grill. It wasn’t even…[Read more]

        • I think it IS a kind of grill??
          No wait I just googled it the grill’s called a Hibachi.

          Don’t think I really want that anywhere near my crotch.
          You do you, though?

          • Second the not wanting it near crotches…but I do own that grill. Love the succulents…only non food plant I can keep alive in my house :( Majestic pooch is majestic as ever!

      • Thank you for the cute gift :)

      • That Pup, Though!

      • :D I got mine in the mail today and it was such a delightful treat after a slightly-crappy week of being sick and long work days. It really put a smile on my face. Love all the beautiful flower drawings.

        Also, I can totally relate to the “I’M ANCIENT AND USELESS AND HAVE ACCOMPLISHED NOTHING” crisis at age 25. But… I think all 20-somethings…[Read more]

      • When I was in LA tha other month I took my first trip there with my friends and our gfs. The area looked pretty treacherous area and had me skittish. A group of homeless looking people were looking at us I we were trying to find tha place. One of them tried to throw trash at us. It had us a bit skittish. But, that place had some real cool books,…[Read more]

      • Scrolling past this and the words PENIS CHARM just stick out.

        Get it?? Get it?


    • I grew up in the countryside. This was also the 90’s and if shops that were open past 5 existed, they definitely didn’t exist where we lived, and especially not at xmas. It got to xmas eve and we realised that in all the fuss of buying food for xmas we had forgotten to buy our two cats a tin of cat food! The shops were now shut and wouldn’t be…[Read more]

    • YOU GUYS! Las night, my girlfriend gave me The Legend Of Zelda The Ocarina of Time for my 64 for Channukkah because she heard me lament that I’d never played it when we started dating MONTHS AGO. I am mush.

    • I’ve mentioned this earlier in the week, but one of the best holiday gifts I ever got was a Motorola pager watch. It was like a smart watch before smart watch category existed. It told me weather, sports scores, news, could take notes on it, and of course receive pages(alphanumeric, and messages). But best gift ever? Well I guess that would be…[Read more]

      • I dunno why that picture showed up so small, odd.
        Oh and I’ve been butting heads with my father all week. He doesn’t get why I chose to be a vegan and really gets mad when I tell please not to use those pronouns, I don’t like them. He’s says he is the parent he gets to choose. I am sorry, but that’s not how it works. I am not a sir, or he, I am…[Read more]

        • I literally said “WHAT” outloud at your dad saying he’s who should get to choose your pronouns. sorry that’s still a struggle.

          your pic is pretty! I think maybe if photos exceed a certain size they get resized to be smaller so they don’t cause side-scrolling or some such nonsense. it’d be nice if that smaller were slightly larger.

          • I know, I think in his and my mothers mind it has to do with the fact they named me. I am sure it’s going to be like this for a while until he maybe gives up and just calls me by my name, vs sir, mister, or other pronouns. I guess this my way of coming out to my parents. My sister on the other hand is like stop arguing, and let it go. :-/

      • As i said above I was in that area and it looked treacherous. I’m nor surprised someone wanted to stab you, i saw a homeless person throw stuff at us at our car. It left a bad taste of la in our mouth. :-(

    • This has nothing to do with presents, but myparentsaremeetingthegirlfriendinanhourholyshit. This is the happiest, healthiest relationship I’ve been in. Like… ever? I hope everyone (my family) behaves.

    • I just usually buy my own gifts because my parent don’t really know what I like. I would say getting The girl With The Dragon Tattoo book :)
      Also my doggy Pepe got to meet Santa

    • Warning: some depressing stuff, with a happy ending! :)

      Okay, so this week was also pretty hectic…but it was a huge improvement from the past few weeks. On Sunday I was talking to my friend on the phone for 10 hours straight, trying to talk him out of suicide. He stopped responding, and I was terrified…I thought he had really done it.…[Read more]

      • that all sounds intense! I’m glad your friend is okay and that things seem to be getting easier and turning out well. good job showing your friend so much love. even gestures that seem small to the giver can make a huge difference. and hey! glad you are feeling so happy!

