In these hard economic times...
Oh stuff it. Let's dream some big dreams today and imagine what Christmas gifts we'd buy with a million dollars in pocket change.
On second thought, a million doesn't buy all that much anymore. This year, let's up the base allowance to $1 billion. Just imagine you've won every lottery in the country, could buy anything you wanted and decided to blow a huge wad of cash on some of this undeniably wasteful stuff. (Warning: No coupons will be accepted for any of the following items.)
1. The Most Expensive Home in the World - $1 billion
You too can build a home like business tycoon Mukesh Ambani. Nicknamed "Antilla," this 37,000-square-foot house stands 570-feet high in the middle of downtown Mumbai -- a poverty-stricken area of India.
Each of Ambani's four family members have their own personal health club, since outdoor jogs are pretty much impossible in this locale.
It houses a six-level garage for 168 cars; a tower built mostly of glass; a panic room; 50-seat cinema; and four-story hanging garden.
Naturally, it takes roughly 600 servants and staff members to keep this place running. Mr. Ambani is the fourth-richest man in the world, so your pockets will have to be deeper than St. Nic's to afford such a wicked extravaganza.
2. A Bottle of Coca-Cola - $35.36 million
That may seem like a steep price for a bit of pop, but we're actually talking pop art -- by Andy Warhol. Sotheby's auctioned off the iconic painting in November and, in these days of investment art, it should be up for sale in no time.
When addressing the use of the Coca-Cola bottle in his art, Warhol explained, “America started the tradition where the richest consumers buy essentially the same thing as the poorest...you can know that the President drinks Coke, Liz Taylor drinks Coke, and, just think, you can drink Coke, too.” You may be able to drink it but you can't own a picture of the bottle.
3. Chopard 201-carat Watch - $25 million
How can you tell time with this jewel-laden wrist watch? The most expensive arm candy in the world has three pink, blue and white heart-shaped diamonds obscuring the watch face, surrounded by white and yellow diamonds.
Slip it on and see if you can lift your arm or even pull on a holiday sweater without shredding it.
4. Backyard Theme Park - $20 million
This full-sized entertainment center is designed by the Robb Report, the reigning journal of the chronically over-leveraged. The Report will construct this miniature carnival in your backyard.
It includes a carousel, complete roller coaster, virtual reality rides, and a bunch of other ridiculous crap little kids (and adult kids) will love.
5. Victoria's Secret Bombshell Fantasy Bra - $2 million
As is its annual tradition, the lingerie specialist creates a bra so expensive and uncomfortable no woman in her right mind would actually wear it, but boy does it draw publicity!
Modeled this year by Adriana Lima, the 2010 Bombshell Fantasy Bra was made with 142 diamonds, sapphires and topaz. At present writing it remains unsold and, apparently, extremely uncomfortable.
Hmm. Maybe you could pick it up with a few thousand Victoria's Secret gift cards.
6. Bugatti Veyron EB 16.4 - $1.7 million (base price)
Make the man in your life VERY happy. The fastest road-legal car in the world will fulfill his passion for performance and luxury, unlike his boring old McLaren F1.
This baby hits 60 mph in 2.5 seconds, does the quarter mile in 10.5 seconds and reaches its top speed of 252 mph in just 55 seconds. Don't forget to toss a few thousand bucks into your loved one's stocking to cover speeding tickets and bail.
7. Porsche Design Advent Calendar - $1 million
Ferdinand Alexander Porsche designed cars until his retirement from the auto company in 1972, when he began designing almost everything else. In honor of F.A.'s 75th birthday, Porsche Design has created the priciest advent calendar in the world, limited to one per continent.
The calendar is a sample box of two-dozen Porsche Design products, to be opened one per day until Christmas. The most expensive item is likely the 26-foot motorized yacht. Also included are such little trinkets as the Porsche kitchen designed for men, which goes for about $200,000, as well as sky-high-priced shoes, a watch, pipe and cuff links.
8. Michel Cluizel Chocolates For Life - $1 million
Who can put a price on the finest, freshest chocolate delivered to your own home? The centerpiece of this gift is a shipment of Michel Cluizel chocolates delivered every week for the rest of your life.
Company CEO and chocolate sommelier Cluizel will design a special room in your house to perfectly store all that luscious chocolate, along with directions on how to better appreciate the sweet stuff. (I could skip that part.)
The recipient also receives a private tour of the Cluizel factory in Damville, France, followed by one-time home delivery of four original desserts created exclusively for you by chef Belinda Ber.
9. Rocket Racing League Team - $1 million
All that cash buys quite the trip: Two genuine racing rockets to pilot around courses superimposed on the sky by video-screen graphics. Powered by liquid oxygen and kerosene, the racers will streak across the sky at speeds of up to 280 mps (that's per second).
Your giftee also will receive a truck and trailer to transport the team rockets, a customized hangar, rocket-flying lessons with the league's pilot instructors, a home-flight simulator, and a gaming system that will allow players to race virtually alongside the pilots. This has gotta be way cooler than a Wii system.
10. Clive Christian Imperial Majesty Perfume - $435,000
This tiny bottle is listed as the most expensive perfume in the world by the Guinness Book of World Records.
The hefty price tag includes 16.9 ounces of the juice in a hand-crafted Baccarat crystal bottle with a 5-carat brilliant-cut diamond.
Sorry, but I can't report on how it smells.