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Couple Waits 9 Years to Open Wedding Gift

'Do Not Open Until Your 1st Disagreement,' a note instructed

(Newser) - The best wedding present Kathy and Brandon Gunn received at their Michigan wedding was one they never opened—at least not for nine years. That was because the gift from great-aunt Alison came with a special instruction: "On the plain white box was a card that read, 'Do... More »

Japan to Centenarians: No More Pricey Gifts for You

Expensive congratulatory cups for centenarians may be downgraded or dumped

(Newser) - This year's Respect for the Aged Day in Japan is fast approaching, but this time the country's government won't be commemorating the September holiday with its usual wares. Every year since 1963, Japan's newly inducted centenarians have received a sakazuki , a special commemorative silver sake cup... More »

Dalai Lama's Birthday Bash Driving Planners Nuts

What gifts and what kind of cake to make for spiritual leader are tough calls

(Newser) - He's the man who has (and wants) nothing, which is putting birthday planners in a peculiar predicament. The Dalai Lama turns 80 on Monday, and per the Wall Street Journal , it's been a task and a half to prepare for an address he's giving to about 15,... More »

While in Office, Christie Has Been Given 77 Diet Books

Givers include Dr. Oz, South Beach Diet inventor

(Newser) - It's unclear whether they're from mean-spirited detractors or genuine well-wishers, but either way, it seems in poor taste: Chris Christie has received dozens of diet books as gifts while he's been governor of New Jersey, reports. He's been sent a total of 600 books... More »

Gifts Also Rule Animal Kingdom

They offer piggyback rides, share food

(Newser) - Many species of animals are just as into gift-giving as we are, though they may be better at avoiding that last-minute shopping rush. Often, the New York Times explains, the presents are tied to mating. "This is an incredibly cool and important topic in sexual selection that we’re... More »

Down With Wedding Gifts

Matthew Yglesias thinks we should give graduation gifts instead

(Newser) - The custom of giving wedding presents began when people were getting married quite young, likely broke, and in possession of few household goods—so why are we still giving them today? If anything, many of today's married couples are merging two households and have too much stuff. The tradition... More »

France Gave Obama Some Ridiculously Luxe Presents

Like: Hermes golf accessory bag, Dior bathrobes

(Newser) - It's not that surprising to hear that President Obama is bestowed with plenty of gifts from other global leaders. What may be surprising is that the "stuff is bonkers," in Joe Coscarelli's telling for the Daily Intelligencer . The Federal Register yesterday issued a pdf cataloging what... More »

TSA OKs ... Snow Globes


(Newser) - Today, in really important travel news: You can finally carry that snow globe on your flight. That is, as long as it "appears to contain less than 3.4 ounces" of liquid, explains the TSA blog . How to tell if yours qualifies? Make sure it's smaller than a... More »

Cop Gives Guy $100 With Traffic Ticket

Driver said he broke down in his car

(Newser) - First a cop buys boots for a homeless guy, now this: A police officer in Plano, Texas, slipped a $100 bill in with a traffic ticket for one lucky driver, CBS News reports. Hayden Carlo, 25, says the officer pulled him over for an expired registration: "I said there'... More »

GOP Tries to Return Romney's 'Gift' Comment

Pundits say GOP is basically telling him to 'go away'

(Newser) - It looks like Mitt Romney's parting shot—attributing Barack Obama's win to the "gifts" he offered minorities and the young —is the gift that keeps on giving for Democrats, as Republicans around the country hurried to distance themselves from their former nominee's comment. Prominent GOP... More »

Obama Gave Cameron ... a Grill?

It's the latest gift that seems to have come out of left field

(Newser) - It's better than a gift card, but the White House's latest round of gifts for a foreign dignitary is raising a few eyebrows: President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, have presented the British PM David Cameron and his wife, Samantha, with a wood and charcoal burning grill... More »

11 Insanely Expensive Gift Ideas

A trip to outer space will run you only $200K

(Newser) - 'Tis the season for giving, and what better way to show your appreciation for someone then to bestow them with an absurdly lavish gift, presuming you are nestled high up into the 1%. Here are 11 of the most ludicrously expensive gift ideas, courtesy of Time :
  • Pacifier, $17,000:
... More »

See Who Gave Obama Cheapest, Priciest Gifts

Saudi king, Palestinian president at opposite ends of spectrum

(Newser) - The State Department has released the list of gifts given by foreign governments to President Obama or federal workers in 2010, and it's already being gleefully picked apart. Read it in full here as a PDF, or check out the cheapest and most expensive here:
  • Most expensive, $34,000: The
... More »

Parents Fall to Pieces Over Unassembled Toys

Construction toy sales booming, but then you have to build them

(Newser) - Toys that required assembly were once an end in themselves, and their elaborate instructions made the process fun. These days, parents shopping for their kids don’t have much of a choice. “Toys do have more parts today,” a store owner tells the New York Times . Shipping flat... More »

Holiday Shopping Tip: Money Can Buy You Love

Yuletide economics dissected

(Newser) - Christmas is coming, and the "voluntary December calamity" of destruction of billions of dollars in value is under way, writes George Will. People will splurge on gifts their relatives and friends don't want or need, and the discrepancy between the cost of the present and its value to the... More »

Give These Gifts and Get Lucky

Presents for the materialistic lady in your life

(Newser) - If you're out to win the heart of a woman impressed with pricey baubles and bubbles, Esquire has just the gift guide for you. Ask Santa to help you pay for:
  • La Perla Signature Collection: A $242 bra may seem outrageous, but it's hand-embroidered and Italian.
  • Christian Louboutin heels: The
... More »

Neiman 'Fantasy Gift' Pricetags Plummet to Mere $250K

Slowdown scales down costs as even super-rich turn 'frugal'

(Newser) - The slowdown in luxury spending has spurred Neiman Marcus to make its "fantasy items" in this year's Christmas catalog a lot less fantastic than in years past. For the first time in a decade there's no $1 million-plus items on offer, like the $20 million submarine offered in 2000... More »

Self-Serve Ads, Goods Work Well for Facebook

After missteps, Zuckerberg and co. have found some winning formulas

(Newser) - Reports on Facebook’s newly announced profitability have focused on a fixed deal with Microsoft that generates a large chunk of their income. But the site’s homegrown revenue sources—self-serve advertising and virtual gifts—shouldn’t be discounted, writes Bobbie Johnson for the Guardian. The personal information on Facebook... More »

No Wedding Gifts, Please; Just Fund My Startup

(Newser) - A Silicon Valley couple has forsaken a traditional wedding registry for venture capital, Gawker reports. “The World's First Start-up Wedding Registry” doesn’t ask guests for appliances or candlesticks; instead, they can give enough to “feed an outsourced engineer for a day” or pay a month’s worth... More »

Homeless Holocaust Survivor Leaves $100K Gift

(Newser) - Hebrew University has received a surprise donation of more than $100,000 from an unexpected benefactor—a woman who survived the Nazi Holocaust and appeared to be destitute, a university official said today. Upon her death 2 years ago, a homeless Holocaust survivor living on the streets of New York... More »

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