        • Thank you so much for the sweet words, cb!! Agh, your comment has made me even happier. Much love to ya~ I hope things go well for you, too!

      • *hugs* Damn! Quite a week! Good on you for holding everything together–I am so happy for you and all of your friends!

        • Aww, thank you so much, Jane! You are too sweet. Yeah, I am eternally grateful that I’m in a position where I can be an emotional support. Friends are important.
          I wish you a very happy winter season.

    • Worst: last year, conditioner wrapped in a box fit for something amazing. Also, those makeup kits that come with like 7 lipsticks and fifty eye shadows and like 2 colors ever look good on me and none of the lipsticks.
      Best: probably every other gift is awesome but an especially awesome gift was the set of orange appliances a couple years ago.

    • Best gift was a hollow chocolate santa that was the same size as me, given to me by a family friend. This happened when I was four, so it being the same size as me is not that outrageous. Kept me going for weeks. The worst was when my ex broke up with me unexpectedly before I was about to spend my first Xmas on my own in a new country, but we…[Read more]

      • OH, and the weirdest by far was that my best friend’s mom insisted on buying me barbies for Christmas, every single Christmas, and always the blonde, boring, super white ones (so essentially the same one each year). We did family gift exchanges where we would all get together and give one another gifts, and it was so, so strange to be feigning…[Read more]

    • I once cried when I was given a cheap set of salt and pepper grinders. I had been at uni for 3 months and missed seasoning so much. Truly a wonderful gift.
      As promised I have attempted imgur and now will attempt images! So here follows (cross everything) my ridiculous new haircut and a peek of my tux. Another fabulous gift i only just got to…[Read more]

      • I feel that grinder gift feel, I just this year realized I care how much my silverware weighs? Plastic ain’t cutting it anymore.

        Also a precious pup.

        • Truth. You gotta have good cutlery. We have three tined forks amongst ours and some of my friends freak out, a la Sheldon Cooper, so we give them the good silverware.
          Also ty r.e. Pup, she’s the best little buddy a girl could have. I promise Christmas jumper pics next week.

      • Damn

      • Nice job handling a teachable moment! And I’m sure your haircut looks awesome even though the picture isn’t working :(

        • Thanks to both! The best part of the uni thing was my super feminist tutor, who knows how much research I’ve done, nodding at me the whole time like “yup”. I’ll try again for the hair pic with a direct copy and paste from and actual useful device later.
          Also tea is in the post. Who knows when it’ll arrive :)

      • Cool!!! Snowflake cufflinks! Thyere sort of on my wish list with the snowflake tie clip lol.

        • Ooh tie clip. Nice. I was a slob and didn’t wear a bow tie with my wing collared shirt because I left it in my desk drawer at work. Stupido. The story with the cufflinks is I saw them with my Mum and she bought them for me for Christmas in like October ’07 and gave me them for that Christmas by which time I was sure she’d have forgotten them…its…[Read more]

    • Best gift, hands down, is the autographed-with-an-inside-joke photo of Kristen Bell that my partner got for me as a total and utter surprise a few years back. I think I actually literally fell over laughing when I unwrapped it.

      Worst gift(s) were all the velvety, bow-covered dresses my aunt insisted on getting for me every Christmas when I was…[Read more]

    • Oh wait I forgot one! Probably one of the most touching gifts I ever got was, the first time, for my birthday: a bunch of my friends pooled their money and bought me an appointment to get custom-molded musician’s ear plugs. This is a really, really big deal for me because my life basically revolves around music, much of it loud/being played by…[Read more]

    • Best gift: a microscope, in maybe 7th grade. It was from Toys R Us but not a toy; more like a junior scientist education kit. It had a total of up to 100x mag if I remember correctly, including several different ocular objectives and a projection screen thing, and a ton of pre-mounted slides of specimens like pollen grains and other stuff. And sea…[Read more]

