No matter what you do or where you turn, there is no way to escape it: Gift-buying season will very soon be upon us and Neiman Marcus hopes you’ve saved some bucks and are ready to spend.
Actually, forget that. If you need to save some bucks, you likely don’t have enough to afford what’s in the brand-spanking-new annual Neiman Marcus Christmas Book.
If you aren’t lucky enough to get the catalog at home or live close enough to one of the company’s 41 stores, you can enjoy all of its splendors on the 104-year-old company’s website, Facebook page, or iPad app. (There are also video teasers on the luxury retailer's YouTube channel.)
As ever, this year’s catalog — the 85th edition — features a number of over the top “fantasy” gifts.
For a mere $1 million, consumers can purchase His and Hers Dancing Fountains, by hydro designer WET, which created the fountains at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas as well as the world’s largest fountain in, you guessed it, Dubai.
“WET will create a personal-scale fountain showcasing two of its amazing underwater robotic nozzles dancing as a couple, just for you,” the catalog copy crows. “You will delight in the joyful movements made by the elegant duo as they whirl, twirl, sweep, and bow—sometimes in unison, sometimes as counterpoints, but always with engaging grace.”
If you’ve only got $45,000 available to show your love this season, you’re still in luck. Neiman Marcus’ Fantasy gift at that price is a table-tennis table designed by “noted artist Tom Burr.” The table, by the way, isn’t just a place to play table tennis; it “also doubles as a contemporary work of art,” the catalog reports. But hurry! It’s a “limited-edition table, perfectly sculpted from a distinctive choice in material—black rubber—(which) turns ordinary sporting equipment into the sublime.”
And if all your stocks slump just before you need to buy a gift and you can’t seem to find any of your Krugerrands or old minks around the house, one fantasy gift will cost just $5,000: the Johnnie Walker Private Scotch tasting during which an “authentic” Scottish bagpiper will do his thing for you and 20 guests and “a Master of Whisky relays the history and palatable attributes of the five premium marques in the Johnnie Walker portfolio.” Be careful, though, because when you’re spending that kind of dough, you want to remember the event.
One cool thing to remember before purchasing a “fantasy” gift from Neiman Marcus is the gift that keeps on giving.
Eight of the fantasy gifts offered in the Christmas Book this year feature a unique charitable component. The 2011 featured charities include Water.org, the Double H Ranch, Stone Barns Center, First Book, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, amfAR and Big Brothers Big Sisters.
Now that’s a cool gift.