- This year's "Unofficial Goldman Sachs Holiday Gift Guide" features an expensive and eclectic variety of products.
- They include rare artifacts, historical documents, luxurious cars, high-end apparel, as well as unique and whimsical gift ideas for the gadabout in your life.
- Prices range all the way from six bucks to $2.4 million.
Once again, it's time for children everywhere to learn one of life's most valuable lessons: Santa loves rich kids more.
This year's list (our 6th edition) is the only gift guide you'll need, wherein the practical meets the fantastical, the everyday meets the outlandish, with a token amount of benevolence.
It's not simply a function of budget. Of course, most men are happy to receive the things they feel guilty buying or are too lazy to buy for themselves. But what they really want are the things they didn't even know they wanted.
John LeFevre is the creator of satirical @GSElevator on Twitter, and the author of the best-selling book, "Straight to Hell: True Tales of Deviance, Debauchery, and Billion-Dollar Deals," now in development with Paramount as a major motion picture.
For his house
Until we can make oil great again, these are all out of my price range. But this year, I would have my eye on the only copy of "Schindler’s List" ($2.4 million) to ever be on the market, from the family of Itzhak Stern (Schindler’s accountant, played in the movie by Ben Kingsley), the only known uncanceled and uncut George Washington check ($60,000), and an original 1863 signed photograph of Abraham Lincoln ($80,000). Or for someone who loves the intersection of natural history and art, there’s this stunningly large Iridescent fossilized Ammonite ($40,000) or this Fossilized Wall Mounted Jurassic Crocodile ($350,000).
For his library
Hachette Book Group, Inc.
If you’ve been following the 1MDB saga that brings together Goldman Sachs, $4.5 billion in misappropriated funds, a confiscated megayacht, and Leonardo DiCaprio’s Picasso, you’ll enjoy Tom Wright and Bradley Hope’s “Billion Dollar Whale: The Man Who Fooled Wall Street, Hollywood, and the World” ($19). My other picks include John Carreyrou’s “Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup” ($13), Jane Leavy’s “The Big Fella: Babe Ruth and the World He Created” ($21), Greg Lukianoff’s “The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure” ($13), and Hollywood super-agent Michael Ovitz’s “Who Is Michael Ovitz” ($20). Or just gift the audio versions. If you read two hours a day, listening while driving or exercising, it frees up 1/8th of your life for other pursuits.
For his kitchen
Other than drinking and fly fishing, cooking is my primary form of therapy, as long as I don’t have to clean up after. This year, I like this Versaprime Sushi Maker ($91) especially if paired with this Yoshihiro Chef’s Sushi Knife ($1,800). Other unique and eclectic ideas include a Personalized BBQ Branding Iron ($20), Make Your Own Hot Sauce Kit ($50), Georg Jensen Champagne Cooler ($220), customized leather apron from Dutch specialty house Witloft ($200), and this novelty to address one of my holiday season pet peeves, a Double Dish Pistachio Snack Serving Bowl ($30).
For his office
A bonsai tree is a work of art, sometimes hundreds of years in the making. The delicate balance of managing air, water, sun, temperature, nutrients, and pruning is both rewarding and therapeutic. This Five Tree Redwood Bonsai Forest ($360) is stunning but also high-maintenance. If that’s too demanding, check out the lower maintenance option of Lula’s Garden ($55), a Los Angeles startup that creates unique garden gift box experiences. I also love this classic Asprey Enamel Picture Frame ($2,300). Finally, what hedge fund manager wouldn’t want this standing, complete Extinct Cave Bear Skeleton ($30,000) in his office?
For his gym bag
Replace all his gym shorts with Birddogs ($55). I first recommended them — a company started by an HBS grad and former banker who poached the head of men’s design from Lululemon — in a Business Insider article I wrote in 2015, when they had just hit $300,000 in sales. This year, they trolled the "Shark Tank" and will surpass $16 million in revenue. They are perfect for the gym, tennis, or Sunday brunch. Throw in this Survival and Cross Jump Rope ($10) and some Tom Ford Tom Exfoliating Energy Scrub ($90). The Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille Body Spray ($96) is a classic scent, but just remember, no one should smell you from five feet away or five minutes after you’ve left the room.
