The tree of gold
In 2007, jeweler Steve Quick made a table-top Christmas tree out of five pounds of solid 18 karat gold. He then decorated his tree with diamond "ornaments," and a detachable platinum star with a 4.52 karat diamond at the top, which could also be worn as a pendant. Not only was it a glorious tree-necklace combo, but it was actually made in the holiday spirit. Following Christmas, Steve Quick auctioned it off on eBay with all profits going to the American Cancer Society.
The blingiest bauble
Forget tinsel. In 2010, Embee Jewels of London teamed with Hallmark Jewelers to create the bauble to end all baubles: A white gold sphere encrusted with 1,578 diamonds. As though that weren't glittery enough, they surrounded the ball with two rings boasting 188 rubies. The piece was sold at auction for an undisclosed sum, but the National Associations of Jewelers valued it at $130,000. Fifteen percent of the proceeds went to the National Autism Society.
The designer Christmas tree skirt
You wouldn't wear a $4 red felt skirt on Christmas morning, so why should your tree? For those really invested in their tree's underthings, Neiman Marcus sells a gold velvet Abaresque Christmas Tree Skirt designed by Jay Strongwater. The fabric is hand-embroidered with gold silk thread and embellished with Swarovski crystals. It sells for $1,650.
This super-glitzy nativity set
Have you been searching high and low for the perfect, obscenely expensive nativity set to remind you what the holidays are really about? Bergdorf Goodman sells a lovely table-top version featuring the blessed family painted in gold and draped in Swarovski crystals for a mere $3,400. Jesus himself would have undoubtedly approved.
The most expensive wreath in the world
Finnish floral designer Pasi Jokinen-Carter this year created what's being called "the most expensive Christmas wreath in the world" — a $4.6 million creation that mixes some fancy holiday shrubbery with 17.49 karat rubies and a 3.03 karat fancy yellow diamonds. Maybe find a safer place to hang this than above the welcome mat in front of your house?
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How academia's liberal bias is killing social science
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- Dick Cheney's America is an ugly place
- The Hobbit: A disappointing set of movies, but a worthy set of prequels
- America is building a Sunni army in Iraq to take on the Islamic State
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- The liberation of Barack Obama
- The age of miracles is over — even for the religious
- Diagnosing the Home Alone burglars' injuries: A professional weighs in
- How to make the ultimate grilled cheese
Subscribe to the Week