The Neiman Marcus Christmas Book is here! If you're unfamiliar, every year the company comes out with a mind-boggling list of wildly expensive, completely bonkers gift ideas, and the 2017 volume will not disappoint you. If you want to build your own Rolls Royce, take over an entire Times Square hotel on New Year's Eve, the Neiman Marcus Christmas Book will let you do that. But the Neiman Marcus catalog is also full of gourmet food gifts, and some of them are actually within the realm of financial feasibility.
Here are 10 food gifts you can actually afford in the Neiman Marcus catalog — and one you absolutely can not afford.
- Traditional Fruitcake in Whimsy Tin, $35: Everybody jokes about how awful fruitcake is, and how it's a terrible gift nobody wants. But just look at this fruitcake! This fruitcake is no punchline. It's covered in nuts and candied orange slices, and the whole thing looks like two pounds of gooey caramel deliciousness. It serves 20, and none of those people will ever mock a fruitcake again.
- Sanrio x Sugarfina Hello Kitty Bento Box, $20: This bento box is shaped like Hello Kitty's red bow and filled with Hello Kitty-shaped gummies in strawberry and apple pie. Diehard Sanrio fans can get an even more elaborate box that also includes candy inspired by other characters like Badtz-Maru and Gudetama for $62.
- Giant S'mores, 2 for $22: These giant chocolate-covered s'mores are served on sticks like lollipops. They're just the kind of over-the-top, indulgent treats that high-end candy stores put in their windows to make kids drool. Well, we're grown-ups now, and that means we can spend $22 on fancy chocolate-covered s'mores if we want to.
- Sugarfina Rosé All Day Cocktail Kit, $25: The packaging on this airplane-safe cocktail kit is adorable, which is good because otherwise you'd be forced to confront the fact you're paying $25 for two gummy bears and a tiny bottle of elderflower syrup. The syrup is designed to be mixed with Champagne to create an in-flight cocktail, but if your flight attendant is offering you Champagne, you're probably having a great time already. That said, these little cocktail kits are excellent gifts when you need to buy something nice for a person but don't actually know anything about them except that they like traveling and cocktails. It's more personal than giving a scented candle, and only a little bit less useful.
- Neiman Marcus Chocolate Chip Cookies, $28: Neiman Marcus' chocolate chip cookies are legendary. For years a popular story held that these were called "$250 cookies" because a woman asked for the recipe was told she could buy it for "only two-fifty." The woman agreed, but was shocked to see it cost $250, not $2.50 as she expected. Neiman Marcus insists the story is not true, and they put the recipe on their website to prove it. But the cookies are amazing, with chocolate chips and just a hint of espresso powder. At $28 for 50 of them, plus the tin, this is a surprisingly good deal — especially since you can use the free recipe to keep refilling the tin with "$250 cookies" for as long as you want.
- '90s Candy Tube, $35: Children of the '90s will salivate over this big tube of nostalgia. It's just a tube of candy, but it's all the candy they ate as kids. It has Laffy Taffy, a Ring Pop, Bubble Tape, Giant Smarties, SweeTARTS, Pop Rocks, Big League Chew, and a giant Pixy Stick.
- Pretzel Decorating Kit, $35: This DIY chocolate-covered pretzel kit is probably supposed to be for children, but a lot of adults are going to want it too. It comes with pretzels; chocolate and white chocolate for dipping; and sprinkles, confetti, and nonpareils for making the kind of oversized chocolate-covered pretzels that always look so good in the windows of airport gift shops.
- Kusmi Tea Russian Nesting Doll Set, $39: Kusmi Tea has made amazing teas for 150 years. This way-cute nesting doll box set includes a large tin of their best-selling Anastasia tea and a small tin of Prince Vladimir tea. This is a great gift for anybody who likes black tea.
- Christmas Petits Fours, 36 for $40: These tiny, pretty cakes will make you feel like an American Girl doll. Sure, it's a lot if money for a pile of bite-sized cakes, but you probably won't find them cheaper unless you want to try neatly piping 36 tiny frosting candy canes yourself.
- Roe White Sturgeon Caviar, 30 grams for $100: If you want to instantly add swank to a holiday celebration, caviar is the way to do it. This white sturgeon caviar is sustainably farmed in California. It's preserved in salt and comes with a mother of pearl caviar spoon in a wood presentation box that opens with a little key. It starts at $100 for a 30-gram serving and goes up to $695 for 250 grams, which is slightly over half a pound and will serve eight or more.
Bonus: One Gift You Definitely Can't Afford
Armand de Brignac Champagne Experience, $150,000: This gift includes a first-class trip to Paris for four with a stay at the Hôtel de Crillon and a 12-course dinner at L'Ecrin before heading to the Champagne region to tour the vineyards and help finish a personalized cuvée Champagne. The experience also includes a night at a chateau, dinner at a three-Michelin-star restaurant in Champagne, and 60 bottles of Armand de Brignac. The recipient will also get 24 bottles of bonus Champange in personalized lacquered wooden gift boxes with pewter labels. Mark Cuban once paid $90,000 for one 15-liter bottle of Armand de Brignac Champagne, so if you have $150,000 lying around, this actually sounds like a steal.