From your outdoorsy coworker to your fashionista sister, no matter who you need to buy for, gift giving can quickly get out of hand, even on a normal budget. Imagine how crazy the Christmas season would become if you were able to disregard prices entirely.
Some of the following gift givers did just that – with sometimes outlandish and unfortunate results. Here is a list of some of the most ridiculously expensive gifts ever given – with some ideas to inspire your own (hopefully more moderate) Christmas gift giving this year.
1. The 2.3 Million Dollar Bathtub: Gifted to then-wife Robin Givens by boxing champ Mike Tyson, the 2.3 million dollar bathtub made headlines in 2004 – when Tyson headed to bankruptcy court. The boxing legend ran through over 400 million dollars in several years of spending, and one of the biggest ticket items was this luxury gift. No word on how you clean or care for a $2,000,000 bathtub, or who took home the tub in the divorce.
Soaps, bath confections and body lotions of all types are ideal for gift giving. You can easily personalize the scent and formulation to the person you are buying for, and give the gift of a lovely bath without the huge price tag. Consider handmade when you give bath items; artisan soaps and sundries offer a way to give an affordable but luxurious gift.
2. Jewels, fabric made of gold, and an English estate: When Henry VIII was courting Anne Boleyn, wife #2 in the early 1530’s, he showered her with gifts, including jewelry, clothing, pets and property. The gifts continued to arrive up until their wedding in 1533, and the birth of their first daughter, later crowned Queen Elizabeth. The famous king’s extravagance had a dark side, though – he had Anne Boleyn beheaded about three years later to make room for wife number three.
Make it Yours
Give a gift that embraces the rich history of the Tudor period, but allows everyone to keep their heads. For the avid historian, consider a written account of the fickle king and his six wives . For the more entertainment-minded giftee, you can’t go wrong with a television or movie adaptation, from a straightlaced BBC production to the fun and tawdry Showtime series.
3. The 2 Million Dollar Fantasy Bra: Each year, lingerie giant Victoria Secret presents a Fantasy Bra – one single garment encrusted with a variety of heavy metals and precious gemstones. This year’s model is no exception, adorned with over 3,000 diamonds (totaling 60 carats), sapphires and topaz and weighing in at several pounds.
Make it Yours
Thankfully, you can find some lovely pieces at the Victoria’s Secret chain stores, located in just about every mall in America. While you probably won’t want to purchase an actual bra due to the complexities of sizing, you can find plenty of different other lingerie and loungewear styles that are affordable and perfect for giving. Tip: Visit the store’s website and sign up for the mailing list; you’ll get great freebies and coupons all year long.
4. Napa Valley Vineyard: Celebrity athlete David Beckham gifted wife Victoria with an entire vineyard in California’s Napa Valley. Rumored to cost in the seven figure range, the vineyard will be a functional business and the pair plans to produce wine at some time in the future.
While you may not need to buy the whole vineyard, wine can be found in just about any price range. Include a pretty wine bag or corkscrew, or package with a few gourmet treats for an ideal gift for any couple on your list.
5. Cold, hard cash: Rapper Birdman took the easy way out when he gave a gift to protÃ©gÃ© Lil Wayne – he stuffed a million dollars in cash into a suitcase. While this gift has a hefty pricetag, it certainly takes the pressure off of the giver to find an item that fits – a big pile of cash is “one size fits all”. This could be one heavy gift – a million dollars would weigh anywhere from 22 pounds to two tons, depending on the denominations involved.
Make it Yours
You probably won’t need to fork over a cool million to impress someone, with the possible exception of a gift for your lawyer. For everyone else, choose a gift card to a favorite bookstore, clothing store or restaurant, and the recipient can pick out whatever appeals to them most. Prefer to give cash? While you won’t need to stuff it into a briefcase, consider presenting it in an original way, like in a puzzle box or folded into intriguing shape.
About the author: Samantha McNesby writes about creative gift ideas for new moms and dads over at Gifts For New Parents. Samantha is a freelance writer specializing in topics related to crafting, hobbies, parenting and the home. She has been a professional writer for 12 years, and is the author of several books, including Sewing with Vintage Linens and Baby Couture, and over 500 magazine articles.