For Christmas at U.S. store: a $75,000 yurt

Wed Oct 19, 2011 9:19am EDT

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(Reuters) - Looking for a Christmas present for someone who has everything? A U.S. department store may have the perfect gift -- a $75,000 yurt.

A luxury version of the tent usually associated with Mongol nomads is one of the fantasy gifts in the 2011 Neiman Marcus Christmas book.

At 18 feet in diameter, the hand-painted yurt is "the ideal simulation of a genie's posh bottle," the catalog says. The portable structure includes one-of-a-kind designer down-filled pillows and a crystal chandelier.

Not interested in nomadic outdoor living? How about a $125,000 custom-built library from luxury book publisher Assouline? It has custom-carpeting, objets d'art and framed prints, as well as 250 current or vintage books of the customer's choice.

For those with a bit more to spend, there is a $420,000 international flower show tour, arranged by JetWay private air. The tour, for 10 people, begins at the tulip festival in Merges, Switzerland, and makes stops at the Kifissia flower show in Athens, the Altera rose festival in Avignon, France, and the Chelsea flower show in London.

Neiman Marcus will also make contributions to charities like FirstBook, which provides access to new books for children in need, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

The Christmas book, first published in 1926, has become an annual display of pricey fantasy gifts mixed in with more prosaic items such as $95 sterling silver earrings.

Neiman Marcus will donate $10,000 to Water.org, an organization that helps provide safe drinking water and sanitation in developing countries, in return for the $1 million purchase of his-and-her dancing water fountains from Wet, which designed the fountains at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas.

This year's edition comes as the wealthy are facing assaults from various directions, including the Occupy Wall Street protest movement and its global offshoots, an expected drop of 20 percent or more in investment banking bonus pools and a volatile stock market.

For something a bit less expensive there is a $5,000 Johnnie Walker Scotch whisky tasting, complete with an authentic Scottish bagpiper and master of whisky telling the history and attributes of the various spirits.

(Reporting by Brad Dorfman in New York; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)

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Comments (5)
Will80 wrote:
Christmas was always about the birth of Jesus and his teachings of the need to be Virtuous. It was a time to be close to one’s family and close friends and let them know that they were loved. But somehow mankind turned Christmas into a gift giving spree that makes the manufacturers and merchants rich, and leaves about 60% of Christians in serious debt.

That is just wrong!

Oct 19, 2011 10:09am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Eideard wrote:
If you already have a yurt – there a couple here in Santa Fe county – there is a farm in Taos that will sell you a yak.

Oct 19, 2011 10:25am EDT  --  Report as abuse
deirdrebeth wrote:
@Will80 – Yule is all about celebrating life. You do so by throwing a huge party in the middle of winter. Too much food, too much drink, and too much revelry are the orders of the day. It’s really no surprise that in our commercial society that this has transitioned to be all about the gifts.

BTW, Jesus was born in August – and the mid-winter festival wasn’t about Christianity until after the fall of Rome (ish).

Oct 19, 2011 3:22pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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