This post is a sponsored collaboration between American Express and Gothamist staff.

We asked a real go-getter in each of our cities to tell us who's on their list and what they're getting—with all picks coming from the Membership Rewards® catalog from American Express.

And who's our SFist choice? Allison Moon: sex expert, author, Bay Area badass. Allison is the author of the memoir Bad Dyke, the forthcoming sex-ed book Girl Sex 101, and the new series Tales of the Pack. Find her at the SF LGBT Center, at, or on Twitter at @TheAllisonMoon.

Does your family have any strange/unusual/funny traditions during the holidays, or did you growing up? Each year my sister and I each got to choose a new ornament for tree. That may sound sweet, but I had pretty gaudy taste as a kid, so I’d always go for the ornaments that plugged in, made noise, and flashed lights. After a few years the tree would look like a particularly seedy Vegas nightclub.

Is there a movie that rings in the holidays more for you than any other? Growing up in Cleveland, it's just not Christmas without A Christmas Story. I’ve probably seen it 30 times by now, but spying Higbee’s and Terminal Tower still makes me feel nostalgic for home.

What's one thing in the holiday dinner spread that's 100% non-negotiable? Grandma’s mashed potatoes. I used to think they were yellow because she used yellow potatoes. Nope. That’s all butter.

Finish this sentence: "It isn't the holidays in SF until..." " gets cold enough for sweaters!"

And now, Allison's picks!


1. Mom, Charlotte, NC. "My mom spends a lot of time on the road. I'd love to get her such a stylish and sleek way to tote her laptop."

2. Dad, Charlotte, NC. "My parents love taking their boat across Lake to visit friends. This beverage caddy would be perfect for keeping beverages safe and cool on the journey."

3. Sandra, Friend, Los Angeles. "When you have a hugely popular podcast (Sex Nerd Sandra), you tend to go through headphones quickly. I'm sure Sandra could use a pair of comfy new headphones for when she records and edits."

4. Ken, Brother-in-Law, Diamond Heights. "What goes better with a great meal than an expert cocktail? I guess it's what my sister sees in her husband. Ken loves geeking out with mixology, and this build your own bitters set would definitely keep him entertained (and keep us with a good buzz!)."

5. Reid Mihalko, Partner, Oakland. "My partner is a biohacking geek. The FitBit will help him track his sleep and his daily activity. Plus it'll wake him up with a silent alarm so I can sleep in!"

6. Adrienne, Sister, Diamond Heights. "I don't know any chef worth her salt that doesn't have a KitchenAid stand mixer. My sister is an ardent foodie and I know she'd put this through its paces."

So who's on your list this year? Earn points that go toward the things they really want. Become an American Express Card Member and and use already-earned #PointsForPresents. Sign up now and start earning!

Allison Moon.