Autostraddle’s Ultimate Team Holigay Gift Guide 2019: We’re So Tired, Will These Things Make Us Less Tired?

Wow, 2019 is coming to a close! Okay! What a year, huh? Can you believe it’s time to buy gifts for the holigays? What the heck are you getting everyone on your list? More importantly, what do you want (besides like, a nap and a cold glass of water)? Here’s a brief glimpse into the deepest materialistic desires of Team Autostraddle – we hope this gift guide inspires and delights you! If you like something you see and you purchase it using the link in the collage caption, we’ll get a tiny kickback thanks to our affiliate programs, so thank you in advance if you do any of your shopping right here, right now! Happy holigays, indeed!

Vanessa, Community Editor

1 / Collectif x ModCloth Going A Night to Remember Twofer Dress ($179) 2 / Gabi Fresh Plus Size Lingerie (prices range, $20-$88) 3 / Make Good Choices Custom Ceramics (prices vary) 4 / Coming to Power (used copies from $40) 5 / One Year Membership to CrashPadSeries ($9.99/month or one payment of $119.88) 6 / Ankle / Thigh / Wrist Custom Restraint Set ($434)

Listen. I’m done pretending I’m chill. I’m kind, I’m thoughtful, I’m rational, I’m fun. I’m not chill. And that’s okay! Knowing that you’re kind of a high maintenance bitch is hot. Get into it or GTFO! Here are the things I want this holigay season: this witchy black velvet dress to add to my ever growing velvet dress collection and some gorgeous plus size lingerie to wear under it, literally any of the sparkly custom ceramics made by femme dreamboat (and, full disclosure, my best friend) Alex Simon of Make Good Choices, a copy of the now out of print but very hot and herstorical essential leather dyke classic Coming to Power, a year long membership to the incredible queer feminist porn videos created by CrashPadSeries, and the most stunning and drool-worthy (and wildly expensive) custom ankle / thigh / wrist restraint set this bratty bottom has ever seen, damn – in pink, obviously, pretty please.

The luxurious high maintenance slutty heart wants what the luxurious high maintenance slutty heart wants, ya know?

Carmen, Associate Editor

I consulted with some people who love me very much while making this gift guide, and was told, “You wear a lot of sweats.” Which is true, but I emphatically CANNOT have “wears a lot of sweats” as my Autostraddle brand. So my friends, here we are. I took “wearing sweats” to mean “likes being cozy” and that is very much who I am. I want these pajamas and I want a simple baking project that I can totally nail with little effort while I wear them! I want to eat my treats and some hot cocoa while I treat myself to this at-home facial by Drunk Elephant (to be completely honest with you, I cannot actually afford Drunk Elephant, but whenever I read about it, it sounds so fancy and luxurious and I want to slather my face in it, ok?). Then I want to take my brand new face, my snacks, and my cozy AF pajamas to my couch and wrap myself in this blanket. I actually already own the blanket and I love it so much! It’s sized for a twin bed, which means it does this thing where it covers my nose and my toes at the same time!! Do you know how hard it is for a blanket to do this seemingly impossible feat? H E A V E N.

Christina Tucker, Contributing Writer

Look. I’m a Taurus, it’s winter, I have a very short list of things I want to do, and they mostly involve being indoors. I want to smell amazing, complete with fantastic skin, while lounging in a nightgown some might call “last seen on my great aunt.” I’d like to make soups and stews, hence the dutch oven, and I do not have space for a single additional physical book! Also, I have horrible circulation and a phone addiction so these gloves are perfect for me!

Casey, Monthly Contributor

Yet again I surprise no one by requesting books by incredible queer and trans authors! But also, I included a bookish non-book object, so please give me points for that. Kai Cheng Thom’s two other books (one novel and one collection of poetry) are honestly two of the best things I’ve ever read. I have no doubt I am going to love her book of personal essays. The Cat Sebastian romance is about an 18th bisexual bookseller who publishes naughty books, bascially my ideal past life? Once I have these two books I will want to read them without having to use my hands to hold them open, for which I need this book anchor. I just really want to be able to eat and read at the same time okay?

