Autostraddle’s Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide 2012: What We Want

Rebecca, Intern


Infinity Party Scarf in Charcoal

Is this not the coziest thing you have ever seen?? I just want to bury my face in it and never leave. It’s like a blanket you can wear out of the house. What could be better?

Tocca Mini-Candle in Stella

When the temperature’s getting too far into the negatives for my liking, I plan on piling every blanket in the house on top of myself, lighting this blood orange-scented candle and reading/cuddling/having movie marathons/doing anything but going outside. Because everything is cozier when you light a candle.

Valencia by Michelle Tea


DeAnne Smith, Comic Writer

Things That Aren’t For A Cat

It’s a little tricky for me to think of what might make good holiday-time gifts, because I don’t want for a thing these days. See, there’s this little gray and white cat that’s been hanging around my house (I say “house,” but I mean “semi-basement apartment”) and lately she’s been coming in and chilling out and napping on my bed and purring and playing with ribbons and being adorable. I feel like all I want this year is one of those domed kitty litter things that won’t stink up my house (aka semi-basement apartment) and, like, maybe a carpeted climbing tower with shelves for her.

But if I wanted other things, I’d probably want this retro-looking iPhone alarm dock, some hexagonal honeycomb shelves, and this leaf vibrator.

The alarm dock is cool and practical, the shelves seem like a nice, eco-friendly way to break up some blank wall space, and the vibrator, well, c’mon. It’s shaped like a leaf and Alicia Silverstone endorses it! It doesn’t really matter whether it’s a tea-kettle, a ukulele or a floor lamp. If it’s leaf-shaped and endorsed by Alicia Silverstone, I want it. The fact that it helps facilitate sexy times and orgasms is just a bonus as far as I’m concerned. (Honestly, I feel like a leaf-shaped ukulele endorsed by Alicia Silverstone could do the same thing.)

If you (or the person you’re looking to buy gifts for) don’t have a cute little gray and white cat hanging around this holiday season, all these things could definitely perk up your semi-basement apartment. I mean house.

Cara, Contributing Editor


Rainbow Umbrella

I really like dramatically pointy accessories, going out in bad weather without wrecking my top hat, and when people can tell I’m gay from space. This rainbow umbrella meets all of these needs simultaneously, and also promises to help with weather-induced gloominess.

Guitar Pick Punch

As someone who A) is constantly destroying her guitar strings by playing with my teeth/coins/other peoples’ teeth and B) keeps expired gift cards just because they’re pretty, I am surprised that I didn’t invent the guitar pick punch. But someone else did, and now you can turn any piece of plastic into a tiny shred machine! This means your Blockbuster Video card will finally be useful again, which is awesome, as it was such a cool color. (It also means you can control your plectrum thickness – I know this is something we all strive for.)

Truffle Oil

I know, I know – “real chefs” don’t respect it, it’s demeaning to actual truffles, it has caused a Midtown french fry renaissance some consider undesirable… truffle oil is problematic. But some of us can’t afford to hire trained pigs and still want our boxed mac’n’cheese to taste like umami sunshine. This stuff is catnip to me and I alternate between hording it and pouring it on everything. Bonus points if it comes in a little glass bottle that makes me feel all alchemical.

Laura, Associate Editor

Tools for Around the House and the Mind, also Underpants

A Very Sharp Knife

If you could see me typing this, you’d know that I have a bandaid on my right index finger and two nearly-healed cuts on my thumb. The thing is, you can usually trust me with a knife; I can slice a tomato paper thin and even dice an onion like a pro. But the knives in my apartment right now are only slightly sharper than bananas and are approximately 76 years old and so I keep gouging out bits of my hand every time I cook. Seeing as my career as a lesbian depends on the functionality of my hands, I would really appreciate a new chef’s knife.

Alif Baa

So what if I’m asking for a textbook for Christmas? I want to learn Arabic! Its southpaw-friendliness appeals to me.

An Effing Cordless Drill

After giving my cordless drill a break by not putting it on my Christmas list last year, I’m feeling pretty good about it’s chances this time around. I’ll be moving into a new apartment next year and I just know that there’ll be so many opportunities to put it to use building fireplace mantles and seducing women.

Under Armour Underwear

Every year for Christmas, my brothers and I get underwear in our stockings. I remember being 14 and mortified when, on Christmas morning, I unwrapped a thong. And then another and another and another until I was sitting in our living room with 6 brand new thongs that I would proceed to never wear. But now that I’m all grown up and broke, getting really nice underwear as a gift is actually fantastic. Under Armour makes this beautiful little stuff that covers your entire bum and is generally the most comfortable thing to put under your wear.

