Well, it’s that time of year again—when people dream of unlikely, if not impossible, gifts, and insomniacs lie awake at night trying to figure out the best possible gifts for loved ones—within their budgets, of course.
But for those who don’t have to worry about a budget—and we mean no budget—there’s a whole other class of gifts out there, and ThinkAdvisor had fun (well, envious fun in lots of cases; awe in others) trying to figure out just what Santa might bring to those who have so many chimneys he’ll get lost just trying to find the right one.
After consulting some experts—the Neiman Marcus catalog, for instance, as well as Harper’s Bazaar, Business Insider—we settled on some that are whimsical, some that will make you wonder why anyone would pay that kind of money for them, and some that are just too ridiculous to be believed. You get to decide which is which; we’ve already made our decisions.
Of course, there are some that just can’t be excluded, despite the fact that they didn’t meet all our criteria; one is the Lotus Blanc watch by Chopard, which is set with 25.66 carats of white diamonds and has petals that open and close over the watch face. But it must be priceless; at least we couldn’t find a price for it anywhere, but since it’s got more than 25 carats of diamonds, it’s probably a tad out of our price range, anyway.
And then there’s the New Year’s Eve party for 300 people on the rooftop of the Knickerbocker Hotel in Times Square. Costing a mere $1.6 million, the event provides two nights at 150 of the hotel’s rooms, along with all the fixings for a bang-up party—dinner, drinks, DJ. Not exactly at the top of our list, despite the cost—sorry, Neiman Marcus.
So without further ado, here are 10 ridiculous luxury gifts that nonetheless will never replace those nostalgic sugar plums we used to have dancing in our heads. The gifts are listed from least to most expensive.
10. The Welcomer.
What is The Welcomer, you may ask? The short answer is a fancy alternative to toilet paper, from Joseph’s Toiletries in Switzerland. Says the catalog: “Get acquainted with JOSEPH’S Toiletries for 6 weeks or surprise a friend setting a new precedent for contemporary personal hygiene and health.” The set includes: 1 JOSEPH’S Toiletries Original Box; 7 Tissue refills of 25 sheets each; 2 Gentle Cleansing; 2 Balancing Care.”
Don’t think it’s an extravagant enough gift? You might when you get the bill; it’s 150 Swiss francs, which translates to approximately $151.
9. MacKenzie-Childs Courtly Check Moose Head.
Relax, it’s not real. In fact, Neiman Marcus points out in its 2017 catalog, it’s a “[h]and-painted moose head form (hard foam) using acrylic paints” with a wreath made of preserved ferns and other materials and handcrafted moss-decorated antlers. Oh, and each moose head is made to order.
To have this, um, treasure in your very own home will only cost you $15,000. Oh, and another $695 for shipping. And remember, it’s made in the USA!
8. Saint Laurent Niki Swarovski crystal-embellished leather knee boots.
Net-a-Porter wants you to know that “[t]he ‘Niki’ knee boots grounded most of the looks on Saint Laurent's Fall ’17 runway, but it was this pair that completely stole the show—and dominated our Instagram feeds. Made from supple black leather that slouches into soft folds, they have been handcrafted in Italy and encrusted with 3,000 Swarovski crystals that cover even the signature cone heel.”
Yes, these boots are made for walkin’ but not really at bargain price, of course, at $6,922.
7. Vintage Chanel basket bag.
Well, vintage sounds better than secondhand, but in truth this Chanel item dates only from 2014. Still, says website Xupes, it’s silver calfskin with silver hardware and a silver interior, made in Italy, and is “in excellent pre-owned condition.”
And all this will only set you back $10,603. Imagine! And the basket isn’t even full!
6. A complete set of Winnie the Pooh books.
If you’re splurging for someone still stuck in their childhood, this is THE gift to get: a complete set of A.A. Milne and E.H. Shepard volumes of Winnie the Pooh, published in London by Methuen & Co. Ltd. from 1924–28. Shapero’s rare books offerings include this lovely venture back into early childhood (not that any child will ever be allowed to touch this set again, at $39,767) that will no doubt revive pleasant memories of Pooh and the Hundred Acre Wood.
Oh, and be sure to store them on a shelf well away from sunlight, lest the leather crack and the dust jackets fade.
5. Highclere Castle jewelry box.
For those who still have have a Downton Abbey fixation, this jewelry box could help. Constructed in maple, using burr maple, ripple maple and quilted maple details, promises David Lynley, “the Highclere Castle architectural box is made up of 10,944 individual pieces of marquetry that have been meticulously selected and pieced together by one of LINLEY’s highly skilled craftsmen. The decorative stonework round the roof is laser cut and etched in maple whilst the 72 square finials are turned on an ornamental lathe which ensures symmetry on each piece.”
In a limited edition of 5, this little trinket holder will set you back a mere $86,181.
4. Tectonic bar.
Also from David Lynley, the Tectonic Bar, with an ebonized walnut exterior with white gold leaf and nickel accents, “embodies superlative quality and innovative design whilst epitomizing the intricacy and precision of fine craftsmanship at its best.” In fact, “[t]he walnut skin of the Bar appears to split as if tectonic plates beneath the Earth have broken it apart to reveal the glowing metallic core within.”
With secret compartments galore and an 8–12 week delivery schedule, it may be a tad late to order this James Bond-ish bar for Christmas delivery, even if it does cost $172,352.
3. Champagne and personalized cuvée with Armand de Brignac.
Neiman Marcus to the rescue again, with a four-person experience for the budding vintner to the Armand de Brignac vineyards, according to Bur. Not only do you get to tend the grapes, but you can sample reserves and even create a personalized cuvée. If that’s not enough, there’s also a first-class trip to Paris, a helicopter flyover of the Champagne region, dinner at L'Assiette Champenoise, and a night in the Chateau Domaine Les Crayères.
And it will only cost you a paltry $150,000.
2. Stephen Webster experience and 7.2 carat emerald.
Another Neiman Marcus delight, this little jaunt to Zambia includes, says Business Insider, a visit to the single largest emerald-producing mine in the world, along with two days at The Royal Livingstone Hotel by Anantara. Then it’s off to London, where you can collaborate with Stephen Webster to create a personalized trinket of jewelry with a 7.2-carat emerald, and also dine with Webster and his wife.
The price? A mere $300,000.
1. His and hers Rolls Royces.
Neiman Marcus’s answer to car pooling, these two cars together may not hold as much as your SUV, but what price can you put on the feel of the wind in your hair? Did someone say price? A mere $439,625 for the blue ones, or $445,750 for the orange ones. Orange? No, wait, Halloween is over. We’ll take the blue.
Says Business Insider, “You'll get two handcrafted Rolls-Royces with V12-engines, hand-sewn leather interiors, and silver bonnets.”
Of course, we only have a one-car garage; so maybe next year.
--- Related on ThinkAdvisor: 12 Cool, Affordable Gifts for Financial Advisors