For his travels
Last year, I discovered Christopher Cloos ($150) — a Scandinavian eyewear startup — with its classic design, understated aesthetic, and the same top-quality craftsmanship as famous brands at half the price. In less than a year in the US market, they’ve exploded and just launched a collaboration with Robin Thicke in St. Barts. Throw in this Moore & Giles Leather Benedict Weekend Bag ($1,000), an understated Prada Passport Holder ($495), and some iPhone-friendly Ralph Lauren Stitched Leather Tech Gloves ($60). Better still, add something that’ll benefit you too — a weekend getaway. Try the Hotel Jerome ($1,500) in Aspen and get drunk in their new basement bar, Bad Harriet. It’s one of the coolest 19th-century hotels on the planet.
Cars are typically a terrible investment, except for rich people. Hitting the auction block this December includes a 1972 Ferrari Dino 246 GT ($300,000), 1961 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL ($220,000), 1971 Lamborghini Miura P400 ($2,300,000), or the rapidly appreciating modern classic, the 2005 Porsche Carrera GT ($800,000).
For His Closet
Burn all his khakis and replace them with the insanely soft and comfortable Mott & Bow ($118) jeans. And the relatively new fashion startup has a really cool, entrepreneurial backstory. After 30 years as a family business supplying denim to the most prestigious labels, the youngest generation started an online brand from scratch — delivering the same premium quality, with a younger look, at a fair price. Pair them with these Kinfolk x Zespa Sneakers ($168), and a premium sock ($6) and underwear ($23) subscription from Brummell, because pairing and sorting colorful, gimmicky socks is a waste of time, and the fact that the average guy replaces his underwear every 7 years is disgusting.
For his kids to inherit
Other than a watch and a wedding ring, cufflinks are the only other acceptable form of jewelry, because the only thing worse for woman than seeing a desirable man with a wedding ring on is seeing a desirable man with with a ring on any other finger. I like these Longmire Hand-enamelled cufflinks ($400) for everyday use, and these Ruby Stirrup cufflinks ($14,500) for formal occasions. While you’re at it, pick up Paul Newman’s 1969 Rolex Cosmograph Daytona ($200,000).
For his competitive spirit
The holiday season is about drinking, playing games, and watching football. Check out this Yukon Hammerhead Pro Sled ($185); my kids would have to fight me for it. If there’s no snow, try a Beer Pong Chip Shot Golf ($203) or Jaques of London Croquet Set ($1,000). And an easy option for the sports fan in your life is Fanchest ($59), a new box delivery service that curates officially licensed sports merch at an exceptional discount.
For his conscience
Oxfam America, Inc.
A hardy animal — a pig ($50) or sheep ($80) — is the gift of sustainability, which means fertilizer, food, offspring, and income for rural families. It's all courtesy of Oxfam America, a nonprofit organization committed to creating lasting solutions to poverty, hunger, and injustice.
Or check out Brummell, a fashion line that focuses on the neglected top drawer — delivering premium underwear ($23) and socks ($6) at a discount. Best of all, every sale is matched with a donation to Camp Hope, a charity that provides (among many other things) business attire, career mentorship, networking, and financial support to veterans suffering from PTSD.
Even though phone cases are for the poor and irresponsible, this Stingray skin iPhone case ($90) is unique.
Your cell phone is the least sanitary item you carry with you, and you put in on your face. Get a Cell phone sanitizer ($60) for you and everyone you know.
No gift list is complete without an Asprey Backgammon Set ($4,750).
If you can’t afford Steve McQueen’s Rolex, you can settle for his mailbox ($2,000).
Finally, here are some gifts to avoid at all costs
Ties — Buying ties is fun for guys; don't take that from us. Besides, it sucks feeling obligated to wear something we probably don't like.
Grooming gadgets — If you think he needs a nose hair trimmer, why are you waiting until December 25th?
A pet — If you're married, talk it through and make it a joint decision; it's long-term commitment/obligation. If you're not married, think about the feelings of that poor dog in a worst-case scenario.
Gift cards — They’re a scam to dupe lazy people into giving errands to their loved ones, where they’re often forced to spend more than the card value, or come up short and invariably lose the balance on the card. Or, sometimes, they just lose it all.