Neiman Marcus Fantasy Gifts 2015: Santa’s Got A Brand New Douchebag

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

Cost: $150,000.00

Arch Motorcyle and Ride Experience with Keanu Reeves and Gard Hollinger

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.

Couture Diary

Cost: $10,000.00

Couture Diary

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

Cost: $125,000.00

The Orphan Barrel Project

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

Cost: $400,000.00

Agra

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

Cost: $90,000.00

World View Profile

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

Cost: $150,000.00

Italy Tour with Ippolita & Artemest Craftsmen

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

Cost: $80,000.00

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

Cost: $95,000.00

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!!

Three Guitars

Cost: $30,000 each

Texas Trio Guitars

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

Cost: $5,000

Mackenzie-Childs Trunk - Ultimate Children's Costumes

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.

 

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Subscription Boxes That Should Probably Exist

Subscription boxes are the way to go if you’re a lazy or indecisive gift-giver. Instead of picking one gift – that the person may or may not like – you pick a theme or service they’ll be into, and let someone else handle the specifics. If they don’t like what comes in their box one month, it’s not on you – and they get something else next month, anyway. But it’s not as easy a gift as you might think, because there are about 49,000 different subscription box companies right now. Still, I thought of a few that – to my knowledge – don’t exist yet. But they should.

Nostalgly

Every month, recipients get a box full of items sure to spark nostalgia. Here’s how it works: you give the company your gender and date of birth. That’s it. Let’s say you’re a lady born in 1986, because hey, that seems like a good year to be born in. One month you’d get a 1995 box. It would have pogs, a copy of Disney Adventures magazine, maybe a Deep Blue Something single. One month would be the Year 2000 box, and your 1986-er would get Y2K glasses, a set of butterfly clips, perhaps a stretchy tattoo choker. But someone who was born in 1995 (and is thus old enough to order things with a credit card, sorry ’86 babies) would get an entirely different box for the year 2000, because they were 5 then: a miniature Bratz doll and a Junie B. Jones book, for instance.

Nobody steal this one, because if I had the start-up capital I would totally do this.

Googlify

This one takes a bit of trust with your most personal of personal information – your Google history. You’d give the company access to your Google search history for the month (already accessing your Google search history: every company on the internet, probably, so what’s there to lose?). They will stock your box with personally-selected treasures relating to the stuff you’re obviously obsessed with, even if you’ve been keeping it between you and Google. Did you fall down a Google hole looking at unsolved cold cases? Voila – a bunch of true crime books!  Or maybe you’ve been sucked into the crafty mommy blogger vortex. You’d receive a twee apron and some craft supplies.

Blogsie

After either listing your favorite blogs (aww, you shouldn’t have!) or filling out a profile of what sort of things you’re into, every month you get a bound, printed collection of the best posts so that you can read them on paper like a civilized human from yesteryear. Face it, blog content is better than magazines half the time anyway. So, sort of like Rookie Yearbook, but from a bunch of different sites and not imbued with the magic of Tavi. I understand that all of this content is free online, but the whole crux of subscription boxes is curating and delivering items to subscribers and marking up the price. Oh, and giving it a stupid, cutesy name with a suffix like -ly or -ity or -sy.

Pupsididoo

What’s better than owning a dog? Borrowing a puppy! They’d obviously have to do some sort of a background check on you. Then every month, you get a new puppy fitting your household needs! This would be a tie-in with a pet fostering organization, and it’s win-win: they get people to foster their pups, you get to play with a tiny dog for a month, no strings attached. Of course, if you and the puppy become best friends forever, there’s an option to make the dog part of your forever family at the end of the month.

Shame-ity

Do you have trouble looking your cashier in the eye when you’re buying anything a little … you know, personal? Well we live in the internet age, and you don’t have to! It works like this. If you have any chronic embarrassing shopping needs, you can say that in your profile. Maybe you need to buy stool softener or pregnancy tests every month. It’s none of my business. You can have them shipped right to you! If you don’t have anything particular in mind, you can have an assortment of potentially embarrassing purchases shipped to you every month so that you never have to run out to the store at the last minute for lice shampoo or industrial-strength deodorant.

Pinteristapinterest

Hooked on Pinterest? Give this company access to your boards, and every month you’ll get the materials to make a few of the projects that you – let’s be honest – otherwise would have pinned then left to languish. You can even request items relating to specific boards if you need someone to light a fire under your butt to create a Pinterest-perfect wedding or nursery.