    • So following a bizarre, sprawling (and still unresolved) medical saga, I completely mixed up the date of my math final. Thought it was two days after when it actually was; resultantly I flat-out didn’t show up to my FINAL. All caps to convey the gravity of the situation. Unsurprisingly, this realization precipitated an intense flood of anxiety,…[Read more]

    • My best friend and I have birthdays 9 days apart, so we often give each other birthday presents at the same time. Last year we brought out the presents, both wrapped, and my friend got a funny look on her face and was like, “um…I think we may have gotten each other the same thing.” I didn’t think so because they were clearly different sizes. But…[Read more]

    • The best gift I ever received was actually not a Christmas present but a mid-summer random present. My boyfriend brought back from his kibbutz the hamsa and Star of David necklace that I now wear every day. Being given the symbol of another culture to wear is always a big deal, especially when the culture is one where you’ve been accused of…[Read more]

    • One of the best Christmas present I’ve ever received was a TARDIS jewelry box. My brother and his girlfriend got a friend of theirs to build it for me. It is huge and magnificent. He made it out of wood and painted it by hand. There are all these little details, like a felt line drawer for my studs, and a light bulb on the top. It was such an…[Read more]

    • Six days before Christmas, 1996, my kid arrived. Best gift the Universe ever gave me. And yes, that means she turned 18 today. I’m still getting used to that idea.

    • Is it bad that I can’t recall a single really good gift? My parents never surprised me with gifts- they just asked me what I wanted. So no gift ever came out of the blue, or to be blunt, from the heart. I’ve been fortunate to be able to get a lot of things I wanted. I think the best holiday/seasonal present I ever gave myself was getting my nose…[Read more]

    • I’m really terrible at telling stories, but here it goes.

      A couple of years ago my best friend came back home from college for a few days during winter break. Because she wasn’t in town for very long, we didn’t get to spend as much time as we had wanted. On her last night in town, she came over so we could exchange gifts.

      My friend and I…[Read more]

    • When I was a kid every year my mum got me a mug with a picture of cats on it. Ah tea and cats, my mother knew me so well.

    • Oh wow, hard question! The best gift I’ve ever gotten was probably a seasons ski pass to our local mountain when I was 13. This began a trend of holding seasons ski passes for the rest of my teenage years, and my winters were filled with mountain adventures, rocking out to Michael Jackson and Coldplay on the car rides up.

      I also liked my…[Read more]

      • Patricia you always leave the most gorgeous landscape photos. Thank you!!

        Omg, all those gifts are very original and fantastic. A microscope would be so cool to have!

      • I see you, fellow microbiology fan.

      • I got my missus a stuffed campylobacter after she was in hospital with it. (Damn dodgy takeout) We didn’t know what it was ’til after she came home and we got a letter…because England and the NHS. We keep it on a shelf in the kitchen as a morbid inside joke.
        So I get that :)
        Lovely landscapes. Yellow wintery skies are my favourite.

    • Last December was the first time I really spent time away from my girlfriend for like, a significant amount of time and I missed her more than anything. For Christmas, she bought me like 12 little buttons–like for your backpack?–and a long letter explaining the specific cute girlfriend memory associated with each one.
      I read the letter at 8am…[Read more]

    • This is hella cheesy, but I can’t think of a best present ever…. Just every human experience in adult memory of Christmas as being a time of joy and togetherness in some form. In the years when family wasn’t joyful for me, I worked with my client, who subsequently became a dear friend. Now at Christmas, I bring him homemade stuff, and we eat…[Read more]

      • The choir sounds like a really nice and cool idea! I hope the Brain Injury Association will be able to help you realize your plans. What does the program proposal entail?

    • OH MY GOD also, in this-week news, I bought a book on Amazon called On My Honor: Lesbians Reflect on Their Scouting Experience about lesbian girl scouts and it’s basically the best Christmas present I could have gotten for myself. LESBIAN GIRL SCOUTS Y’ALL. Is there an article on AS about that yet? There should be.

    • My rad coworker got me a gift voucher for Dolls Kill, which means I was able to buy these super cool galaxy pants for myself for Christmas!