Rachel, Senior Editor

Boots Bowties & Beans

Cat Bowtie

I need one of these in every color. Also maybe doubles of some colors. My cat is already beautiful and perfect, but these make her look so dapper that I am nearly moved to tears. I am usually pretty skeptical of people who dress their pets up like people and I want to be institutionalized if I ever use the words “furkids,” but I also work like 70 hours a week and when I finally get home and my cat crawls into my lap wearing a bowtie, it makes everything 850% better.


Bean By Bean: A Cookbook

Look, I’m a vegan grad student. I don’t know what you want from me. If they also come out with Rice: A Cookbook, I’ll buy that too.

Day Planner

I know there are like dozens of online to do apps and I do use them, but I keep fantasizing that there will be a physical object I can buy that will somehow make all of my tasks doable and my day comprehensible. This seems like it might work. It has space for “goals, projects and delegated tasks,” and also something called a “teaching tool.” What is that? I don’t know, but as a person who is a teacher, I would like to find out!

Sweater Dress

Speaking of being a teacher, I feel like I’m constantly looking for clothes that make me look like more of an adult than my students but don’t make me feel like a substitute teacher when I have to walk around campus wearing them for the rest of the day. I’ve started to feel like the answer may be sweater dresses?? I’m not usually a dress-wearer, but if I think of them as regular sweaters that just happen to be really long, maybe I can pull it off.

Steve Madden Troopa Boots

I don’t think I need to do a lot of explaining about why I want these.

DV Knee High Boot

Also these. I want these also. It’s not redundant, they’re VERY DIFFERENT BOOTS, people.

World’s Best Teacher Mug

It would be nice if an actual student of mine got me this, but I think it would be good for my self esteem regardless.

Sarah Fonseca, Contributing Editor

Things With Words & For Words

Moleskine Pocket Address Book

As someone who emails, Skypes, and instant messages like it’s my religion, I didn’t think this was something I’d ever need. Paperless communication reigned supreme. Then I started traveling more frequently and quickly realized that I’m obsessed with sending postcards. It’s nice having addresses streamlined and accessible even when my phone is dead or out of service. Plus, postcards are always more romantic when I don’t have to text a cute girl and ask her, “What’s your address again?”

Leather Nomad Travel Journal

I am a fan of both durability and self-micromanagement. This travelog satisfies both of those desires. Each page has lines where you can list the meticulous details of any trip, from “weather conditions” to “observations/notes” and the vagabonds you “traveled with.” Best of all, the journal comes with a leather sleeve which’ll make you feel like Indiana Jones even if you’re just traveling cross-town to your nana’s.

Here Lies the Heart by Mercedes de Acosta

This memoir is a pain in the neck to find, and when you do finally run across it, it usually costs upwards of $200. But if you have a lesbian herstory buff in your circle of lovers and friends, she’s bound to treasure ever penny of that investment. This is not your mother’s tell-all celebrity memoir. Mercedes de Acosta might’ve been a hell of a Cuban-American lesbian lothario, but she was also a talented writer.

Next Up: magazines!!, unicorns and the circus!

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  1. I’d just like to say Kenzie wins. Because John Green (and his brother) definitely seem to be cool guys and that book is kinda obviously based around a real person, Animal onesies are never a bad thing and nor is another way to open beer.

  2. 1. Brittani wins all the things.
    2. I forgot to write my gift guide but if I had it would have had MORE animal onesies on it.
    3. Possibly Steven Madden should consider a marketing campaign targeting lesbians? I think that could be a thing. They should partner with a REALLY COOL QUEER LADY WEBSITE ok bye.

    • I want the record to show that I featured the Steve Madden Troopa boot back in the Boots 101 Guide and you people just all want to be me.

      • i mean my gf bought these for me for chanukah (she hasn’t given them to me yet but i know that’s what i’m getting) so yes, yes i vote this is true, TELL ME ALL YOUR SECRETS LIZZ

  3. I bought myself a pair of noise-cancelling headphones for train rides but it turns out they make some people (including me) really nauseous. So that happened?

  4. I was waiting for a gift guide for your girlfriendnotgirlfriendwhateverwhatdoyougetforthecutegirlwholikesyou. THANKS! Although I think I already got most of the things I was planning to get.

  5. how glad am i that the scratch-off world map is in my life and has made shopping for my roommate and brother 1000x easier.

    also: pet. bowties. my life is complete, everybody gets one.

  6. I ordered a Rainbow In My Room for a friend! I’m worried because it had a lot of bad reviews. Also one of the websites said it was good for girls and woman and obviously all people should have rainbows in their rooms, so.

    But I got a pair of $165 oxfords for $19.99 at the same time so who the fuck cares really?

