There’s been a growing tide of consumer pushback against retailers for forcing the holiday season upon us earlier and earlier every year, with everything from premature Christmas decorations to Walmart officially moving Black Friday to Thanksgiving Day.
Nonetheless, with Hanukkah so early this year, I thought I’d go ahead and release my Christmas (ahem, Holiday) Wish List a bit early.
The Neiman Marcus Fantasy List is for alcoholic Dallas Botox queens and Tallahassee trophy wives, and the FT’s ‘How To Spend It’ has zero credibility after a notoriously dubious British banker’s rental property portfolio found its way front-and-center under rather questionable circumstances.
Not to mention the fact that this year’s Financial Times Gift Guide includes things like the Magimix vegetable shredder. I have one; it’s great. But still, last time I checked, the insert isn’t called ‘How To Spend It On Your Maid.’
And my apologies, there are no gift ideas for women in here. If you don’t know what to buy a woman for Christmas, you’re an idiot.
So here goes…
1. Something to runabout.
It’s no Aquariva Cento. But the Edison Marine Classic Cruiser is the perfect runabout.
It’s all-electric, so think zero emissions, sort of like a Tesla for the water.
It’s hand-made in America from beautiful solid African mahogany, with exquisite attention to detail, and a dual prop that ensures a smooth, yet powerful ride. It might not have the provenance or sex appeal of many of its Italian predecessors, but stunning nonetheless and, at $US120,000, slightly more affordable.
This could very well be an exception to the rule.
2. Something practical for the stocking.
Most iPhone cases destroy the user experience. So, ditch the case, and enjoy the iPhone the way that Steve Jobs intended you to.
At $US30, it’s hardly a big-ticket item, but this rustic leather pouch from Saddleback is the perfect way to protect your naked iPhone when not in use.
While you are at it, pick up one of their awesome weekend travel bags. Not that you’ll need it, but it comes with a 100-year warranty.
3. Something that gets strange men to chat to you.
“Wearing a Rolex is like driving an Audi.
It says you’ve got some money, but nothing to say.”
Every man should own at least a couple decent watches, even if he never wears them.
Try going out on a limb with a unique take on a classic look. I love the retro Pro-Hunter Military Rolex Submariner.
It’s a hefty £12,000, but then again, you don’t want to be just another guy with a Rolex.
If that’s too contrived, then there’s always the limited edition Blancpain Aqua Lung at around $US8,000 for some understated masculinity.
After all, it’s Vladimir Putin’s watch of choice. And who’s tougher than that guy?
4. Something to fight over in the divorce.
“Why would I marry? It’s betting some chick
half my net worth that I will love her forever.”
One of my favourite artists right now is Alec Monopoly, an unidentified street artist who speaks through the board game character of the Monopoly Man.
Or there’s the complete Bull Profile Series lithograph screen prints by Roy Lichtenstein, which will set you back a cool £140,000 at the Sims Reed Gallery in London.
If you’re a long-only “hedge” fund guy, and you buy something, drop me a line so I can bid it at a 50% discount this time next year.
5. Something that should pay for itself.
If chess is the game of Kings, backgammon is the game of Pharaohs. Widely regarded as the oldest board game in the world, it is the unique combination of luck and skill that makes it so much fun.
$5,000 for this Asprey Backgammon Set may be pricey for a board game, but you can win back its price tag in a few hours.
6. Something they don’t sell at Hermés.
For the John Grey (9 ½ Weeks) in you… Who knew a scarf could be such a conversation piece?
At €3,600, it better be.
This one-of-a-kind just so happens to be made using the silk gland of a spider, courtesy of some crazy Icelandic company, Srulirecht.
If that’s too impractical, there’s also a €4,100 belt made from dolphin skin and reindeer leather, which comes with a hook for alternate use as an autoerotic asphyxia device.
7. Something for fathers and sons.
Most people I know have been on safari at least once.
Carnival Cruise ships now basically dock at the Galapagos Islands.
And Bill Ackmann won’t shut up about Myanmar.
So, why not travel by horseback across the land of Genghis Khan, camping and fishing for the largest freshwater trout in the world. Sweetwater Travel organizes some of the most exotic fly-fishing trips in the world, most notably in Mongolia.
As I said before in How To Be A Man, every man should learn how to fly-fish.
8. Something to point at Piers Morgan.
Everyone has heard the story… A Texas oilman is at a Las Vegas roulette table, sitting across from Kerry Packer. “Do you know who I am? I’m worth 50 million bucks, ” he says. Packer stares back, shrugs, and says, “50 million? I’ll flip you for it.”
That Texan is the kind of horse’s arse who buys a Purdey or Holland & Holland shotgun.
So go Italian. Stick with Fabbri, or if you’re on a budget, Perazzi is the gun of choice of Dick Cheney, and will run you about $US15,000 and up.
Every man should own one.
9. Something to mark a special occasion.
“If you abstain from smoking, drinking, and using drugs,
you don’t actually live longer. It just seems longer.”
John Carney said “whiskey will never love you back,” but giving the gift of Pappy will ensure someone’s eternal love.
Paying retail should be a point of pride, but good luck finding it.
10. Something that Steve Cohen doesn’t have.
On November 19th, Bonham’s is having their Distinguished Fossils auction in New York.
At $US200,000, I’d go for the Triceratops skull. The full skeleton (pictured) will probably set you back $US800,000.
Out of my price range would be the T-Rex skeleton ($2 million) and the famous Montana dueling dinosaurs ($8 million).
12. Something to collect and pass down.
Enamel cufflinks… Silver ice bucket… Ship’s decanter…
Any or all make excellent gifts that last a lifetime and then some, and are unlikely to ever lose value.
Besides a watch and wedding ring, cufflinks are the only acceptable form of jewelry for a man to wear in the office.
But remember, stay away from the family crest rings.
Asprey is the British standard in luxury goods going back to 1781. And on Madison Avenue, it’s right near the Tom Ford store.
13. Something for the confident intellectual…
Bad Santa is right up there with Christmas Vacation and Trading Places as a timeless holiday classic.
Yes, I know it’s on basic cable every year, but watching the censored version is like eating a bacon vegan burger with a side of onion rings.
This should be required Christmas viewing for the entire family. And watch it twice for every time you are forced to sit through Love Actually.
And since it’s impossible for Business Insider to go a day without mentioning their boss, Jeff Bezos… why not order it today on Amazon.com.
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