    • Worst gifts Ive seen at white elephant (talking about $30 minimum)
      – hair extensions given to a guy
      – lipstick looking vibrator, UNWRAPPED. with tiger stripes the other bright pink. Both loud as hell
      – a broken wall decor that said something like friendship and sunshine
      – a photo album that had pictures of their ex in the middle and…[Read more]

      • Seriously left over pastry? I am not sure if that gift card is any better, but wow. I once got a michelada(im sure with a sol or pacifico it would have been alright, but with American lager no), but I’d probably would have preferred the leftovers.

    • Last year, I got two of my favorite presents.
      1. A tablet from my brother. I never even dreamed of receiving something so fancy that year, but my brother works at a certain electronics store and in a rare twist of fate, was able to get a really nice discount on a tablet for me. I carry it with me everywhere and have read dozens of books on it…[Read more]

    • The worst gift I have ever given anybody was a bead alligator. now that might not seem so bad,right?. well the thing is I gave that gift to the same person 5 years in a row because they always ended up giving it back eventually. And I still give it to them almost every Christmas. Every time they always have a look of “I love you, but what the…[Read more]

    • When I was seven and doubting the existence of Santa, I said to my mother that I would believe in him for another year if he delivered a hamster … And my mom, I mean Santa, did! I named her Milagros, which is Spanish for miracle. That was a good gift.

      At one point last year, I told my best friend of how I used to watch Bananas in Pyjamas…[Read more]

  • good catch! and glad you like it <3

  • Thumbnailfeature image via Shutterstock.

    A bunch of ‘straddlers around the world have already hung out at magical, mystical, and all-around festive holigay meet-ups and parties, but the fun is nowhere near over! <a title="A Festivus for the Rest of Us: Announcing Autostraddle’s Holigay Parties!"…[Read more]

    • So many of my favorites on this playlist – thank you !

      I *love* the Run D.M..C. track. I’m probably one of the only people here old enough to remember it!!

    • Like. I have no useful conversational contribution, I just couldn’t leave this page without expressing this. Like, like, like.

    • So so so Carmen you ARE magical – I put this mix on for the walk to work, opened the front door and SANTA RODE PAST ON A BICYCLE!!!!

      Dear Carmen, I am now sending all my Christmas wishes to you.

  • hannah thank you for doing this! it’s amazing and i’m so jeal of you for getting to meet this amazing human!

  • ThumbnailCarmen’s Team Pick:
    Remember the super intriguing podcast Questionable at Best by DeAnne Smith? I mean, you probably couldn’t forget it even if you tried, even if you wanted to, because it’s JUST. THAT. GOOD. In […]

    • I’m pretty sure QAB is what started my addiction to listening to podcasts at work.

    • LOL @ Stef … she gave you an out, sex positive. … nah I was just drinking and angry!

      The real question is did you at least get a good revenge fuck in?

    • So I woke up at 6am and it was cold and dark and I felt sad and lonely…. and then I put this on and it was the best morning ever because I felt like two awesome queer women had come round for breakfast and had a really fun conversation! Thanks :D

    • Finally got a chance to listen to this and by god it was fantastic! YOU’RE A JEWEL STEF!

    • This was absolutely delightful which is fitting since both words can be used to describe both of you: DeAnne is “delightful” and Stef is just “absolutely”.

      I would throw money at you if you managed to do an entire podcast dedicated to Stef’s feelings on the Spice Girls.

  • ThumbnailY’all, this is about to be the best Sunday ever. My friend from Germany is in town, today’s the DC holigay brunch, and I have a ton of great news to fill your heart space! Let’s get this show on the […]

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    Calling all retronauts! JK, I think that’s copyrighted. Anyway, if you or someone you love likes old things, thrift stores, antiques, records, and eating at classic diners, you’re in the right place.

    <hr […]

    • Everything in here is so neat! And me too, Carmen! Re: diner mugs are the best

    • Yo, just an fyi, Crosley turntables are somewhat infamous for damaging records, so that’s something to keep in mind!

