The 2017 Christmas Book and legendary Fantasy Gifts were recently unveiled by Dallas luxury omni-channel retailer Neiman Marcus. The 91st edition of this renowned book continues Neiman Marcus’ unmatched tradition of offering a selection of spectacular and unique holiday gifts. As always, a portion of the proceeds goes to The Heart of Neiman Marcus Foundation.
I must admit, when I’m not wearing my mommy hat, Neiman Marcus is my guilty pleasure. Fashion was my first love and whenever I do my monthly story time at Dallas Public Library’s Bookmarks in Northpark Center, I sneak in a stroll through Neiman Marcus. For me, it’s not about acquiring more things. The countless beautiful things from the feel of a soft, glossy velvet jacket to finding that just-the-right-scarlet lipstick revisits that old sentimental love. Sometimes doing something just purely for myself recharges and inspires me throughout the day. So, slip into your billionaire Choos and come dream big with me and the 2017 Neiman Marcus Fantasy Gifts.
FIRST, A LITTLE NEIMAN MARCUS HISTORY:
The now world famous Christmas Book originated in 1915 as a humble Christmas card inviting customers to Neiman Marcus to shop during the holiday season. The next Neiman Marcus catalog appeared a decade later in 1926, showcasing unusual, humorous and beautiful gifts in a modest 16-pages. The gifts emphasized selectivity and taste with a varied price range, a tradition that has lasted over 100 years. In 1959, brothers Stanley and Edward Marcus presented the public with an extraordinary gift; a Black Angus steer, delivered on the hoof or in steaks, complete with a silver-plated serving cart and the famed retailing phenomenon was born.
THE GIFT OF CLEAN WATER: Starting with what I believe is the most meaningful gift. For many living in undeveloped countries, the idea of having clean water is a fantasy in itself. Paper For Water is an organization founded in 2011 by two little sisters, Katherine and Isabelle Adams, on a mission to provide clean water wells to communities in need. Proceeds from every origami ornament goes to funding a well. The Paper for Water Fantasy gift comprises 250 unique origami ornaments to decorate your tree at home or your corporate office, a private lesson from a master origami artist to create five more ornaments and all the feel-goods of knowing that the proceeds went to build two wells. Note that if you aren’t the one lucky recipient of the Fantasy Gift, you can purchase individual Paper for Water ornaments from the Neiman Marcus website. My family has supported Paper for Water the past few years. If you miss this opportunity, there are many other ways to help Paper For Water.
Price Tag: $50,000 • Donation to The Heart of Neiman Marcus Foundation: $50,000
BAUBLES, BUBBLES AND BAGS: My ultimate vacation indulgence would be this collection of 2017 Fantasy Gifts.
I would kick-start my trip with four first class tickets to Paris for the Armand de Brignac Champagne experience where we stay at the Hôtel de Crillon and enjoy a 12-course dinner at L’Ecrin. Then we would spend the day with the 13-generation wine growing family behind Armand de Brignac to create my own cuvée at their vineyard followed by a helicopter flight over the idyllic Champagne’s villages and vineyards. The day ends with dinner at the three-Michelin-star L’Assiette Champenoise before retiring to the majestic chateau Domaine Les Crayères for one night. As part of the fun, 12 bottles of each of the five Champagnes will be delivered to your doorstep while they create and inscribe 24 bottles of your personally finished cuvée.
Price Tag: $150,000 (This experience is offered by Pencils of Promise, an initiative that provides education opportunities to children in developing areas. All profits from this sale go to support Pencils of Promise.)
Then, back in Paris, I will start on my three-day Sisley Paris pampering experience where I will stay at the Four Seasons Hotel George V. The pampering journey includes a spa day at Maison Sisley, $8000 of customized Sisley products, a snack at the Sisley private secret cafe and dining with a member of the founding d’Ornano family in their famous apartment.
Price Tag: $60,000 • Donation to The Heart for Neiman Marcus Foundation: $5,000
After three days of pampering, it’s time to channel my inner Coco Chanel and hop over to Ritz Paris to begin the Olympia Le-Tan Parisian experience. Le-Tan’s witty statement clutches are just perfect for that bookworm fashionista. The trip’s highlight will be a visit with Le-Tan at her atelier and then the giftee will enjoy a custom handbag sent to her every other month for a year.
