gift

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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 »

Developer Gives $100M to Habitat For Humanity

(Newser) - Habitat for Humanity has received a $100 million gift from a developer in the largest contribution in the charity’s history, the AP reports. J. Ronald Terwilliger said he hoped the gift would “inspire others to make the commitment to support affordable housing.” Habitat says the money will... More »

Michelle Gives Carla a Guitar

(Newser) - Michelle Obama presented her new amie Carla Bruni with a hard-rockin', all-American gift today: a Gibson guitar, People reports. The two first ladies, who first met yesterday, kissed hello and held hands briefly during a tour of a cathedral and museum in Strasbourg. Obama also agreed to help the... More »

What's On the Queen's New iPod? Showtunes

(Newser) - President Obama's gift of an iPod to Queen Elizabeth II came loaded with 40 songs from popular Broadway productions, including The King and I, West Side Story, South Pacific, and Dreamgirls. The iPod was given to accompany a rare coffee table book of songs by composers Richard Rodgers and Lorenz... More »

Gasp! First Lady Snubs UK First Lady

(Newser) - Apparently, admiration for Michelle Obama is not universal. In a column that might just qualify as a snit, Sarah Vine of the London Times takes the first lady to task for an "uncharacteristic lapse of judgment." The awful offense? Michelle gave toy models of Marine One to the... More »

Don't Expect Diamonds on V-Day

Americans to spend 15% less this year on holiday

(Newser) - This may not be the year you get that Tiffany necklace: Americans plan to cut back on lavish displays of love this Valentine's Day, MSBNC reports. One survey predicts that holiday spending will drop 15%, from, says another survey, about $123 to $103 per person. The plunge comes after nearly... More »

Daschle Faces Grilling on Charity Gifts, Apologizes on Taxes

Releases letter of apology to lawmakers for tax mistakes

(Newser) - Already beset with questions about his failure to pay taxes, Tom Daschle will likely also face questions today over whether he received improper gifts from charities, the Wall Street Journal reports. President Obama's nominee for health secretary is reported to have flown with an education charity to a Bahamas retreat... More »

Drug Companies Agree to Stop Docs' Free Goodies

Critics charged stacks of free trinkets were attempt to influence doctors' decisions

(Newser) - The piles of freebies drug companies lavish on doctors will go the way of the VHS tape as of tomorrow, the New York Times reports. The industry, facing criticism that it is trying to unduly influence doctors' decisions, has voluntarily decided to stop handing out pens, stethoscope holders, bandages, T-shirts,... More »

Arab Leaders Shower Condi With Jewelry; Bush, Meh

State chief got $316K in gifts last year, to about $100K for Bush

(Newser) - Condoleezza Rice scored $316,000 worth of lavish jewelry from Arab royals last year, the AP reports. Jordan’s King Abdullah treated Rice to an emerald and diamond necklace, ring, bracelet, earrings, and other finery; King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia a ruby and diamond necklace and earrings, bracelet and ring.... More »

Economy Spells Weary Christmas for Toy Charities

Donations off as much as 30%, some say

(Newser) - Across the country, charities that dole out gifts to underprivileged kids have seen donations fall off steeply compared to last holiday season, USA Today reports. Some are reporting as much as a 30% decline in giving as the economy flags. “Families that would normally have been helping us by... More »

Brangelina Push DIY Christmas

Family aims to keep spending to a minimum, want kids to 'make something' for each other

(Newser) - Though they are among the richest couples in the world, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie don’t plan to drop a bundle on their six kids this Christmas. “We have gifts, but we try to keep the money spent to a minimum,” said Pitt in an interview with... More »

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