Autostraddle’s Ultimate Holigay Gift Guide 2015: What We Really, Really Want This Year

2015 Autostraddle Holigays

It’s such a special time of year: a time of gifting and receiving, making lists and checking them twice, and also practicing how to curl ribbon over and over again in the middle of the night. In the spirit of the season, Team Autostraddle has come together to tell you all about the stuff we really, really want this year, mostly because we’re operating under the assumption that included in our own ramblings will be stuff your loved ones and favorite barista would probably like this year and also some stuff you forgot to put on your own wish list. (This is actually guaranteed if you or someone you love wants a FitBit, takes photos with an actual camera, or reads books.)

Riese, CEO / Editor-in-Chief


This Elliptical

So we’re moving to the country and there won’t be any gyms nearby, plus we’ll probably be snowed in for most of the next two months. That means it’s finally time for me to take the plunge and create what every gym rat dreams of: A HOME GYM. Unfortunately, this shit is expensive. Maybe I should try craigslist.

MAC Strobe Cream

Do you read Hard Lacquer? I do. I read Hard Lacquer and I want to do everything Aja tells me to do so I can put my best face forward while hanging out alone in my room.

Duck Boots

This is for when I’m snowed in but still need to see if my check came in the mail! I MEAN FOR WHEN I’M SHOVELING THE DRIVEWAY AND ENJOYING THE OUTDOORS.

The Mare: A Novel

Mary Gaitskill is my favorite author and this is her new book, obviously I need it.

Splendid Jogger Pants

These go with the book.

Laneia, Executive Editor


Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: The Illustrated Edition

I put off reading the Harry Potter series for a million years because I thought it was silly kid’s stuff. BOY WAS I WRONG. So now I’m reading it and I’m currently stuck on Goblet of Fire because I’m so sad about [SPOILER] that I can’t bring myself to keep reading! So anyway, as a newly minted Harry Potter book fan, I really, really want this illustrated edition of the first book because a) it’s so pretty!! and b) that’s really it, it’s just SO. PRETTY.

Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Stainless 7-Piece Cookware Set

Look, I’m an adult person living in a small house with several other people — at least three — and they often need me to cook food for them, which I’m happy to do. From now on I’d like to do that cooking in some nice, uncoated, stainless steel pots. I deserve this life! Oh and while we’re at it—

The Southerner’s Cookbook

There’s a whole section on gravy. Just all the kinds of gravy! I need this cookbook.

Goldenrod Just Dandy Skirt

Y’all it has pockets! I don’t need to tell you how important a pocket is, much less TWO of them! This skirt will look so perfect paired with a weird band t-shirt and some cute boots. I am ready for this skirt.

Bamboo Laptop Stand

I have his multi-step plan for creating a Real Office for myself, and I’ve already secured a cushy rolly chair and a wee tiny desk. I even have a gorgeous little aloe plant named Bethesda who keeps me company! Next up is this laptop stand, a wireless keyboard, and a trackpad. Whee!

Rachel, Managing Editor


Burr Coffee Grinder

I feel like I’ve asked for this for Christmas for a thousand years since the beginning of time. It’s juuuust past the ratio of price vs. necessity that I feel like I can buy it for myself, yet I’ve also totally convinced myself that it’s the last barrier to my coffee being totally amazing all the time. Is that a silly fantasy? The only way to find out is if I finally get this burr grinder.

The Colette Sewing Handbook

After reading Jasika’s amazing article on making your own clothes, I was like YEAH, I CAN DO THAT. Except I can really only do it like spiritually or emotionally at this point, because I don’t know very much about sewing. But after I read this book I bet I’m gonna know a lot more!

Infrared Food Thermometer

Alton Brown uses one of these all the time on Good Eats and I’m always jealous but also assumed that it was way expensive. Reader, it is not! It is pretty affordable and an easy way to measure the temperature of stuff that needs to be in a specific degree range, like candy or yogurt (although if you cook meat you’ll probably still need a traditional meat thermometer, sorry). According to the reviews, a surprising number of people get a lot of satisfaction just pointing it at parts of their house and finding out how cold their windowsill is, so there’s that too.

All of the Sheet Masks

I’m pretty into sheet masks (well, all face masks) lately, and they’re gonna be extra important once winter is in full swing and my skin gets super dry. I’m really lusting after these Pinkgo Girl masks, one for hydrating and one for brightening (that second one looks like LACE it’s bananas). Also though I’d take somebody buying me these creepy-looking “blank” sheet masks so I can just soak them in whatever product I want and thereby become the radiant ageless goddess I was meant to be.

