Even before Thanksgiving Day was over, shoppers flooded stores for “pre-Black Friday” sales. The following day, shops opened their doors to deal hunters who’d spent the night in cold temperature for the honor of being first in line. Christmas shopping brings out the worst and best in most of us.
The 2013 Neiman Marcus Christmas book shows just how far some folks go to find the “perfect” gifts. The his-and-hers outdoor entertainment center is something spectacular. Who wouldn’t want a television that rises out of the ground and opens to a 211 inch screen with the most advanced sound system? It also features his and her mini-iPads as remotes. The system is a steal for only $1.5 million. Hey, no amount is too large to spend on a loved one.
Others might prefer the Forever Diamond Experience. Oh, it does start with a 2.5 carat Forever diamond, but that’s only the beginning of this little gift for that special girl. Travel takes her to London to view the uncut diamond and to name it. Then a tour of the crown jewels is followed by a trip to Africa to see the place where the diamond was mined. The owner also has the opportunity to see all the wonderful benefits that the workers, their families, and the community receive from the company. Then it’s back to New York to meet with designers and to display the stone to the envious public. It’s a gift that keeps on giving for only $1.85 million.
For those on a tighter budget, the Neiman Marcus 2014 Aston Martin Vanquish Volante, one of only 10 in the world, will fit nicely. At only $344,000, the “naturally aspirated 6.0-liter, V-12 engine produces some 565 horsepower and is tuned to deliver 457 pound-feet of torque,” and has a 6-speed automatic
Neiman Marcus makes sure to share the wealth from each of its sales. From the sale of the diamond the company will give $10,000 and from the vehicle it will donate $3000 to the Heart of Neiman Marcus Foundation, which brings enriching art experiences to youth in communities nationwide. Hey, maybe it’s not ten percent, but remember that it’s the thought that counts.
On the other end of Christmas is the Angel Tree program. It brings just a bit of light to children. The Angel Tree provides much needed clothing items, special needs gifts, and other wished-for toys to Knox County's neediest children. Approximately 140 names of senior citizens have been added to the trees this year to help out older folks with needs.
The tags on the trees located throughout the area list some items that these children request. Not one of them is much interested in a diamond or car or outdoor entertainment centers. More often, these little ones, instead, ask for socks or gloves or underwear. For toys, they request a doll or simple board game. When they open those presents, their eyes are filled with wonder and joy. Seniors are thrilled with some personal items or for things that offer a few minutes entertainment. All appreciate the distractions from lives otherwise filled with pain and need.
We look forward to Christmas and dream of receiving those gifts that will fulfill those special wishes we harbor. Yes, most of us spend too much on things that lose their luster before long. Those whose wealth has no end struggle to find gifts that are “special” since they can already buy anything that they want.I leave with this thought: I wonder how many Angel Tree wishes could be answered for the price of just one Neiman Marcus gift, or for the money the company donates to its own fund “for the children.”