Price Tag: $45,000 • Donation to The Heart of Neiman Marcus Foundation: $7,000
While I’m pampering at Sisley Paris and designing bags with Olympia Le-Tan, I would imagine my husband spending a VIP week at the Ryder Cup in Paris. The Ryder Cup experience lets a party of four spend time as guests of Jim Furyk, a 17-time PGA winner and the US Team Captain of this spectacular golfing event held at Le Golf National. First class airfares, deluxe accommodation, dinners, private car service, concierge service and 4 premium tickets to the weeklong Ryder Cup are included in this experience.
Price Tag: $250,000 • Donation to The Heart of Neiman Marcus Foundation: $10,000
After our jaunt in Paris, I’m whisked off to Zambia to visit Gemfields Kagem Mine, the world’s largest single producer of emeralds in the world with world renowned, master jeweler Stephen Webster. We would indulge in two dreamy days at The Royal Livingstone Hotel by Anantara and cross off a bucket list item with a visit the thundering Victoria Falls. Then off to London we go to Webster’s studio to collaborate on a 7.2 carat one-of-a-kind design emerald piece. The experience includes a private dinner with Webster and his wife, Assia.
Price Tag: $300,000 • Donation to The Heart of Neiman Marcus Foundation: $40,000
HIS AND HERS GIFT: Over the years, Neiman Marcus has offered “His and Hers’ hot air balloons, Chinese Junks, camels, robots, windmills and other eccentric but functional gifts. In keeping with tradition, this year, Neiman Marcus offers His and Hers specially commissioned Dawn Coupe Rolls Royces. The V-12 engined beauties are handcrafted and limited edition. But who gets Saint Tropez mandarin and who will take the Lago de Como-inspired blue?
Price Tag: from $439,635 • Donation to The Heart of Neiman Marcus Foundation: $1,000
A CARRIE BRADSHAW & MR BIG NEW YORK MINUTE: Neiman Marcus’ priciest fantasy gift this year runs a cool $1.6 million for a private New Year’s Eve Party in New York. Invite 299 of your beautiful friends on Mr Big’s budget and ring in 2019 on the roof of the Knickerbocker Hotel in Times Square, just 150 feet from the famed ball drop. The giftee will have 150 premier rooms to fill for two nights at The Knickerbocker. On December 31, 2018, the sky-high private party will brim with premium drinks, a sumptuous passed dinner, a spirited DJ, and that brilliant ball drop – the most exciting minute in the world. More than a billion people will see it, but only a few will see it like this.
Price Tag: $1,600,000 • Donation to The Heart of Neiman Marcus Foundation: $80,000
SOMETHING FOR THE KIDS: Be a drone for a day and go up an away in a private helicopter with fine-art photographer, Gray Malin. This Fantasy Gift experience was particularly interesting to my wanderlusty boys!. Malin will host a private one-hour helicopter tour over Malibu and Los Angeles while clicking away at the agreed-upon aerial scene. Post flight Champagne follows as Malin replays the day for you. After a couple of weeks, you’ll receive an aerial photo of your day, signed and framed by Malin. What a fun family travel adventure to be talked about for years to come!
Price Tag: $35,000 • Donation to The Heart of Neiman Marcus Foundation: $5,000
For little girls, the Madame Alexander Dolls for a Year and limited edition Grand Anniversary Dollhouse by KidKraft may be the ultimate. Your gift begins with eight darling dolls along with the dollhouse and all the furniture and decor. Then, for the subsequent 11 months, a new doll will arrive each month, with the final doll being a collaboration with Madame Alexander where you can customize the doll of your dreams.
Price Tag: $8,000 • Donation to The Heart of Neiman Marcus Foundation: $500
What is your favorite Neiman Marcus Fantasy Gift? Tell us in the comments! Hope your enjoyed this fantasy journey.
Cheryl Ng Collett is a freelance writer and the mama behind IttyBittyFoodies.com, a kid, food and travel lifestyle blog. Follow her @ittybittyfoodies • Cover photo | Neiman Marcus revealed their Fantasy Gifts at Park Place Premier Collection.
Photo by IttyBittyFoodies.com