Shelli Nicole, Contributing Writer

Similar to Ari Lennox I am a total black babe with a new apartment. I’m tryna get people to get me things that will make my flat queer, black as hell, and sweet as fuck. I’ll take selfies in nothing but lipstick and jewelry and send them to a girl because I want her to come over and let me take off her sports bra while it snows outside. I also wanna be cozy in my hoodie while I eat tacos and watch Riverdale. Happy holidays homies.

Meg, Contributing Writer & Photographer

Look, all I want for the holigays is to sit under a soft, heavy blanket, drinking good whiskey and reading tarot cards and writing essays about personal trauma. And maybe playing D&D with my nerdy queer friends. I don’t think that’s too much to ask.

Heather Hogan, Managing Editor

I just want to spend my holigays — and all my days, really — loving the people I’ve chosen to let into the deepest, safest places of my heart, and letting myself be loved by them in return. A little D&D, a lot of meditation, as much cycling and outdoors as I can get my hands on in New York City, cozy candles times infinity cuddled up in bed with my partner and my kitties reading fantasy books about kickass women smooching each other and slashing men with swords.

Malic, Monthly Contributor

I’m an Aries on a perpetual mission prove my badassery and fortitude, which explains why I’ve biked through a decade of Chicago winters. I’ll be cycling through the slush again this year, and I’ll need to envelop myself in bright light, anoint myself with woodsy smells and carry the power of Medusa with me. Plus, I’ll need good reads, spicey food, and sexy sex waiting at home.

Carolyn, Contributing Writer

This holigay season I want to be glowy as fuck. Sustainably bubbly water right in my own home? Yes. Totally Surreal Skincare from a small trans-woman-founded company that’s already changed my whole relationship to my face since I found it on Instagram the other week? Fuck yes. Books to keep my brain as glowy as the rest of me? You better believe it.

Natalie, Contributing Writer

All the things on this list are things I already own, in some form or another… things that, over time, have grown frayed or aren’t working as optimally as they once did. My Charlotte hoodie, with its tattered sleeves. My old Roku, which takes forever to boot up. The headphones that constantly need adjusting. “It still works,” I’ve told myself for years, a habit born of a time when resources were far more scarce. But with 2020 on the horizon, my goal is renewal, both for myself and my favorite things. It’s out with the old and in with the new. My old things have served me well but I’ve done enough settling; I can do better.

Laneia, Executive Editor

You ever had just the worst fucking year of your whole fucking life? Me too. I know for sure that all of these items would make me feel measurably better each time I engaged with them or, in some cases, even just thought of them. Like that enormous plant? I could think of her while I was driving to the bank and my spirits would be lifted. This is where I am right now. (Not driving to the bank, but at this place in my life, I mean.) Happy holidays!

Drew, Contributing Writer

I somehow made it through the entirety of last year without a leather jacket and my gay ass will not tolerate it! I’ll probably end up buying one at a thrift store, but in my fantasies I’d get something like this. Then I’ve gotta throw in some Bb. Curl conditioner because I go through a bottle literally every month. It’s not cheap but it is worth it.

Of course, I need to add some books and movies. This year I’m asking for Torrey Peters’ novella Infect Your Friends and Loved Ones because I love her writing and need something to hold me over while I wait for the 2020 release of her debut novel. And I asked for Fleabag: The Scriptures, because OF COURSE I DID. Movie-wise I’m asking for Adam on DVD and you can try to put coal in my stocking but this is my wishlist not yours, baby! And, finally, speaking of people wearing strap-ons over their penises, after a quarter of a century with my old dick I’m in the market for a new one and would love to pair it with this gorgeous harness.

Sarah Sarwar, Marketing and Design Director

It’s wild (haha) to think that I’d ever want this leopard print jacket — I was a person who was solidly against animal prints for a long time. But ever since I attended a themed “Puppies and Kitties” party, and dressed up as a bengal cat, I have been gravitating more towards that sultry feeling of wearing… f*cking animal print! I like that this coat is fuzzy and also kind of reminiscent of Shania Twain’s ‘That Don’t Impress Me Much’ music video. After strutting the rainy and cold Portland streets in my new jacket, I’d love to collapse into these soft, sexy black linen sheets by Parachute, which were recommended to me by a very put together woman who manages the Hay Design store downtown. If possible, I’d round off this v luxurious moment by reaching for the chain of my extremely-worth-it $400 lamp from Schoolhouse, and let the light flood the pages of my journal — which I’ll dive into to discover why gold and black have made such a comeback in my consumerist needs.

