By Allen Clark
This cuff has had nothing written on — or off — it for months. But the arrival of this year’s one-and-a-half-pound “Christmas Book” from Neiman Marcus was cause for action.
For decades the NM catalogue has featured over-the-top, mortgage-needing holiday gifts. This year is no different. That is, if you cotton to putting a card under your tree announcing “New Year’s Eve Above Times Square.” Your spouse or significant other will receive “a private party for 300 at the Knickerbocker Hotel” for a mere $1.6 million. (One would hope it was “private” at that price.) Room and board (well, dinner) included.
A bit too steep, you say; well, how about “Yours & Mine” exclusive Rolls-Royces? Dawn Drophead Coupes: one Lago di Como blue, the other Saint-Tropez (color not mentioned, but it kind of looks like a blend of orange and gold). Both “feature lustrous silver bonnets and sleek fabric tops, which disappear silently, in mere seconds.” As will your checking account, at $885,375. That’s for two, of course, but as the catalogue asks: How do you decide who gets which one?
What I found worthy of Cuff-note were all the other unusual gifts available. Like the nine, one-of-a-kind refrigerators from Italian manufacturer Smeg, each hand-painted by artist Michelangelo Lacagnina, each one a steal at $50,000. (I couldn’t tell if icemakers were included.)
Want something for your hubby or little Johnny to make up for the Yankees loss this fall? The black matte watersnake-covered wood baseball bat (and ball) from Elisabeth Weinstock (not sure where she played) can be yours for $1,425.
If you see the ball and bat as art, then you also might want one or more of Jonathan Adler’s solid acrylic pills in a range of poppy colors with laser-etched dosage. The ones featured are 2 2½” x 6½” and $98 a pop.
Let’s not forget the new mother and baby in the family. At NM you can get a Burberry diaper bag with, you guessed it, the maker’s “signature check” inside. The bag is made of acrylic and “polyamide,” which I had to look up and found out basically means plastic. “Polyamide” sounds a whole lot better than “plastic” when you learn this diaper bag costs $995.
Luckily, NM has some holiday choices for “Under $250,” so you can economize easily. A good example, if you don’t want to spring for the VIP Guest Week at the 2018 Ryder Cup in Paris (along with three other invitees) for $250,000, you can get the Him on your list a new watch strap, like the alligator Apple Watch strap in orange, pink, or navy for just $220. Or, speaking of “spring,” wouldn’t he like the 14-karat gold-plated Slinky for $150?
For the Her on your list, here’s something that’s practically free: KNC collagen-infused lip masks, five to a pack, just $25. I needed a little more information, and KNC’s website informed me these were “All natural, all day…made with flower oil, cherry extract, and vitamin E…” and would “hydrate and plump lips in just 15 to 20 minutes.” The end benefit, according to a review in ELLE Magazine: “juicier, for lack of a better word, lips…kind of a playful way to better your pout.”
Last, but far from least, is the perfect gift for the man who has trouble finding two matching socks in his overstuffed dresser drawer. It’s the indispensable Marcoliani Sock Advent Calendar box. Every day in December up to the 25th, your man will be surprised by one fashionable style after another and the fact that each little, numbered drawer delivers two socks that match, all for a cost-effective $495. (It also may help you remember to open the little windows on your regular Advent calendar each day on schedule.)
There’s so much more, but space limits me. Let me close by suggesting, even if you ignore these gift ideas, that you keep the catalogue handy. It comes with six different perfume-scented ad pages, so why not open one a week and scent your living room, bedroom, or parlor. Or maybe just rub the page over your wrists, neck, and forehead before heading out to your holiday bash. No one will be the wiser.