Neiman Marcus has released it's annual Christmas Book Gift Guide and as usual, it did not disappoint in the category of outrageous, completely indulgent, over-the-top gifts. And while NM may make a donation to the 'The Heart of Neiman Marcus Foundation' for each purchase, we don't think that really compensates for a $400,000 price tag. And even if we had all the money in the world, there are some items we just can't get behind:
1. Couture Diary, $10,000
"With this one-of-a-kind Couture Diary, artist Abigail Vogel will hand-paint 20 of the recipient's treasured ensembles. Each work of art includes 40 custom-made, hand-bordered diary sheets for the recipient to record the story behind the style (including designer, date, occasion and more). Renowned craftsman Paul Vogel will bind the book in your choice of red or black Scandinavian calfskin and personalize it in hand-tooled 24-karat gold."
A $10,000 diary with 20 hand-painted pages of your favorite outfits? Have these people ever heard of Instagram? It's literally the exact same thing, except you get an actual photograph of yourself wearing the item and - wait for it - there's even endless space to record the designer and occasion. The only difference is your Instagram account won't cost you the cool $10,000 this ridiculous book costs.
2. Neiman Marcus Limited-Edition Mustang Convertible, $95,000
"The 2015 Neiman Marcus Limited-Edition Mustang Convertible commemorates Mustang's 50th Anniversary with 700+ Supercharged Horsepower. This powerful pony hits 60mph in 3.5 seconds. Gift includes an exclusive two-day Ford Racing School Course."
So I understand that Mustang enthusiasts everywhere likely think of this as a collector's item and the price tag becomes a mere investment - and the racing school is probably a really cool perk. However, for the rest of us, spending $95,000 on a car means I am getting a Range Rover, not a two-tone Neiman Marcus-label Mustang convertible. Sorry not sorry.
3. The Orphan Barrel Project, $125,000
"The Orphan Barrel project was started to share long-forgotten barrels of rare whiskey discovered in old rickhouses and distilleries. You will visit the legendary Stitzel-Weller Distillery in Louisville to go barrel hunting, tasting recently discovered bourbons and creating two completely unique Orphan Barrel variants to be hand-bottled with labels designed exclusively for you. You'll receive 24 bottles each of the remaining stocks of eight different Orphan Barrel bourbons along with a bespoke whiskey cabinet crafted in Kentucky to house the collection, barware, and a leather-bound book about your whiskey."
Again, I preface this with the fact that I fully understand whiskey connoisseurs will go crazy for a gift like this. And again, I have to point out the $125,000 price tag, for what seems like extremely fancy liquor, is outrageous. You can go to the store (or a distillery if that's your thing) and buy the most expensive whiskey they carry, 26 bottles of it, and I guarantee it doesn't come close to $125k. If you're anything like me, you will just go to your favorite local bar and take a couple shots or drink a cocktail or two and walk out with $124,975.00 left to spend elsewhere. So $125,000 to get drunk on fancy alcohol or $25 to get the same drunk on the less-fancy stuff? I'll let you draw your own conclusion on this one.
4. His & Hers Ultimate Children’s Costumes in MacKenzie-Childs Trunks, $5,000 each
"Each MacKenzie-Childs trunk features the child's hand-painted initials and holds a selection of Chasing Fireflies Ultimate Collection costumes sure to delight and inspire (and occupy) children for hours. The boy's version includes 5 Marvel Super Heroes costumes and the girls' version includes 4 Disney princess favorites."
While this trunk and dress-up set would likely excite any child, $5,000 is pretty steep for a children's gift that isn't encrusted in diamonds and has no bells and whistles. I had a perfectly fine dress-up set growing up and I am not traumatized nor was I deprived of something because mine didn't cost $5k. And I am pretty sure mine had Disney princess costumes inside also. The point? No child requires a $5,000 dress-up set. Go to Target, get the kids some super heroes or princess costumes and fill any ordinary toy-chest with them and voila! The exact same gift to open for about $4,750 less - and I bet your kid is just as happy having you spend that extra money on more toys and costumes.
5. Dream Trip to India, $400,000
"For 12 days, you and a guest will travel in private planes and vintage cars to the finest hotels, restaurants, and experiences - including dinners hosted by royalty, private cricket lessons, and a dance lesson on a private Bollywood movie set. From legendary Delhi and the Taj Mahal, to artistic Jaipur, romantic Udaipur, and finally Mumbai, you'll explore this fascinating country in luxurious style."
Ok, ok, so we all want a dream trip like this, I get it and I do too. However, we are not all prepared to spend $400,000 on it. An amount that could buy a house, blown in 12 days? No thanks, I'll happily spend a reasonable amount on a lavish vacation and then come home with $380,000 still to spend... you could then buy everything else on this list and still have plenty of money leftover for some non-ridiculous purchases. Basically, $400k can be spent 400 better ways than on a 12-day ultra over-the-top excursion.