Himani, Monthly Contributor

1 / Besharam ($14.99) 2 / The Stars Change ($12) 3 / In the Dream House ($26) 4 / A Song for You ($28) 5 / The Devourers ($16) 6 / The Paths of Marriage ($17.95)

Sometimes I feel like the only way I can find myself is in other people’s stories. For most of my life, I’ve only read fiction for pleasure; non-fiction could never hold my interest long enough. I loved so many of those books – by white authors, by straight authors – but I can’t help but wonder if I lost too much of myself in those stories that were never about me. At some point, I started more intentionally reading novels by authors of color, but it wasn’t until just this past year that I decided to actively pursue works by South Asian writers, by South Asian women, by queer South Asian women. And, as I’ve tried to look at myself more earnestly than ever before in this past year, I realized I needed to ground myself in this world, this actual world that I live in, too.

Looking to next year, I want to continue reading along these lines. I’ve read so many reviews of In the Dream House and A Song for You, I really want to just read them for myself to learn from the pain and the beauty of Carmen Maria Machado’s and Robyn Crawford’s stories. I’ve been itching to read Besharam because I want to know that I’m not alone in my shamelessness as a South Asian woman. And I’ve never read much fiction by South Asian writers, certainly never any science fiction, so I’m really excited for The Stars Change, The Paths of Marriage, and The Devourers.

Rachel, Managing Editor

1 / Nothing Fancy, Alison Roman ($32.50) 2 / Dining In, Alison Roman ($32.50) 3 / Cast Iron Plant (starting at $249) 4 / Frye Chelsea Boots ($149) 5 / Apothecary Cabinet ($109.95) 6 / Mother Superior ($119.99)

It saddens me to admit that the overarching theme of what I want this year is radical acceptance of my inner basic bitch. I don’t want to want the same Alison Roman cookbooks everyone else wants! I want to have grown beyond the 22 year old baby dyke version of me that would have died for a pair of Fryes! I would like to be somehow aloof and above Plantstagram! And yet, here I am. Here we all are. If I’m being real about myself, I just want all those things and a tiny cabinet to store all of my even tinier tchotchkes in, like some kind of freakish featherless magpie. Also though, I would like the Mother Superior from Hole Punch to add to the cabinet of Catholic ephemera I’ve collected over the years. Is it a nun sculpture? Is it a dildo? Yes.

Riese, CEO

I think my theme this year is Elder Dyke on the Edge. Like, I’ve gotten really into puzzles (this is an understatement I will address at a later date), my face is falling off my face, and I colored in the scuffed parts of my super-cheap black boots with a sharpie instead of buying new boots, but if I had new boots that cost a billion dollars (aka $178), I feel like they’d not scuff, right? Is that how expensive things work? Also, this year I got back into shorts. I’d stopped wearing shorts like ten years ago ‘cause I have long legs and I hate men yelling at me on the street about their sexual desires, but this year I was like FUCK IT I am a GROWN WOMAN and it is HOT and I have HEADPHONES and now I’m obsessed with, specifically, this one pair of shorts from ASOS (bless ‘em for having the widest variety of tall sizes for everything!) that I wear approximately every day. So I could definitely use another pair of ‘em. Finally, I love living with books. I imagine reading this book while fantasizing about a hypothetical future in a large living space that contains an armchair and I can be like, “I love to read in my arm chair!”

Alaina, Contributing Writer

Hey, it’s me, your sad friend who has ruined all of their face-to-face relationships from the past few years who also hasn’t been able to see for months. I’m not really feeling like I deserve presents this year (yes, I am talking to my therapist about “deserve” language), but I would like to spend next year making different mistakes than the ones I’ve made this year, and last year, and the year before that, etc. I just need some help. And to make amends to a lot of people that I’ve hurt. And some new glasses, because jfc, these are so scratched! How is it possible to scratch off the anti-scratch coating from your glasses???

