1. A balloon-capsule voyage to space
2. An around-the-world tour in a private jet
3. A "top of the world" wine basket
4. A Starbucks Swarovski-encrusted gift card
5. A 3.5 oz fresh white truffle
Gift giving can be a fraught exercise. Will everyone on your list like what you’ve selected? Will it communicate everything you want to say about your taste, the recipient's taste, your relationship and the spirit of the holidays in general?
Under the weight of all this pressure, it’s easy to procrastinate. Luckily, as with most material things in life, throw enough money at the problem and it’s not one anymore. Below are five extravagant, over-the-top show-stopping gifts than you can present to your lucky recipient on Christmas morning. Happy shopping!
This Christmas, don’t just give the gift of flight. Give the gift of flight via a helium-balloon powered space capsule that lets voyagers discover “what it’s like to leave the surface of the Earth behind.”
The trip takes passengers “within layers of the atmosphere,” where they’ll spend two hours taking in “breathtaking views of the curvature of the earth against the backdrop a vast, black, and star-studded universe.”
Note: This price includes complimentary onboard “light refreshments and drinks.”
Instead of a destination vacation, why not wrap an invitation to an around-the-globe, 24-day private-jet trip arranged by the Four Seasons? The itinerary includes stops at the Taj Mahal, Bora Bora, Sydney, Bali, Northern Thailand, Prague and London. Dom Pérignon is readily available throughout the trip, thanks to an exclusive deal with the luxury champagne maker.
Price: $132,000 per person
Note: If you’re booking for a solo traveler, add an extra $11,000.
This basket, put together by Wally’s Wine & Spirits, the Los Angeles wine store known for its celebrity clientele, hits some high notes. Bottles include 2008 Colgin Cariad Red, 2008 Château Ausone, 1967 Château d'Yquem, 2005 Domaine de la Romanée Conti Richebourg, and 1989 Château La Mission Haut Brion.
Oh, and there are snacks! Chow down on honey, chocolate and black truffle peelings after imbibing. (This must be what the company means when it says the basket is “as good as it gets,” just better.)
Price: $20,000 (plus a $157 delivery fee for next-day delivery)
Note: If this seems a tad too extravagant, Wally’s also has a Bordeaux wine basket that, at $5,000, is a comparative steal (although that same pesky delivery fee applies.)
Judging from the sheer number of locations, everyone likes Starbucks. But a Starbucks gift card is a pretty sad, generic gift -- unless, of course, it’s covered in crystals. Luckily, Starbucks has you covered. The coffee company is offering limited-edition, Swarovski embellished deep blue stainless steel cards.
Price: $200 plus $24.95 for 1-day shipping (includes a $50 credit towards Starbucks’ products)
Note: You can save some money on wrapping as the card comes “beautifully packaged.”
For the chef in your life. Harvested with the help of pigs and dogs from the Piemonte and Emilia Romagna regions of Italy, the white truffle has been called the “diamond of the kitchen.”
Note: The gift should be consumed almost as soon as it’s opened, since it loses 1 to 2 percent of its valuable weight every day.