New one-of-a-kind holiday gifts for the person who has everything
While most Americans begin Christmas shopping on Friday, hunting for sales on racks and shelves at chain stores, the Dallas-based high-end retailer Neiman Marcus offers unique merchandise that celebrates extravagance.
The 84th edition of the Neiman Marcus Christmas Book features one-of-a-kind gifts and experiences from a custom-edition Chevrolet Camaro to a private event by party planner-to-the-stars Colin Cowie.
Now a tradition for certain customers, the catalog presents an annual collection of fantasies for those with money to spare. Here's a selection of the rare and unusual gifts in the 2010 NM Christmas Book:
An edible playhouse handcrafted of gourmet gingerbread and standing 6.6 feet high by 5.25 feet wide, decorated with thousands of signature cookies, lollipops, gum drops and sweets. ($15,000)
On the 50th anniversary of its "His & Hers Gifts," this year features a romantic getaway on a 48-foot deluxe houseboat outfitted with a Bang & Olufsen stereo, Nintendo Wii gaming console, Sony LCD flatscreen monitor, gourmet kitchen, and spa bathroom. ($250,000)
Renowned glass artist Dale Chihuly transforms the bottom of a swimming pool into a world-class private art installation. Includes a visit to the artists' studio to witness the creative process. ($1,500,000)
A gourd ukulele handmade by Danny Ferrington, who has created string instruments for George Harrison, Johnny Depp, Keith Richards, and Chrissie Hynde. ($6,000)
A colorful diamond-encrusted charm bracelet representing the special gifts from over the years, such as an airplane, a Chinese junk, a hot air balloon, a camel, a windmill, an ostrich, a robot, and more. ($248,000)
Another notable gift retailer, Hammacher Schlemacher, has specialized in "The Best, the Only and the Unexpected" for 162 years. It also offered one-of-a-kind gifts that might seem indulgent to many.
At its "Shop Extraordinary" shoppers can find a personal submarine costing $2,000 and a 2-person hovercraft that runs $17,000. There is also a treehouse for cats, a dog umbrella, an Avatar pinball machine, a flying car designed by MIT students, and more.
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