This can be a stressful time for the super-rich, as they try to find presents extravagant enough for their phenomenal wealth. So we thought we’d help with a few pointers.
Luxury retailer Neiman Marcus has something for all the family. For just £9,500 you get the kids a real edible gingerbread playhouse with fittings made of giant cookies and sweets.
For loving parents there’s the £100,000 48 foot His’n’Hers houseboat.
And if you’re wondering how to treat your pal who’s chuffed with their newest swimming pool, why not splash out on a £1 million Dale Chihuly pool sculpture?
But for some these prices will still seem a bit stingy. For them, luxury mag Robb Report has an “imaginative and extravagant” wishlist of yachts, supercars and antiques. At the top is a £28 million Arctic adventure in a 148 foot yacht.
It might seem a bit steep compared to the trips to space touted by convicted fraudster Richard Branson for less than £200,000. But you get to keep an even larger 164 foot yacht at the end of it.
Or why not get them their own castle? The 4th century fortress of Miolans in France is going for £4 million.
But the best gifts are those you can’t put a price on—because they are waiting for a rich enough buyer to put in a bid. In Italy this goes for both the famous Brunello di Montalcino vineyard and the Genoa CFC football team.
The much-coveted title of Troublemaker gift of the year goes to the tropical island of Narara. It comes with three white sandy beaches and year-round sunshine.
You might want to throw in the new £100,000 Icarus microplane, as it’s a 20 minute flight from the nearest airport. For those wanting to celebrate privilege on a lower budget, pottery firm Emma Bridgewater is already producing the first royal foetus-themed tat.
For just under 20 quid you get a hideous mug covered in red and blue love hearts. It says “Hooray for Will and Kate” on one side and “a royal baby in 2013” on the other.
Friends of Ed Miliband can look forward to this not-at-all-terrifying image (right) on their cards this year.
Smug David Cameron chose a photo of himself at Number 10 with an Olympic torch bearer.
And passive-aggressive Nick Clegg got a patient at Sheffield Hallam children’s hospital to do his card so no one would have the heart take the piss.
George Osborne secretly spent taxpayer’s money buying himself a horse paddock. It came with his second home in Cheshire.
He broke the rules by claiming up to £100,000 on expenses to pay a mortgage worth more than the value of the home. He then sold it, though only for a modest profit of £450,000.
Shock as blacking up is found to be racist
It’s been a difficult year for those who claim that Santa’s slave helper in the Netherlands isn’t racist. Zwarte Piet, or Black Pete, is played by a white person in black make-up.
Cops in Rotterdam were bombarded with “discriminatory” insults when they blacked up as Piet to go undercover.
Cops may now better understand Quinsy Gario, who they arrested last year for wearing a “Zwarte Piet is racism” T-shirt at a Christmas parade. They also pepper-sprayed him in the eyes. Quinsy’s mum had been called Zwarte Piet at work.
Banned for being Muslim
Muhammad Husain was locked out of a Subway restaurant in Louisiana. Staff asked the 63 year old if he was a Muslim, and locked the door when he said yes.
Muhammad’s wife was still inside. The branch was owned by the Republican congressman John Fleming.
Santa depressed by crisis kids’ letters
In the 100th year of the US post service collecting letters to Santa, “chief elf” Pete Fontana says they are getting too sad to read. “They were asking for food, winter coats,” adds New York postmaster Patrick Donahue. “You’d be surprised how many kids ask for a blanket.”
Eight year old Iris’ mum is ill and out of work. “I don’t ask you for fun or toys. I want some clothing,” she wrote. “I love toys too but I really need a book bag for school.”
To see the holidays that could await the royal foetus, look instead to Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie. They are shockingly no longer able to stay rent free in a St James’ Palace flat.
But the rent has been kept down to around £20,000 a year from a market rent of up to £150,000. And even that will be paid by their dad Prince Andrew. The flat was renovated with £250,000 of public money.
14 workers killed in toy factory fire
At least 14 disabled workers making Christmas toys in Germany were killed last week when a fire tore through their charity-run factory.
Meanwhile retail giant Walmart has been exposed for its role in factory fires in Bangladesh. At least 112 workers died at a fire in a factory making Walmart clothing last month.
But after a prior wave of fire deaths last year, Walmart’s ethical sourcing boss Sridevi Kalavakolanu lobbied against spending more on safety. A leaked document said, “It is not financially feasible for the brands to make such investments.”
Spied on and fired for not wasting food
Regulars at a Greggs’ bakery shop in south London were shocked to find all the staff had been suspended overnight last week—for taking food destined for the bin.
One worker wrote on an online forum, “I was one of those suspended because I took four cakes home. They had CCTV fitted in and didn’t say anything to the staff.” Greggs would not say how many had been fired.