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

Riese, Editor-in-Chief

For The Face, Shoulders, Eyeballs & Brain

Pan Am Cabin Bag

I’m so glad that show Pan Am got cancelled (it did, right?), because I’ve wanted a Pan Am bag for like a decade ’cause I think the design is so cute, and then it seemed tacky because it was a TV show, and now it’s just an um, airline. I love blue & white bags in general.

bareMinerals Customizable Get Started Kit

It’s really important to my furniture and my stuffed dog Tinkerbell that I look my best at all times. No really — if you’re less-than-competent at make-up, this is literally a Starter Kit.

Clear Square Sunglasses

These are what Lizz recommended I get to fulfill my dream of becoming my new style icon Jenna Lyons.

All We Know: Three Lives, by Lisa Cohen

This book looks so good! It sounds like it’ll be all the most intriguing parts of Gay L.A. and The Sewing Club extracted and expanded upon — with a focus on three queer ladies from history including Mercedes De Acosta, who had an affair with Gretta Garbo. There are promises of “glamorous choices, complicated failures, and controversial personal lives with lyricism and empathy.” That’s so many feelings!


I’m obsessed with magazines, obvs, and therefore could really use some of these magazines and issues I don’t have: Gentlewoman, a WORN Journal gift pack, Smith Journal, Upper Case, make/shift and Lula . Also Crystal got me a subscription to Frankie and I love it (and Crystal) so much, and I recommend it and look, back issues. Also while we’re talking about Frankie, this day journal is adorable and will look cute with my Autostraddle memo book when it debuts.

Crystal, Music Editor

Tiny Mail & Accessories

The World’s Smallest Letter or Card

All I really want for Christmas is a hand-written card or letter that is so tiny it needs to be read with a magnifying glass. Last year I ordered one for a friend and it was basically the raddest thing I’ve ever seen and since then I’ve been secretly hoping that someone will send me one. Available from Leafcutter Designs, aka the World’s Smallest Post Office.

Ben Sherman Barrel Bag

One day I would really love to replace the complimentary fluorescent green Cathay Pacific Airways carry-on bag that I’ve been using for the last decade with something a little less hideous, like this hot barrel bag by Ben Sherman. With the red and white stripes, it’s probably the closest I’ll ever come to fulfilling my dream of owning a Bally bag.

Lucky Dog Leather ‘Black On Black’ Leather Bracelet

Have you checked out Lucky Dog Leather’s extremely appealing Black On Black leather bracelet range? You really should. This 3/4″ Black On Black Single Weave Cuff is very similar to this rad 3/4″ Black & Red Single Weave Cuff that I wear all the time except it’s blacker and therefore more bad ass.

Camper’s Lace-up Fashion Sneaker

I love these leather boxer-style “fashion sneakers” so much that I’ve started a coin jar fund so that one day they can be mine. Camper’s shoes are a fairly expensive gift but they should last the recipient a very long time; I’ve worn my current pair almost every day for the past three years, including to known shoe-killing environments like basketball courts and the wilderness, and they still look and feel brand-new.

Ali, Contributing Editor

Circus & Liquor

A Body In Motion

I have a Jade Fusion mat. It’s huge and super thick. This makes it a pain in the ass to travel with, but you know what the extra pep in its step makes it good for? Headstands. You will not feel the floor through this sucker. A Camelbak water bottle is a necessity, as it won’t leak all over your bag. This particular Camelbak also gives a donation to, an organization dedicated to bringing clean drinking water to communities without. Don’t forget the LED hula hoop!


This is a documentary about the Big Apple Circus. My mother got it for me for Christmas last year. I’ve watched it like four times. Believe me, your circus queer wants this.

Drinking Accessories

Everyone uses a Parisian shaker, but if you’re anything like me you’ll really want this Boston cocktail shaker because it’s versatile. Your drink requires rolling? No problem! Also there’s all sorts of technique to using this particular shaker, and that stuff is fun to learn. Also you should always measure the alcohol in your cocktails, so I’d like this steel jigger. The book Imbibe! has all sorts of stuff about the history of cocktails and cocktail recipes.

Brewing Starter Kit

For all your beer loving queers, give them the tools to brew their own. There’s a saying about teach a man to fish, but I don’t think I can accurately remember because I’ve had a few beers.

Carolyn, Contributing Editor

All The Books

Glacier Boots

All fall I’ve been looking for boots for when it’s cold and maybe wet and probably slippery that are also black and tall with a bit of a heel and that also look pretty and are not too expensive. I’m pretty sure they don’t exist, and now it’s almost December and Canadian winter is coming, which is why I want some black Sorel Glacier Boots instead.

These boots are recommended “for all-season hunting or fishing.” They are warm until it is minus 100 degrees outside. The three negative Amazon reviews all describe them as “clunky,” “ugly as sin,” “about 10 pounds” (the shipping weight is two) and “Frankenstein,” which means they should be at the cutting edge of Ottawa fashion. I also hear they last for years.

All the Books

I also really want to read a lot of books that everyone’s been talking about lately and that my library will otherwise make me wait months if not years for, like This is How You Lose Her by Junot Díaz, The Middlesteins by Jami Attenberg and Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan, which has a cover that glows in the dark. I also want to expand my brain and my crush on Paola Antonelli with Talk to Me: Design and the Communication between People and Objects.

Glass Mug

Nothing says “rediscovering caffeine addition without style” like using one stained Irish coffee cup that someone else stole from a bar circa 2002 almost exclusively. These glass mugs look like really good 16-oz (!) replacements.

Haviland Stillwell, The Talent

Mind, Body and Unicorns!

Anatomy of Stretching by Craig Ramsay

Flexibility is essential. – Harmony, Unicorn Plan-It

I am excessively into stretching, and believe everyone should be, too. I’m sure you’ll all agree. While you’re purchasing this book, feel free to contact the author, Craig Ramsay, about training. He’s REALLY good, and makes you feel lots of love while you’re sweating out those toxins.

Unicorn Brass Ring

I bought you that ring ’cause I never was cool – Indigo Girls

This ring is COOL – who wouldn’t love to have a unicorn wrapped around her finger? WANT! #unicornplanit

Mounted Unicorn

I don’t even know what to say about this. I co-created a show called “Unicorn Plan-It,” and there is something called a “mounted unicorn” that isn’t yet in my possession? WHAT? This is such goodness, I can’t even.

Be Here Now by Ram Dass

An incredibly mind- and heart-opening book that changed my life the moment I opened it up. I highly suggest you obtain and read it immediately, and also, give it to loads of friends! Happy 2012!

Bren, Editorial Assistant

Haviland Stillwell

How I Role 

What I want for Christmas, what I REALLY want is for Christmas is for one Haviland Stillwell to stand under my window and sernade me. I’ll have to settle for an approximation thereof from Amazon or iTunes.

 Next Up: shoe shines, coffee and record players!

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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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