Merry Christmas from Neiman Marcus

It’s Thanksgiving, which can only mean that after food, family, friends and football – with, we hope, an extra helping of gratitude – it’s time for the frenzy of holiday shopping to commence.

Neiman Marcus knows how to get the ball rolling with its annual “Christmas Book,” celebrating its 90th anniversary this year. There’s something for every taste and budget from Clé de Peau Beauté’s refillable lip ($65) and eye ($125) palettes from the limited edition Les Années Folles to Bayco’s glamorous sapphire and 18-karat blackened white gold ring with a 39.12-carat center stone and a 5.02-carat melee. Its icy blue facets and bubbling smaller stones give you the frisson of winter without the actual hassles of that challenging season.

But, of course, everyone opens the book to the fantasy gifts for a giggle, a dream or, maybe, some actual gift ideas. Among them this year are a walk-on role in the Broadway musical “Waitress” ($30,000); a week of luxury at three English estates, including Blenheim, the ancestral home of the Churchills ($700,000); a night at the Grammy Awards ($500,000); a Cobalt Valkyrie-X private plane in rose gold ($1.5 million); His and Her Neiman Marcus Island cars, with Lilly Pulitzer-designed interiors ($65,000 each); and a private quarterback camp with San Francisco 49ers’ legend Joe Montana ($65,000), looking all seasonal here in his red jersey and Super Bowl ring bling.

Better still, with each gift, Neiman Marcus is making varying donations to The Heart of Neiman Marcus Foundation.

But here’s one fantasy gift that won’t cost an arm and a leg and will do a world of good. It’s a $25 bracelet made of hand-rolled paper beads in white or black with a central recycled-glass bead flanked by two accent discs in 18-karat gold. Simple enough. But the bracelet supports the almost 10-year-old Akola Project, which in turn has empowered more than 500 marginalized women and 4,000 children. (Founder Brittany Merrill Underwood took the name from the Ugandan word for “she works.”)

A thought for your holiday table: It doesn’t take much to transform somebody’s life.

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at WAG.

For more, visit And for more on those who serve others, including Joe Montana’s great Niners rival Steve Young, look for WAG’s December “Celebrate the Spirit of Giving” issue, out Dec. 1.

– Georgette Gouveia

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