Gift for people without 'needs?'
December 28, 2005 1:46 PM   Subscribe

Gift for dear friends, who are stinky rich and have everything they want/need? Interests inside.

About to spend a week at the house of some dear friends, and would like to bring a nice thank you/christmas gift. They are very well-off, and don't really "need" anything--so I thought something personal would be nice. I used to make elaborate fondue dinners for them when they lived nearby, and had planned to take them out to The Melting Pot for dinner, but it turns out this is what they are getting me!

Now I'm stumped; they've just redecorated their gorgeous house, but I've not seen it and thus deluxe "chotckies" are out.

They like a nice beverage, and I read this thread on cognac with interest. They also like gadgets (they have iPod everything), their pool, and they live in Ft. Lauderdale, if any of that helps. Finally, they travel a lot for business, so tickets to anything are a dangerous bet. I'm looking to spend $75-$100.

posted by CaptApollo to Grab Bag (18 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Interesting foodie things are often good. Doesn't matter how rich you are, the odds are that you haven't tried that particular brand of artisanal mustard (or whatever).

A gift basket of items from your local gourmet shop would be my suggestion.
posted by solid-one-love at 1:50 PM on December 28, 2005

'd go with food or wine. Go to your local boutique store and ask for a good candidate.
posted by oddman at 1:53 PM on December 28, 2005

what about the bialetti stovetop cappuccino maker? yum. plus it's new enough that they might not have it yet.

rich people stores that i like a lot: clio home, 2modern, designpublic, fitzsu, i don't know. or what about heading over to a good wine shop and asking for recommendations for a couple of good, high end bottles?
posted by echo0720 at 1:55 PM on December 28, 2005

I think aged Modena balsamico makes a great gift. Most people have never had it, but it's delicious (it's miles away from the $6 bottle of "balsamic vinegar" in your supermarket).

The older it is, the more expensive it is. I've seen bottles for over $200. has a 12-year bottle for $90.
posted by Caviar at 2:52 PM on December 28, 2005

Consider trying to find something with some significance for them. For example, a bottle of wine whose vintage matches the year they married, or some produce local to an area special to them?
posted by edd at 2:58 PM on December 28, 2005

Maybe I'm too much of an altruist, but - are they civic-minded at all? If so (and maybe even if not - it could help get them into a new habit), how 'bout a gift to a local food bank in their name?
posted by dbmcd at 3:04 PM on December 28, 2005

I think aged Modena balsamico makes a great gift.

Ha! Guess what my dad got for Christmas?
posted by solid-one-love at 3:07 PM on December 28, 2005

Do they know about fleur de sel?
posted by PurplePorpoise at 3:14 PM on December 28, 2005

Any of the clubs from Zingerman's. Or a donation to the animal shelter in your area.
posted by kcm at 3:30 PM on December 28, 2005

Ditto a charitable donation. My friend did this for his super-rich dad for Christmas and it went over well. Pick a charity that fits their interests (kids, literacy, pets, etc.) and if possible include some literature on the organization. Write a thoughtful card on why you did this.
posted by radioamy at 4:24 PM on December 28, 2005

How about a large coffee-table book about fine dining/wine/culture?
posted by davidmsc at 4:38 PM on December 28, 2005

Make something for them. Even though it costs you nothing, Personalised labor is more expensive to you than it is to them, and as such it makes the perfect "cheap" gift. You can ...

- Paint something for them. It doesn't need to be fancy, a blank canvas painted almost the same colour as one of their walls (although slightly pretentious) looks really good.

- Make them a book. Cut and paste a bunch of recepies, cartoons, articles etc from the net, add photo's of loved ones; get the resultant book printed at lulu or cafe press.

- Bake a cake. Ice the thankyou onto it.

- Make them a Mix CD. Do it properly (So it looks good and fits into any expensive aluminium CD racks they own), and fill it with music you think they'll like but haven't heard yet.
posted by seanyboy at 4:49 PM on December 28, 2005

Do they have children, pets? It's good to take a lavish but tasteful bunch of flowers (think of something lush and un-ordinary, paeonies?) for your hostess, and gifts for the little household members. Remember your thank you letter after your stay!
Bringing a gourmet basket can backfire when you face "that interesting relish The Melting Pot brought us" at the breakfast table everyday of your stay. They feel they must eat it in front of you to show their appreciation .... Awkwardness.
posted by Catch at 5:00 PM on December 28, 2005

What about a gift certificate for something they can do together? Cooking classes, dancing classes, art classes, wine tastings, a night at a bed and breakfast somewhere, his and her massages.

Or, a bunch of gift certificates that add up to a special night out -- movie tickets and dinner, ice skating and lunch.

Or, a picnic basket, that's always a big hit.

Or, if they celebrate chirstmas, a really nice ornament from whereever you're from. I love meaningful ornaments.
posted by dpx.mfx at 5:30 PM on December 28, 2005

Here's an idea: Don't buy anything beforehand.

When I had a housewarming for my first place, my sister and her husband flew cross-country to visit. They didn't bring anything, which I thought was odd (since they're quite big on manners). Later, they sent me a beautiful letterbox — the perfect present. Tucked in the box was a note apologizing for the late gift, explaining that they wanted to see my place instead of making a wild guess as to what might be appropriate. Meant a lot to me, and more than made up for their arriving empty-handed.*
*And you could always bring a nice bottle with you to throw them off the scent....
posted by rob511 at 6:04 PM on December 28, 2005

How about a great bottle of wine? You could get an awesome red for that. Here's one that gets high ratings; Shafer Cabernet Napa Valley, 1999: From Winespectator: "A masterful presentation of toasty, mocha-scented oak, accompanied by exotic wood spices, it also delivers plenty of ripe, rich, complex fruit, with concentrated layers of currant, mocha, coffee, plum and black cherry. Firmly tannic, a step up in quality for this bottling, making it more in the style of the Hillside Select. Best from 2004 through 2012. 6,000 cases made." I checked average prices and availability through Wine-Searcher It runs around $50.

Another really great red, that's kind of special because it's from the Hitching Post in Buellton, CA (featured in Sideways) is their 2003 Generation Red. It's only $20, but is a delicious, complex, beefy red. A great blend.

If not wine, then Reidel Wine glasses rock. As an avid wine drinker, they really do make a difference. I get mine at The Wine House in LA. A set of six cabernet glasses runs around $100.

Yeah... I like booze. You can never go wrong with good booze.
posted by joaniemcchicken at 10:34 PM on December 28, 2005

Order them absinthe! Not cheap, but what a gift for someone with a jones for adult beverages. Since this post I have ordered on three occasions with a perfect 3-for-3 record. The company in the thread is reliable and FAST.
posted by vito90 at 10:45 PM on December 28, 2005

Something like Oxfam Unwrapped? You could give them a camel! (Kinda)
posted by Lotto at 4:15 AM on December 29, 2005

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