Dani Janae, Contributing Writer

As a scorpio my chief concern is being sexy and intimidating. My sense of style is femme you totally want to fuck you and maybe kill you afterward, and these items give off strong “I’m not afraid to get blood on my shoes” energy. I wanted to have some fun, flirty things on the list paired with something practical, and everybody needs undies. Apparently being an adult means owning a Chelsea boot and not buying underwear in sixpacks? I can be down with this vision.

Reneice, Contributing Writer

My ultimate dream for 2020 is that when people find themselves wondering what I’m up to, reading in the bathtub by candlelight will be the answer so often that they instead start to wonder if I’m ever coming out again and how I’m paying my water bills. Naturally to achieve this goal I’ll need some pillar candles, a reading tray to hold said candles plus my book and wine, and a nice soft fat friendly bath sheet waiting for me to wrap up in when it’s time to dry off.

What caught your eye most? What’s on your ultimate dream wish list? Are you inspired to buy any of the above for your pals / activity partner / mom / self? Happy holigay shopping from Team Autostraddle to you!

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Vanessa is a writer, a teacher, and the community editor at Autostraddle. Very hot, very fun, very weird. Find her on twitter and instagram.

Vanessa has written 404 articles for us.


  1. Somewhat serious question related to Vanessa’s list: what would be involved in getting Coming to Power back in print again? Are there author issues or publisher issues or?

    • SAMOIS disbanded (partially because of this) (i love reading archives) and that’s a big part of why there probably won’t be another edition published

        • their archives are at the glbt museum/archives in san fran, and yeah, it was a lot abt who/what was included, but ALSO some of the richer members gave a lot of money and were disappointed that didnt give them power to like include/veto whatever they wanted//a lot of them were never fully reimbursed and were salty. there’s a whole folder called “the dissolution of samois” or something!! hot goss!!!

  2. I nearly wiped out on the ice on my bike this morning and decided it’s officially car season again, so I salute you for your bravery and commitment to winter cycling, Malic.

    Also sending extra holiday warmth and wishes to Laneia and Al(aina). May next year be much better 💚

  3. As a fellow skin care gay that uses all her self restraint to not keep buying more products to try, I appreciate the indirect recommendations via gift desires.

    Also, 2019 was the year I decided that I deserve to have reasonably nice non six pack underwear (Tomboy X is my personal choice) and it honestly has made me feel like I’ve finally arrived at adulthood like nothing else has.

  4. That recycled bike tube harness is an awesome idea!

    @natalie Years ago I looked into getting Grados or the Alessandro twin(the base model), but most reviewed talk about comfort not being the best. Which is why some users added more padding. I am also sure you know open-back design means sounds will leaking out above a certain volume level, which I found out is a bit frowned upon when doing classwork in the library years ago.

  5. end of 2019 mood is responding to my grandmother’s request for a Christmas list with “can you pay for part of my third root canal maybe” so for my wishlist I’d like dental health! and maybe fancy mouthwash idk

  6. Al(aina), as someone who also has a hard time feeling like they deserve things, you definitely deserve gifts and kindness and nice things.

  7. Christina, as a fellow Taurus, I both see you and feel seen. And also I have that nightgown and it is SO COZY.

  8. „Sometimes I feel like the only way I can find myself is in other people’s stories.“ Came for the gifts, stayed for the truth.

  9. These are all fantastic. I feel like the answer to what to get the sister I’m gift-assigned to this year is definitely in here somewhere. Also I think I should adopt “As a scorpio my chief concern is being sexy and intimidating” as my mantra for the upcoming year

  10. Never cooked with a copper pot but used to solder copper…so Laneia I strongly suspect that copper tea pot will get boiling HOT fast which is great when you need the caffeinated leaf juice or hot cocoa ASAP.

    I think the only thing that would make me less tired is suddenly inheriting a multi-billion dollar fortune and using it to buy back Congress and the Senate. Then use the rest to fund queer creators, food pantries, homeless shelters, lastly campaigning for community gardens and bike roads to become a thing nationally.

    Ooh y’all dutch ovens are an investment there’s so much you can do with them and save money bring lunch from home via batches of yum made in a dutch oven.
    If you have the funds and it’s a good quality pot get it.

  11. These are all so good!!!

    Drew, I humbly request information on your curl routine; your curls are phenomenal.

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