  7. I have the Steve Madden Troopa boots and they are so fantastic and I love them to death BUT they are terrible quality. I’m on my second pair, and on both pairs the stitching started to rip within weeks/months. :( Does anyone have any suggestions for a lovely, high-quality pair of queer boots?

  8. Sweet baby Jesus, I almost had a heart attack when I saw Sarah’s list, thinking “‘HERE LIES THE HEART’ IS BACK IN PRINT?! WHY DID NO ONE TELL ME??!! HAVE I BEEN BAD, SANTA?!?1″ But alas…

    Then all the cat sweaters calmed me down.

  9. Laneia I just bought both of those exact pairs of boots like two weeks ago! I’m unreasonably excited that we have the same taste in footwear.

  10. the royal tenenbaums criterion collection is so so so fantastic if solely for the illustrations inside the dvd case.

  11. 1.that death star tea strainer combines my love of tea and star wars. I had no idea that was possible.
    2.royal tenenbaums is my favorite movie of all time. I went as margot last year for halloween.
    3.this list was amazing. I want all the things!!!

  12. Truth be told those headlamps are THE BEST THING EVER. Even if they look doofy, you’d better believe everyone will ask to borrow it for camping trips.

    And I think “Moonrise Kingdom” is higher on my list of Wes Anderson movies, simply because that boy is the cutest lesbian I’ve ever seen.

  13. I’m getting my partner a Foucault text, sparkly red nail polish with the minimum possible amount of toxic stuff in it, massage oil, and a ceramic bowl I painted while on a club outing for my campus’ trans*/genderqueer/gender questioning group. She’s ordering me a shirt from Saint Harridan. The holidays are good.

    • aaaaand that gravatar is why I should pay attention and not use my official work address to comment on blogs. I swear I’m not actually a large man in a flannie.

  14. Lizz…I’ve got a Robbins 7th ed. I carried it back from oz. I don’t think you need it for the boards…but…you can have it for the price of a coffee.

  15. wrt the skateboard I do have a penny and they are great I got the purple, green and yellow one and am I the only one who wants a dinosaur onesie?

  16. I’m pretty amused that truffle oil and a sharp knife are on this list, as they are on my list as well. :D

  17. “They also aren’t a brand name, so no worries of mixing Adidas socks with your Nike shoes or vice versa. I know you might not care about that kind of thing but I, like most black people, do.”

    aaahhhh ahhahahahaha <— me laughing out loud for several minutes.

    i am also a hard person to shop for because my answer to "what do you want for christmas?" is "$25 so i can get my hair cut" or "socks".

  18. also laura has been asking for a cordless drill for like 5 years now SOMEONE GET THE WOMAN A CORDLESS DRILL

  19. Hold the phone. Sorry, Lizz, but I burst out laughing with your textbook request: “This is like a really expensive textbook. No, seriously, it’s like $150 and it’s even expensive used.” I keep forgetting how friggin’ cheap books are in the States. Honey, $150 is cheap for a Canadian textbook. Any science textbook here is like $200+ easily, and medical books are probably above that. So, I’m going to scoff and giggle, and resume reading this list.

  20. Vanessa’s a big fan of Prinstagram because she’s a photographer; ergo, she has hundreds of Instagram photos. I, on the other hand, take random pictures (mostly of Seahawks related things) so Printstagram doesn’t really work for me because they require a large amount of photos at a time. Therefore, I highly recommend Snapstagram ( You can get 12 photos for 6 bucks. I supported them on Kickstarter back in the day and the continue to grow (now offering canvas prints). So, if you want to print a photo of the Seahawks punter sitting on top of another player, from the opposing team, who is lying face down on the turf, Snapstagram is perfect for you.

  21. Brittani, I am with you. The only thing I really truly NEED (and not want, NEEEEEEED) for Christmas is a strip tease. Sadly, I am not likely to get one either.

    • ….but if I DO by some miracle get my perfect Christmas present, I will pray to Santa, Jesus, and the Maccabees forever and ever, world without end, Amen.

      • ya Brittani is not getting a strip tease or a Brita filter this year either…but like any good grad student I put everything off until the last minute (including Kwanzaa shopping) so hopefully I have a really epic idea ASAP.

  22. Last Christmas I got my Dad a brewing kit similar to the one Ali listed and he insisted on telling everyone I bought him a meth lab! Thanks for that reminder. Truly! I needed the laugh.

  23. Thanks, beauties, for buying “How I Role” — much appreciated! I also wanted to add for those who have been inquiring – you can get a signed hard copy, too! Contact me on fb, twitter, or [email protected] and we’ll get it out in a jiffy! HAPPY 12-12-12!!!!

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