    • It’s like you went into my brain and took my wish list.

    • Personally I think the Fujitsu Instax 90 is more fitting on this list as it looks more classic than the Mini 8; seriously look it up.

    • that flippy clock is off by an hour though

    • I now need a lot more things that I realize I needed. I’m also trying to come up with a way to rationalize the bread-in-fridge/breadbox problem. I could hide my valuables (cue laughter) in it, and no one would know to look there?

    • I signed in to comment on the Vornado Fan … I’m troubled by what that says about me. Anyway, it’s a really really good fan guys. I’ve had mine for almost a decade and it’s still just the best. You can angle it up to the ceiling, which is really handy in winter (old building, vents up near the ceiling).

    • Carmen. Hasn’t anyone ever told you putting bread in the fridge makes it go stale faster? You’re putting so much good bread to waste!

    • I really, really want that Crosley turntable and that record carrier. I don’t even own many records, but I love the ones I have. They’d probably all fit in that case.

      My parents could probably make a lot of money on eBay right now if they’d clear out their attic.

    • You should buy actual vintage items not knock offs! But I might be biased because my parents own a midcentury modern furniture shop

  • ThumbnailIt isn’t the first time. As the fights for Ferguson and Eric Garner and Tamir Rice rage on, I have stood on the sidelines waving my best solidarity fist. But I keep wondering where all the women and girls are in […]

    • Thank you for writing this. There’s a huge misconception that rape/intimate partner violence are only women’s issues and less serious than “real” violence, like war and police brutality, that are widely believed to only effect men.

      I come across this in the gay community all the time, with the gay dudes in my classes insisting that “it’s…[Read more]

    • I think, as a black person, that part of the problem is that most of those protesting police brutality against black men are (cis/straight) men of color, and homophobia and sexism are still huge issues among straight and cis POC. Hence the lack of fucks given by these same men doing die-ins and shit when the POC murdered is a trans woman or a cis woman.

    • “That is not derailing. That is expansion. That matters, and fighting for all black people of all genders to live lives free from police harassment and violence is not harmful. Justice is not a zero-sum game. It is possible to unite and fight for these things together, just as it should be possible to fight for all of the people it impacts…[Read more]

    • Thank you for this, Carmen. As much as I support the protests and such, I’ve been annoyed by the lack of attention paid to violence towards black women and girls.

      Where was the mass outrage when the OKC police officer was arrested for raping several black women, or the CA officer who assaulted the professor on the highway? Or when seven year…[Read more]

    • This was a great, biased as expected from a “feminist” article, No mention of how black boys are victims in the education system, falling behind women in college because of their dual qualifications in Affirmative Action. Women and minority. No mention of the prison population or the fact that black men are raped at high rates in the system…[Read more]

  • i should be making a your mom joke but instead i am really deeply proud.

  • i’m like really jealous of your friend

    also <3

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    Stoners, you deserve love. And more importantly, you deserve this sh*t.

    It’s a Lifestyle

    For sexy stoners only. The classic and comfortable sweatshirt. And in case you start feeling […]

  • heather, this was amazing and moving and amazing. i am so glad things have gotten better, and i’m sorry anyone / anything / circumstances of life ever took your christmas spirit. <3 <3 <3 <3

  • hey @creatrixtiara! so, i just wanna let you know first that doing more about international issues is definitely on our radar and something we want to do! (and tiara, always feel free to submit posts or send us tips and links for inclusion!)

    i also just wanted to point out that the sunday funday is in fact a post designed specifically to be…[Read more]

    • The Malaysian MP going off about boobs isn’t good nor cute, and is only funny in the “oh god we have to laugh or else we will cry in despair” kind of way. There’s also this weird undertone of “look at how backwards this random Asian country is” which I don’t think you were necessarily intending but that’s how the Gay Star News article came off as…[Read more]

  • i think that’s an amazing idea

  • hi! i feel the need to assert that i love sufjan stevens, christmas songs or not. just wanted to put it into the universe.

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