When you were young, you may have paged through toy catalogs, compiling the perfect wish list for Santa. Even though you’re older, there’s no reason to stop dreaming.
To get those fantasies churning, click ahead and take a peek at this year’s Neiman Marcus Christmas Book.
The catalog was first published in 1926 as a 16-page booklet intended for its best customers. Each year since, it has helped set the bar for luxury holiday gifts.
This year’s edition reflects more somber times and includes less pricey items. Keeping in mind that even the well-heeled may be shunning unnecessary items, the gifts selected focus most heavily providing their recipients with enjoyable experiences.
By Christina Cheddar BerkPosted 9 Oct 2009
Want a gift with a little whimsy? Perhaps the customized Cupcake Car is for you. Launched at Burning Man as a cooperative art car project, these Cupcake Cars were whipped up by Bay Area artist Lisa Pongrace. Powered by a 24-volt electric motor and heavy-duty battery, this car can be decorated with your favorite cupcake toppings. So sprinkles or candy mints?
This chandelier can help take the guilt out of consumption. Designed by British artist Michelle Brand, it embodies the artist’s commitment to reduce, reuse, and recycle. Brand used 366 plastic soda bottle bottoms, which were washed, dried, hand trimmed and sanded, to create a cascade of light that extends five feet long and two feet wide.
Have a bookworm on your list? Imagine giving them the chance to have dinner at the famed literary spot, the Algonquin Hotel in New York City, with the writers such as Christopher Buckley and Delia and Nora Ephron at their side. Not only will there be the promise of engaging conversation, but the proceeds of the gift will be donated to First Book, a charity that donates new books to children in need.
Tired of the convertible or the speedboat? Perhaps, it’s time to get a new type of his and hers vehicle: the ICON A5 Sports Aircraft with pilot training for two. Designed to fly under 10,000 feet, this aircraft takes advantage of a new sport pilot license that is faster and easier to obtain. To up the “wow” factor, the plane can take off and land on water and runs on either automotive gasoline or aviation fuel.
Do you have the need for speed? Neiman Marcus is offering 10 of these limited edition Mission One electric sports motorcycles, designed by Yves Behar and capable of being revved up to 150 miles per hour. This gift provides not only the promise of open highways, but a chance to fly to San Francisco to meet the people who designed it, and one-on-one training with a pro on a test track.
Imagine inviting your friends to dinner and uncorking a fine wine you blended yourself. This is a rare chance to immerse yourself in winemaking. Learn organic winemaking and blend your own personal vintage with Hall winemaker Steve Leveque. You will also tour Kathryn and Craig Hall’s contemporary art collection with Kathryn as your guide, and in the evening, dine at the winery’s Rutherford Estate cave. If the price tag is too rich, the retailer is selling a selection of handcrafted Cabernet Sauvignons from the Halls’ personal collection, and not available to the general public, for $3,200.
The Jaguar XJL is attempting to raise the bar for engineering and world-class luxury. It features a 5-liter V-8 engine with an Eaton supercharger that delivers 470 horsepower, and a strong, but light aluminum and magnesium frame to provide fuel efficiency and power. Only 50 will ever exist. This car comes a five-piece set of matching Jaguar luggage, and bragging rights: standard.
If you’re a whiskey aficionado, you might be impressed by a gift of two golden bottles of Maker’s Mark, etched with your likeness and dipped in gold wax with 24-carat gold flecks. But this gift does better than that. It provides a chance for you and a guest to be a Master Distiller for the day. You’ll be guided through the whiskey-making process, step-by-step by an actual master distiller, Kevin Smith. Hand dip six bottles of Maker’s Mark in signature red wax to take home. Then end the day with a dinner hosted by Bill Samuels Jr., who continues his family’s bourbon-making tradition into its seventh generation.
Borrowing from science fiction and fact, Maine artist Mike Libby collects insect specimens from around the world. After carefully posing the insect, he inserts mechanical gears and creates a unique, highly detailed sculpture. Neiman Marcus is offering up a limited-edition series of nine. Each arrives under glass on a walnut display base, adorned with a brass plaque. Underneath, it is labeled, numbered and signed by Libby.