Thursday, November 11, 2010


   Luxury retailer Nieman Marcus is out with its 2010 holiday gift guide.
   The catalog, which began as a Christmas card for shoppers in 1915, showcases the latest in fashion, shoes,jewelry and luxury items.
   Here is a listing of the featured luxury items that appear in this years catalog.

His and Hers Metroship Luxury Houseboat

   On the 50th anniversary of His and Hers gifts, it is called the ultimate romantic retreat.  With a 40 foot by 12 foot open floor plan and 7 foot high ceiling.  Built as a luxury loft that floats. It has all the "bells and whistles" a loving couple could  want in a little retreat from everyday life. Twin 60 hp Honda outboard engines.
Price: $250,000.00

Diamond and Gold His and Hers 50th Anniversary Charm Bracelet
   Crafted from one of a kind 11 marquise-cut diamonds.  Certified fancy-and extremely rare-naturally colored diamonds in the collection include richly hued pink, blue, and orange diamonds.  The centerpiece diamonds have micropave settings and are surrounded by 18-kt white gold.  Displayed from a classic link bracelet with a diamond lobster-claw clasp.  The charms commemorate His and Hers gifts over the years.  Only one will be created.
Price: $248,000.00

Leica M9 Neiman Marcus Edition Camera

   Limited to a worldwide edition of 50, the Leica M9 Neiman Marcus Edition is the only camera that combines the classic Leica M shooting experience with the latest digital technology.  It also is the world's only digital rangefinder camera with interchangeable lenses and a full-frame 18 megapixel sensor to capture ultrahigh resolution images.  The body of the camera is covered in ostrich leather trim with a matching strap.  The 2.5 inch LCD screen is protected by sapphire cover glass.  It also can be personally delivered by a Leica photography expert and include a private training and orientation session.
Price: $17,500.00

2011 Neiman Marcus Editin Camaro Convertible
   The Chevrolet Camaro gets a luxury convertible makeover just in time for the holidays.  Regular production will not even begin until 2011.  Neiman Marcus exclusive edition of just 100.  It has 6.2 liter V8 engine with choice of 428 hp six-speed manual or 400 hp six-speed automatic.  Brembo brakes all around with Pirelli P-Zero ultrahighperformance tires, Boston Acoustics premium 7 speaker sound system. The NM edition will come also with tri-coat exterior paint in Deep Bordeaux with ghosted strips.  The Pirellis are mounted on exclusive 21 inch spoke wheels with Brilliant Red detailing.  Leather interior with red accents on the center console, steering wheel, and shift knob.
Price: $75,000.00

Tory Burch Family Chariot Electric Tricycle
   Handbuilt tricycle for three by Worksman Cycle.  The company invented the delivery tricycle in 1898 for ice cream vendors.  Features styling by Tory Burch.  It has plush bucket seats with swivel armrests, seat belts, a footboard, and a retractable canopy.  When you get tired of pedaling flip a switch which activates a clean-energy electric drive system.  It also has turn signals and flashing LED pedals.
Price: $4,500.00

Edible Gingerbread Playhouse by Dylan's Candy Bar
    Handcrafted from 381 pounds of gingerbread and 517 pounds of royal icing.  Stands 6.6 feet high by 5.25 feet wide by 4.1 feet long.  It includes giant cookies, lollipops, gummies, mints, gumdrops, and a candy-encrusted roof.  There is also a lollipop tree inside.
Price: $15,000.00

Tequila Avion Private Party by Collin Cowie
   You can introduce 75 guest to the ultimate tequila-at the ultimate event, hosted in your home.  A magical, memorable evening will be created just for you by celebrity planner, Colin Cowie.  It also includes a gourmet culinary experience from celebrity chef Todd English.  Savor signature Tequila Avion cocktails from mixologist Yusef Austin, and enjoy music from celebrity DJ Donnie d'Cruz.  You also get a personal keepsake of a one-of-a-kind bottle of Tequila Avion commemorating its launch, signed by the dream team (and your guests, if you wish).
Price: $125,000.00