Heather, Senior Editor


Anything From Laura Wooley’s Etsy Shop

Laura made me some lip balm at camp that changed my life and now I want all of the apothecary supplies she makes to be on my nightstand so I can feel awesome forever.

Harry Potter Coloring Book


A Sleeping Bag for Grown-Ups

I’m very excited to get back into camping in my adult life, and plan to do it a lot when spring and summer roles around (and once I figure out how to get to New York’s state parks from public transportation). A good sleeping bag is a good start.

Kindle Fire

My girlfriend gave me her Kindle PaperWhite and I am so thankful for it and I love it. I would never spend money on a thing like this for myself, but if I had one I could read my comics on it too.

Cool Cat Toys

I don’t know if you’ve heard, but I’m basically running a cat rescue organization out of my apartment.

Yvonne, Senior Editor


AUTHOR’S NOTE: If I were being super real about what I want for the holidays, I would say I want a rice cooker and a Smart TV but there are so many kinds out there I don’t know which one I want. Let me know which ones I should want!

Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic Instant Film Camera

Laneia let me play with her Instax when we were at the senior editor retreat and I fell in love. This camera is so much fun! I just wanted to experiment and try different lighting and snap away. But I wanted to respect Laneia’s things so I only took a few pictures like a normal adult. I want one so I can go wild! (That means I also need a giant pack of film to go along with it.) This one is a tad upgrade from the regular Instax and I just really like this body and how retro-y it looks.

Cute Succulent Planters

My girlfriend and I bought a million succulents to spruce up the apartment — ok, it was only six put it feels like a little army of tiny pokey plants. I love them and they’re so cute just sitting there in their plastic black pots. But they could probably unlock an unfathomable amount of adorableness if they were in cute planters. I was planning to make planters out of odd things I found at a thrift store but that trip hasn’t come to fruition. I’d be happy with just one of these little guys.

An Adult Coloring Book

I went to Half-Price Books on a mission to find an adult coloring book because I’m up on all the ~trends~. My choices were limited and I didn’t feel any calming feelings just thinking of coloring oceans, sugar skulls, tattoos or buildings. But I really loved Johanna Basford’s illustrations the most and looked her up online to find out she has an Enchanted Forest coloring book! I can’t color any other blank outlines if it isn’t Johanna’s Enchanted Forest, goddammit.

This Frida Pin

I was so inspired by Lydia’s post on enamel pins that I browsed the ones she recommended and found this awesome Frida pin. I think it would look good on a denim jacket for sure!

Alex, Design Director


Wildfang Chinos

The bottoms/pants in Wildfang’s collection are always on point. I’m still feeling the whole jogger thing (or anything with a drop-crotch) right now, so I’ve had my eyes on these pants for awhile and if someone would just buy them for me I can finally take my eyes elsewhere thank you.

Campfire Soy Candle

Okay so one of my favorite things about camping (which I do a total of once maybe a year) is having my clothes and hair smell like campfire. Campfire is my favorite smell in the whole world and the fact that someone had the idea to make it a candle that I could have in my home means that someone probably has one billion dollars.

Whiskey Notes (and Poster)

I can’t have a gift list without something whiskey-related on it. Okay, first, that goddamn poster combines whiskey and infographics together so beautifully, it’s so perfect. The tasting notebook is 144 pages, which totally beats the one I currently have which is like 20 pages and much smaller in size. This is just really good-looking stuff!

Greyscale Goods Gift Card (or Snapback!)

The the gift of personal styling! I’ve tried Stitch Fix, and it’s not for me and Trunk Club probably wouldn’t work because I don’t fit into mens sizes. Greyscale Goods takes care of that middle/grey (get it?) area that I fall into stylistically. Also, you’re supporting a small queer-owned business! I’ll take a snapback too please.

Crystal, HR Director


Paderno Spiralizer

After a long absence from the kitchen, my number one culinary dream is to learn how to make noodles out of vegetables. This requires a thing called a spiralizer and the Paderno version comes recommended.

Healthy Slow Cooker Cookbook

I just moved to Chicago where temperatures reach a level of freezing fucking cold that my Australian body doesn’t quite know how to deal with. My survival plan is to hunker down in my apartment and not emerge until April. For sustenance, I plan to use the Crock Pot we were recently gifted. This recipe book will probably help.

