FRIDAY OPEN THREAD: Best (Gift) You Ever Had

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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 little too real.) But still. JK! This is our weekly space to share our stories, commiserate with one another, and post photos of our partners, pets, and projects. But you can totally tell me all about your witchcraft in here, too. Just so we’re clear.

The holigay season is in full swing, and chances are that means you’ve already spent a fair amount of time reflecting on what to buy someone else and what you wish people would buy for you. I mean, I know that I spent approximately a hundred hours in the last month doing this sort of reflection, so I assume I’m not alone and I’d really like for you to prove me right in that.


I still remember, vividly, so many of my favorite gifts. When I was really little, I forgot to send Santa my wish list, and my mom told me instead to leave it out on Christmas Eve; when I woke up, everything I’d asked for was under the tree. When I was 16, I got an iMac that I still refuse to let go of; when I was in college, I finally unwrapped a DSLR. And last year, Geneva’s Christmas gift for me was essentially everything I’d ever wanted in my entire life, down to the car, packaged neatly and adorably. Getting the right gift feels super magical, and it’s that thing that makes gift-giving and receiving so much fun to begin with. Every gift could be the best gift ever, and even if it isn’t, it’s still pretty damn good.

So, tell me: what’s the best gift you ever got for the holigays? (I am especially interested in anyone who has ever unwrapped a box with a puppy inside, and also pictures of this.) If you’re not as into optimism or need someone to share your pain, feel free to also remind us of the worst and most awkward gifts you’ve ever gotten, too. And if you have good, bad, funny, or really any stories at all about giving gifts, PUT THEM RIGHT HERE. If you’re really not about this entire conversation or the holiday season, though, stick around! Come on down and tell us about your life, your plans for the weekend, and whether my job as someone who is moving out of an apartment is to eat all of my food now in an effort to get rid of it or to save as much as possible for when I finally return to a new place after Christmas break.

What I’m saying is, leave a f*cking comment. It might be the best damn thing I get this year, after all. As always, I’ll answer pet photos with more pet photos and love you a little bit more every time you respond to one another down there.

How To Post A Photo In The Comments:

1. Find a photo! This is the easy part. Find a photo on the web, right click (on a Mac, control+click), hit “Copy Image URL” and then…

2. Code it in to your comment! Use the following code, and use a DIRECT LINK to the image.If you need to upload the photo you love from your computer, try using imgur. Your image link should end in .JPG or .GIF or .PNG or .CallMeWhateverYouWant even. I don’t care, but it should be an image suffix!

<img src=”http://imagelink.jpg”>

To learn more about posting photos, check out Ali’s step-by-step guide.

How To Post A Video In The Comments:

1. Find a video on YouTube or Vimeo or WHATEVER and click “embed.” Copy that code, but first make sure it’s for 640 px wide or less. If your player is too large, it will not display properly.

2. Copy the code and paste it directly into your comment.

3. Go forth and jam.

Carmen is the Managing Digital Editor at Ms. , host of Bitch Media's POPAGANDA podcast and co-founder and Contributing Editor at Argot magazine. She previously served as Straddleverse Director, Feminism Editor and Social Media Co-Director at Autostraddle. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr or in the drive-thru line at the nearest In-N-Out.

Carmen has written 927 articles for us.


  1. I like giving presents, but I was really bad at it when I was a kid, though I blame this on my dad. These days, he gives me money or a book he’s had for 20 years, that has no particular significance, but he will wrap and be like “here…..I thought….you might like……religious woodcuts.” So now I have a book of them. Also, once he gave me his fany-ish keyboard and then asked for it back a couple of years later. He’s a weird guy. On that same end I once gave my two younger brothers Volume One and Volume Two of this double disc ‘Best of Reggae’ album…..which I had apparently previously bought from my younger brother for a dollar, which I forgot, whups.

    I don’t really know about any best presents, both my mom and my girlfriend need very specific instructions about what I want for Christmas, and I’m never disappointed, but I’m rarely surprised either. That’s okay!

  2. For feeling whatever it is inside me that makes me know I am female because of how I felt one day at Home Depot and sensing that Maryanna was simply……the girl that made me know I am a female…,…,I found my gender in the emotional connection I felt for this “average” lesbian woman, who for me is not average at all. She is the girl in high school I was supposed to fall in love with, and share sweet cuddly girl love with! She was supposed to have taught me that I am a girl, and be my gf in life. And I would be the girl who recognized she is an artist and been the one who gave the confidence and support to go for her true love of art.

    My love for Maryanna is mushy, romantic love….cuddly girl love…..

  3. When I was little I remember getting baby dolls for Christmas, which I adored. Some Ani cds when I was a teenage were also memorable and fun. Now my parents’ don’t really do presents. They do give my brother and me money for our Roth IRAs which is very much appreciated, but not too sentimental.

    I was asking my wife recently about her favorite present and she said getting her srs surgery. I’m not very good at sentimental gifts so I was hoping that helping to pay for her surgery would not only make her happy, but also cover me in the gift giving department for a while. ;)

    We asked the universe this year for a baby, but there may be a different plan in the cards. So we’ll see.

    My family is very kindly helping us fix our kitchen this year over the holiday.

    It’s fun to read about everyone’s holiday stories!

  4. so for halloween this year, one of my best friend’s grandmother sent me a card. she’d only met me once at that point, but she sent cards for me, him, his girl friend, and his roommate. it was the BEST FUCKING CARD and i totally still have it. it meant a lot to me because my family and i are on weird terms and getting the card made me feel like i was doing okay.

    (the card was supposed to be a surprise he was going to hold on to until halloween but his grandmother called and he had her on speaker and she ruined the surprise so he just gave up and flung them at us)

  5. My best christmas happened when I was probably about 7 years old, but I was really sick and was staying in the hospital at the time. Anyways, Santa came to the hospital in a helicopter and I got carried around in a red wagon and he gave me a Tickle Me Elmo.I got to look all confused and happy on the local news because people were trampling each other for Tickle Me Elmos at the store apparently.

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