Haven’t finished your holiday shopping yet? Have an unreasonably large budget, no time to arrange a gift yourself, and a total d-bag on your shopping list? Yeah, me either, thank goodness. But for the second year in a row, we DO at least have the Neiman Marcus Fantasy Gifts to remind us that we’re better off than the people who do have those things — plus some low-budget alternatives for the rest of us.
A Motorcycle Day With Keanu Reeves and Keanu Reeves’ Friend Gard
First, go to breakfast with Keanu Reeves and Keanu Reeves’ friend Gard – which I’d be into, I mean I’d hit up a good brunch with John Wilkes Booth and Justin Bieber if promised bottomless mimosas. Then go on a motorcycle ride, then go to a cafe. Then take a friend to dinner and ditch Keanu. Or don’t: the man has been through a lot and I hear he’s one of the nicest celebrities. The next day, ride through a forest with Keanu like you’ve just watched the Matrix trilogy before bed and now you’re living in a weird dream. By the way, the 150K price tag does include the motorcycle.
Alternative: A set of Matrix DVDs (like $20 if Target’s running a sale); a moped rental; brunch with your most chill friend.
I’m assuming if you’re buying this, you have the kind of friends who own a lot of couture, so good on you. All right, so the book part of this gift just seems unnecessarily complex:
- Scandinavian calfskin cover is vegetable tanned in Scotland exclusively for bookbinding
- All tooling is executed by hand in 24-karat gold at the Vogel Bindery in East Hampton, New York
- Diary sheets are engraved on premium stock paper with hand-colored borders from The Printery in Oyster Bay, New York
Anyway, then someone draws 20 of your outfits on the Scandinavian cow, Scottish vegetable, Gatsby gold, Oyster paper that lives in the house that Jack built.
Alternative: Paper dolls, maybe? But couture ones.
Some Really Old Questionable Whiskey
The Orphan Barrel Project, which sounds like a cool Orphan Black offshoot but isn’t, collects barrels of old whiskey from abandoned places then sells them to rich people. On this trip to Lexington, Kentucky, you hunt through an old distillery for booze like a troubled teen breaking and entering for the first time. Then you get a whiskey cabinet, some glassware, and a bunch of old liquor that I hope a health department has vetted.
Alternative: Go to your liquor cabinet, or better yet, your parents’. What’s the oldest bottle there, the one that you can’t quite remember buying? Okay, give that to a friend.
A 12-Day Journey Through The Nicest Parts Of India
No shade, this sounds amazing and includes a surprising number of rides in private rickshaws, not like those gross crowded public rickshaws the poors take on their vacations to India. I’m most intrigued by kite-flying at a palace, which seems like the Neiman Marcus folks are just throwing together random wonderful things.
Alternative: A cassette tape of that one Alanis song about “thank you India” or whatever.
Going Almost To Space
In high school, my brother and I had a coworker who went to Space Camp. My brother knew that she didn’t actually go to space, but wondered aloud whether she “maybe went up in a really high plane or something.” This is basically that: floating at 100,000 feet above Earth for a few hours. If any of you are very rich, I’d like this, please.
Alternative: A telescope; a reminder that we are but specks in a vast, unknowable, and ever-expanding universe; a Carl Sagan book.
An Art Tour Of Italy With A Jewelry Maker
This trip includes more arts and crafts projects than you’d think, including playing with clay and “secret paper techniques” (which I imagine ends in you creating the world’s classiest cootie catcher). You have to go to the same glass-blowing “fornace” two days in a row, though.
Alternative: A gift card to JoAnn fabrics. Come at me if you want, I love me some JoAnn fabrics and the folksy suburban ladies I always talk to at the fabric counter.
A Trunk Full Of Iris Apfel’s Stuff
Price includes a fancy trunk filled with jewelry and accessories, as well as lunch and a styling session with Iris herself.
Alternative: A copy of Iris, the Iris Apfel documentary that’s on Netflix. It’s life-affirming AF.
A Neiman Marcus Mustang
I’ve become jaded by this point, because my reaction to that price tag was “wow, only $95K?” I’d make the most darling rich person. You also get to go to racing school! Manual transmission only, soz.
Alternative: A day at the go-kart track! Everyone loves go-karts, right? Whee!!
Cost: $30,000 each
Steve Miller, Lyell Lovett, and Billy Gibbons all designed guitars. For a cool 30K you get one of them – not all three -as well as a backstage visit with the musician who designed it.
Alternative: Legit, you can find a guitar for like $30 on Craigslist, and something tells me it’s not too difficult to get backstage for any of these fellows if you really wanted to.
A Casket Full Of Gender Norms
No, okay, what it really is is a custom-painted trunk for a “girl” (pink trunk, four different princess dresses) or a “boy” (primary-colored trunk, superhero costumes). It’s like those McDonald’s Barbie and Hot Wheels toys for the very rich (Stuff 90s Kids Remember: being asked if you want a “boy toy” or a “girl toy” instead of a doll or a car). If you know a girl who is into princesses, or a boy who likes Iron Man, and you have 5K to burn, this seems okay … but I still think this is some kind of bullshit.
Alternative: Dress-up clothes – one of my favorite gifts for the kids in my family! But you don’t have to be so rigid about it.