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  1. I want everything on Mey’s list too, even though I now realize that the rainbow-colored bottle is kitchen tools and not really gay vodka.

    Stef, those cat panties! I thought I was looking at a cat peeking into a box from the perspective of the bottom of the box. I was like, “Is this a poster? Some kind of cat toy I’ve never seen?” Nope! It’s cat panties!

  2. @laura-m If you are looking to do macro, there is always the option of going with a close up filter. I’ve seen some going for as low as $20(for a more common filter size). I’m thinking about going this route for myself as a macro lens for my camera system cost $$$, and I don’t have the option of going older Canon, Nikon, or Minolta macro lenses.

  3. On the topic of of books about traveling written by women, I recommend Tracks: One Woman’s Journey across 1600 Miles of Australian Outback by Robyn Davidson. I listened to the audiobook a couple months ago. It’s about traveling, but it’s also about a lot of other things (like racism against aboriginals) and other really interesting and profound topics, and I found it utterly compelling. Plus, the audiobook was read by an Aussie woman so it was super nice to listen to as well.

    • Seconding this recommendation! Tracks is an amazing book. My mom gives it to every woman in our extended family upon graduating high school. It’s a great read during times of transition and/or traveling.

      • You’re welcome! I went through a phase a while back where I listened to a bunch of survival stories (Into the Wild, Into Thin Air, Dead Mountain) and all of them were good, but Tracks had a narrative quality that really stuck with me. I hope you enjoy it!

    • @carmenrios I came to say exactly the same thing! Tracks is beautiful and odd and stubborn and unlike other travel narratives. Film is worth watching too, though it doesn’t delve into her inner monologue as much.

  4. I 100% recommend the Harry Potter Illustrated Edition book. I bought it for my birthday and it’s even more gorgeous that I expected. There’s something exciting on every page. get it get it GO GO GO GO GO

    • promise me that if someone gets you both the burr grinder and the infrared thermometer you’ll use them together for the perfect coffee!
      (PS I broke my Hario Skerton jar and am now a Porlex convert. apparently the burrs don’t wear down as fast even if it’s not quiiite as consistent as the Skerton.)

  5. -Rachel that coffee grinder is half off right now! Make your dreams come true.

    -Yvonne: best rice cookers? I don’t have one but god bless the internet and its overabundance of information/choices.

    -I just got lost in the accessories section of Wildfang’s site. Had a laugh at the “SORRY I’M SUCH AN ASSHOLE” balloons.

  6. I want a FitBit for the same reasons as Chelsey. I couldn’t care less about how many flights of stairs I move in a day or have caller ID on my wrist BUT heart rate and sleep are such cool features!! I want them to make a model that’s cheaper and just has those features for those of us who just don’t care about the rest.

    • i have one for those features and it is wonderful! however sometimes when i lie in bed for hours stressing out about every little thing, it seems to think i am asleep, which i am most definitely not. :-(

      • That would be my ideal device! Riese, I am sad to hear that it registers lying awake at night stressing about every little thing as sleep :(

        • i actually thought it was 100% accurate and insightful until this one night that i barely slept at all and it said i slept a lot. however it did say i was often “restless” and also honestly just having it on somehow motivates me to try and get a good amount of sleep. i think because i know if i ever wake up and it says like, 4 hours 14 minutes, i’ll probably just give up and die instead of trying to make it through the day. i’m curious to find out how accurate it is at camp.

  7. I just bought the Harry Potter illustrated edition as my Christmas present to my mom. I am such a good daughter! (also, I want to immediately borrow it from her as soon as she’s done reading it so maybe I’m only a so-so daughter).

  8. @yvonne if you can get into a costco, they’ve got that coloring book and some other gorgeous ones by the same company! I saw them a couple weeks ago and was ver intrigued

  9. If you like a camp fire smell, Alex, this shampoo from Lush is highly recommended.
    It makes your shower smell campy but doesn’t really linger in your hair.

    I came home once to my roommates convinced something in the walls was on fire when I first bought it. It is also great for your scalp.

    • I clicked your link because I was so excited about this, but the description says it’s been reformulated to smell warm and sweet instead of smoky. :( Do you think it’s drastically different?

      • ah man, why would they do that???

        I don’t know… it’s been a little while since I bought a new bar. :( I’ll probably pass by Lush before the end of the week, so I’ll pop in and give it a sniff and let you know.

