A lighthearted look at news, events, culture and everyday life in New York.

By Nina Pajak

There are only six (6) more shopping days until Halloween, and you know what that means…The Neiman Marcus annual Christmas Book is out!

Actually, to be fair, I think it came out earlier this month, but I was so busy cooking my Thanksgiving turkey back then to pay attention. Now I’m ready for some serious Yuletide shopping.

It’s so exciting. They’ve got your standard gift-giving fare: for the inveterate gambler in your family, the $875 NM exclusive alligator-embossed game set; for your picky mother-in-law who has everything, a $5,800 enamel and Swarovski crystal 15″ tall peacock figurine; for your newly-thin sister whose diet you’re hoping to sabotage, a box of those famous NM chocolate chip cookies; for the dressage enthusiast in your household, an “equestrian Santa” tree ornament; for your daredevil teenage son who never learned the value of a dollar or the meaning of the word “consequence,” a pair of $400 ski goggles with built-in camera; and for yourself, a few new Missoni scarves; for your maid, last year’s Missoni scarves. Everybody wins!

But that’s not all.

We all know that the majority of the minority does not shop the Neiman Marcus Christmas Book for silly pedestrian items one can buy simply anywhere. Oh, no. That’s just the icing. It’s the fantasy gifts we’re all dying to get our exceptionally well-hydrated and manicured hands on. And again, there’s really something to please every single member of your family here:

For the punctual and practical traveler, consider the Van Cleef & Arpels His and Hers “Poetic Wish” Watches, which come encrusted with all sorts of jewels and mother-of-pearl and other luxuries. GWP (Gift With Purchase, for all you newbs): Two business-class tickets to Paris and Geneva to tour all the various Van Cleef & Arpels factories and ateliers and summer cabins. $1,090,000. Yes, I typed that correctly.

For the adventuring child at heart, what’s better than a real, live jet pack? Soar above your friends and all the suckers stuck in Midtown traffic, fly amid the birds, see the top of Grant’s Tomb . . . no, upon closer inspection, it seems as though the thing is “water-propelled” and comes with various paraphernalia related to boats. Maybe you have to take your boat out and take off from the water? The man in the photo appears to be wearing flippers and no helmet, so we should probably emulate him. It goes as high as 30 feet and can stay up for four hours on a single tank of gas. If it lasts longer, please consult your doctor or call the emergency hotline on the back of the box. $99,500.

There are too many to cover in one short column, but I’d be remiss if I did not include this one last item. We all know the type. Impossible to shop for, and everyone’s got one: the quirky French aristocrat who loves to play pretend and suffers from a dreadful ennui, dreaming of a simpler life than the one the palace offers (albeit one which still maintains a healthy distance from peasants and dirt and junk). You already got her guitar lessons last year, so now what? Here’s what: the Versailles-inspired Heritage Hen Mini Farm, which comes with a state-of-the-art henhouse containing a nesting room, library full of books about chickens and stuff, living room, “broody room” (for when the chickens are feeling sad?), and chandelier. Obvi. I mean, no self-respecting pretend princess-cum-chicken farmer would be caught dead without one. Just be sure to have your staff come in and clean all the poop up and wipe down the eggs and Febreeze the hell out of that place before you go in and pretend to harvest, because otherwise it won’t be such a charming experience. Marie Antoinette knew what she was doing, folks. $100,000.

Don’t worry if you can’t afford some of the more glamorous items in the book, though.

This year (or perhaps every year, I honestly haven’t been keeping track), Neiman is responding to the boring legitimate claims of the 99 and 47 percents and including some great gifts for us normals poors, too. For instance, hideous political cufflinks for $50. They come in elephant and donkey, and I’m going to take a wild guess and say they underbought on the donkey. Also, uh . . . a candle! And a fruitcake, and some mugs, and . . . well . . . lots of other exciting stuff. Sure, yeah. Super fun.

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