Dale Chihuly Pool Sculpture Installation

   Internationally renowned artist Dale Chihuly creates breathtaking designs in glass.  A glass art installation measuring up to 22 feet by 12 feet-at the bottom of your swimming pool. You will work with the artist's studio for a rare inside look at Chihuly's creative process.
   Price does not include any costs related to pool design and preparation, lighting, shipping or installation.
Price: $1,500,000.00

Danny Ferrington Handmade Gourd Ukulele

   Since 1975, he's been quietly handcrafting custom string instruments for legends such as George Harrison, Johnny Depp, Keith Richard's, and Chrissie Hynde.  The son of a Louisiana cabinetmaker, the music worlds premier creator of custom guitar's and string instruments.  He will create classic four-string concert ukuleles, using split gourds as the bodies.
   He will build each one from scratch, with hand -selected woods for acoustics and balance and rich mother-of-pearl inlays.
Price: $6,000.00

Customized Marfa, TX, Experience

   What exactly is going on in Marfa?   It's a thriving international hub for art, culture, architecture, and nature.  Enjoy private tours of The Judd and Chinati foundation's.  Both were created by visionary artist Donald Judd.  Explore the beauty of the high dessert mountains from a glider.  Explore Big Bend National Park, also includes limited-edition boxed print series by Arber and Sons.  Includes gourmet meals and luxury accommodation's in a private home designed and decorated by Houston designer Barbara Hill.
Price: starting at $9,500.00 per couple (price does not include transportation)



   Peek among the branches of the family Christmas tree in many homes, and you may spot a glistening green glass pickle ornament or 2.  Do you find yourself in a pickle, trying to figure out why this pickled cucumber ornament is a symbol for Christmas?

Why do many families traditionally hang pickles on their Christmas trees?

   The Christmas pickle ornament tradition apparently began centuries ago in Germany.  As a family gathered to decorate the Christmas tree together on Christmas Eve, a blown glass pickle would be among the holiday ornaments.  Once the Christmas tree was fully trimmed, one of the parents would secretly hide a glass pickle ornament among the branches.
   On Christmas morning, the first child in the family to find the Christmas pickle, tucked inside the branches of the Christmas tree, would be considered especially lucky.  Often, the Christmas pickle finding child would receive an extra special holiday gift from Santa (also known as St. Nicholas, Sinter Klaus, Father Christmas or even Kris Kringle), and the parents would usually pronounce a blessing upon that youngster for the coming year.
   Over the years, glass Christmas pickle ornaments have become popular holiday gifts, and families of many nationalities and backgrounds now hang bright green glass pickles among the branches of their Christmas trees.

Vintage Christmas Pickles

Do other Christmas pickle legends exist?

   American Civil War history buffs may tell the Christmas pickle story somewhat differently.  A popular tale recounts how a Civil War soldier was captured and sentenced to capital punishment.  However, before the soldier died, he pleaded with his guard to stave off his hunger by sharing a pickle with him. 
   The soldier did share, reflecting the Christmas spirit of kindness and generosity.
   Another Christmas pickle story dates back to medieval times, recounting the capture of two young Spanish schoolboys.  Traveling home for Christmas, the lads were captured by a wicked tavern owner, who locked them inside a giant pickle barrel.  In the night, Saint Nicholas freed the boys from the briny barrel.
   A final explanation is often mentioned for the Christmas pickle tradition.  This story points to the poverty many families experienced during the second Word War.  Perhaps some families could not afford to make or purchase decorations for their Christmas trees and used what they already had on hand, such as green pickles.
  Of course, the Christmas pickle tradition contains some inaccuracies, as may the folklore attached to the briny baubles.  For example, according to German Christmas traditions, St. Nicholas arrives on the Night of St. Nicholas (December 5th), rather than Christmas Eve.
   Still, regardless of lore or legend, the Christmas pickle tradition continues, and glass Christmas pickles may be found among many modern families' Christmas tree ornament collections.