  10. Rachel, I can confirm that the infrared food thermometer is lots of fun and actually useful!

    Chelsey, have you been watching “Girl Meets World”? They have carried over some storylines and Shawn has made several guest appearances. A bunch of Cory’s family has actually. Still no sign of that little sister that disappeared upstairs for years though, lol.

    KaeLyn, I also love “Inside Out” and cried as well. Have you seen “Wreck-It Ralph”? That one gets me too.

    Maddie, there are some good jigsaw puzzle apps out there. I have one where you can make it super easy or super hard. With our two cats doing actual jigsaw puzzles is tricky.

    • Not to get off-topic Besides the Christmas one(which is on Netflix), what other episodes has Shawn been in? What about Eric? And he now also has a little brother who is in high school, which I don’t remember from Boy Meets World.

      • Oh geez… There was an episode where Maya got a new wardrobe that Shawn was in, there was a whole storyline about Maya’s crush on the teenage brother, another storyline about Eric and politics…

        That’s the shows IMDb page. Shawn was in three episodes in Season 1. So far in Season 2 there have been 6 episodes with someone from the original show- Shawn, Eric or Mr. Turner. Mr. Feeney was briefly in the first episode and also in Girl meets Pluto.

        Hope this helps :)

      • I’ve been impressed that they have brought back pretty much everyone important from the original show in some capacity. Cory’s family has been on. Shawn has been in 5 episodes. Feeny and Eric have been in three episodes. Turner in two. They also brought back Angela for an episode this season. And I think Shawn’s dead dad appeared to him as well. Minkus has been in several episodes since he is the father of one of Cory’s daugther’s friends. More importantly Rider Strong has directed many of the episodes and Ben Savage and Danielle Fishel are co-producers on the show.

    • Yes, “Wreck-It Ralph” is also very sweet and made me do some tears and I love how it turned the princess movie on its head.

      I bought myself Inside Out because I just couldn’t wait and I watched it again twice and then watched all the special features and it was worth it!!! It’s a film of incredible depth, even though it’s a movie for kids. Bing bong Bing bong! ::tears::

  11. Yvonne, there’s this Sony Bravia Smart TV that my parents have and they love it! Comes with internet connectivity and everything, including PlayStation Now compatibility so you can play video games right on it too!
    I want so many things on this list, but mostly I’m asking for a Gal Pal hoodie for a gift because what the heck they look so good!!!

  12. Rachel- my dad’s had an infrared thermometer lying around the house for years and until about thirty seconds ago I had no idea that it even had a purpose other than ‘point it at furniture/your cat/your brother and see how warm they are’


    I have unashamedly asked for socks for 3 years in a row (and also for a few years in jr high and high school) because warm wool socks are fucking expensive

  14. “…and also practicing how to curl ribbon over and over again in the middle of the night.”

    Don’t open the scissors, just keep the scissors closed and use the flat edge. You don’t need the sharp side for the ribbon to curl, just something flat. I have a seasonal job wrapping presents at a local art gallery and I wrap so many things this time of year, I can probably wrap gifts/curl ribbons in my sleep. The scissors trick is the greatest thing I have learned there and has saved me from cutting my hand off.

    • You just changed my whole world. Seriously. I imagine this also prevents ribbon shredding from too-sharp scissors. Into it.

  15. that laptop stand though!! that whole etsy store! And also the whole thing about uncoated stainless steel cooking things @green, i feel that 1000000000% i just want pretty kitchenware forever. (does autostraddle have a williams-sonoma affiliate link? for #domesticqueers?)

  16. laneia, the southerner’s cookbook is lovely. my mom got it recently, and I really regret that I didn’t sit down and read the whole thing while I was home for thanksgiving. I did, however, assist her in making “bacon crackers” which are a 1950s culinary marvel featured in the cookbook and which are surprisingly tasty.

  17. Listen. Don’t buy Fallout 4. I have had no life ever since getting that game. I should be ashamed but I’m kind of not.

  18. Well, this just about covers my friends (and me. cause Eve’s Hollywood is coming home with me today.)

  19. Craigslist, in say late-January/early-February, is an awesome place to get home gym stuff. Also garage sales.

    Or pick up TRX straps (or go super hardcore and DIY them with $20 worth of stuff from Home Depot).

  20. My Lesbian Coloring Pages (adult themes colouring pages) are now a digital download for only $3.99 you can buy and print as many as you need! I have a signup feature to try and keep kids from accessing the link but if anyone remembers them from my old website – they are available here:!blank/ei1zl

    20 pages of colouring!

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