Is It Really The Thought That Counts?

It’s the thought that counts. That’s what we tell people when they’ve given us something we don’t like, or when we can’t afford to buy our kids the latest PlayStation console. Some people genuinely believe that being as prominent in someone’s thoughts as to merit a token of appreciation is rewarding enough. But some people couldn’t give a toss about sentiment; they’re only interested in the bling.

These people don’t belong only to the realm of the rich and famous. Plenty of regular folk break the bank and apply for quick loans to ensure that their loved ones aren’t left wailing under the Christmas tree.

Mind you, expensive is relative. Some people have to beg, borrow and steal so they can afford a sterling silver necklace or Barbie Princess. Others just have fork out the change in their pocket to pay for a trip into space.

Christmas Presents

Here are some expensive gifts that will blow your mind:

Niemen Marcus has caused quite a stir with its “fantasy” Christmas catalogue that contains some impossibly expensive gifts. At the top of the list is a set of his and hers “Poetic Wish” watches by Van Cleef & Arpels. The set costs an astounding $1.09 million but you get so much more than two mere timepieces (or mini works of art, as they have been called); you’ll also get a trip for two to Paris and Geneva – business-class, thank you very much.

What’s more, the watches, literally, tell a tale of long-lost love and if, for whatever you reason, you want to turn over the watch to tell the time, there is a transparent crystal case and two display dials for your viewing pleasure. Oh, and there is a handmade box and something about 18 carat white gold and diamonds. To show that Christmas isn’t all about crass consumerism, Nieman Marcus will donate $10,000 per set sold to the Norman Mailer Center for aspiring writers.  So, perhaps you get your money’s worth, after all.

Second on the list, and a very distant second mind you, is the 2013 Nieman Marcus Edition McLaren 12c Spider, which is priced at a lowly $354,000. It has every single bell and whistle you can think of, as well as some you can’t. Only 12 have been made, so you’ll be among a very select group. As with the spiffing watches, the gift includes a trip – this time to England for dinner with McLaren maestro Ron Dennis.

Once again, Nieman Marcus gets into the Christmas spirit by donating $3000 per sale to Big Brothers, Big Sisters.

If your pockets aren’t nearly that deep, don’t despair; you can just nip down to your local gadget store and get a USB for $2000. OK, so you won’t get it at your local store. You might have to travel to Poland, Russia or Hungary to get it, or find a distributor willing to take on the risk of international shipping, but the Apophis USB is out of this world.

No really, it’s out of this world. It’s made from bits of Apophis meteorite (read diamond from outer space) that is 4.5 billion years old. It is encased in 200-year-old African Black Wood and comes in either silver or gold (18 carat gold). The silver 64GB USB will set you back $1130; it’s the gold that costs $1990. If that doesn’t sway you, perhaps a lifetime guarantee will.

Speaking of Christmas trees

We were speaking of Christmas trees … right at very beginning.

Who says Christmas trees have to real or made from fiber optic thingies or that weird plastic stuff in fake trees? Not the Japanese. Christmas is not a traditional Japanese holiday, but that doesn’t mean they don’t get into the spirit of things. In a manner of speaking. Take a trip to the Ginza Tanaka jewellery store and you’ll find a pure gold revolving tree that is covered in some of Disney’s favourite characters.

It’s not traditional by any stretch of the imagination but it does scream, “Keep up with that you stupid Joneses!” You can even keep the receipt to prove it. The 2.4m version costs $4.2 million, but the 25cm version costs a far more reasonable $243,000.

Christmas is a time for giving; sometimes you give a little and sometimes you give a lot. Sometimes when you think you give a little you actually give a lot; and when you think you give a lot you actually give a little. The question is: what’s important to you and your loved ones?

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