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Certain images will forever be associated with Christmas. There's the roaring fireplace, the tree garlanded with lights and the children anticipating Santa Claus' arrival in a state approaching hysteria.
Another image associated with the holiday is that of stockings hung from the mantelpiece, with each family member's name written on them. And while it's true that some people are most eager to see what's in the absolute largest box under the tree, the stocking stuffer has its own unique charm. It may not be a flat-screen TV or a full drum kit, but its understated size can convey an intimacy that more spectacular items can't.
People who choose to give stocking stuffers are not limited to inexpensive trinkets by any means. Many presents that can fit comfortably in the average stocking convey indulgence and extravagance.
CNBC.com presents a list of 10 luxury gifts whose small sizes are offset by their large price tags.
By Daniel Bukszpan
Posted 12 Dec. 2012
Clive Christian is a British kitchen designer who also creates high-end fragrances. The Clive Christian No. 1 fragrance is in fact so high-end that both the designer's official website and Guinness World Records have designated it "the world's most expensive perfume."
Neiman Marcus offers it in a gift set that contains his and hers perfume sprays for $1,040. The women's fragrance has scents of jasmine and sandalwood, while the men's version has notes of Sicilian mandarin and heliotrope.
Alfred Dunhill Ltd. is a British company that specializes in luxury apparel for men. It has shops in London as well as in Asia, and its suits were featured in the new James Bond movie, "Skyfall."
Along with clothing, Alfred Dunhill also makes accessories, including wallets. One of the big-ticket choices is a coat wallet made of black ostrich leather that sells for $1,150.
Over 100 years ago, the Swiss Army began issuing the iconic Swiss Army Knife to its soldiers. The multi-purpose tool manufactured by Wenger quickly became popular across the globe, with the enlisted and civilian alike. The knives in their standard iterations range from $25 to $75.
Wenger also offers the fittingly named "Giant" knife, which has 87 implements, 141 functions and costs $2,150. It may test the weight-bearing capacity of Dad's stocking, but for the man who needs a cigar cutter, telescopic pointer, hook disgorger and laser pointer, there is no substitute.
Goldstriker International is a U.K. company that gives gadgets a luxury makeover. It collaborated with designer Stuart Hughes to make the iPhone 4 Supreme Diamond Rose, a gold phone that sold for $8 million. Only two were made, so the chance of finding one in your stocking is remote.
A more realistic option is the iPhone 4s 24ct Gold Ambassador Edition from Goldstriker, which was manufactured in a limited run of 100. Fully embellished in gold and with an outer frame inlaid with crystals, it sells for 2,995, or $4,825.
Michael C. Fina, the jewelry store on Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, offers many traditional pieces and some unusual designs, including cufflinks carrying the "Superman" insignia or crafted into the shape of a Darth Vader helmet.
The most high-end of these pieces is the $16,125 Gold Crowned Diamond Eye Skull set of cufflinks, which the website declares "fit for any creepy king." The cufflinks are a perfect gift for the high net worth individual who still listens to Iron Maiden.
When a family welcomes a baby into the fold, his or her first Christmas is a special occasion like no other. So why not make it even more extraordinary by putting the $17,000 Diamond Pacifier by Personalized Pacifiers into baby's first stocking?
It has more than 278 pave cut white diamonds, along with a silicone nipple. There is the small matter of Personalized Pacifiers recommending that it not actually be used, but otherwise the company says that it "will become a new classic to that of bronzing baby shoes!"
Pat Says Now is a Swiss company that "brings color into office life with a head-turning collection of unique computer mice and colorful laptop sleeves." The majority of the company's computer mice run about $33, with a few higher-end alternatives for double or triple that price.
Those wishing to truly splurge can buy the Diamond Flower RF Mouse for $24,249. Described by the company as "the world's most expensive computer mouse," it's cast from 18-karat white gold and set with 59 brilliant-cut diamonds.
The Swiss luxury goods company Chopard has been manufacturing watches for over 150 years, many of which sell for tens of thousands of dollars. Those looking to go above and beyond might consider the Imperiale chronograph 40mm watch in 18-karat white gold, which sells for $53,300.
"Encircled by a diamond-set bezel and capped by sapphire-set lugs reminiscent of antique columns, the silver-toned dial with mother-of-pearl centre displays imperial Roman numerals, finely curved hands and an elegant chronograph," the company's website says. The watch is self-winding and has a power reserve of up to 45 hours.
Frank Sveid is a Brussels-based designer who specializes in unique items for the home. His creations are sold in very limited quantities due to the extensive workmanship involved, and in some cases his creations are made to order, such as his corkscrew.
According to Sveid's website, the corkscrew's fingertip lever is made of 18 karat gold, and it's presented in a wooden box with the recipient's name engraved on it. Prices start at $65,200.
Some dog owners have such affection for a pet that it gets its own Christmas stocking hung alongside those of human family members. Normally, the dog's stocking would contain something like a chew toy, but for the dog enthusiast with the money to spend and the inclination to spend it, something more is necessary.
I Love Dogs Diamonds sells that "something more" --- the 52 carat Amour, Amour dog collar. This stocking stuffer is festooned with no less than 1,600 diamonds, and it costs $3.2 million to put it around Fido's neck.