The latest camera? He's got it. Earrings? She'll yawn.
The ultimate holiday-shopping challenge is finding a gift for those people in your life who basically can -- and do -- buy anything for themselves.
Here are suggestions for when money is no object but ideas are scarce.
Courtside Tickets to the Wimbledon Final
Great seats to any hard-to-attend sporting event are a sure thing.For Wimbledon, plan ahead. To buy directly from the tournament, you must submit aballot in advance. Visit the tournament's
Web site for details. But you can also buy from any number of online ticket sellers who specialize in finding those hard-to-get sold-out seats.
For events stateside and in Canada, try
StubHub.com. Owned by eBay,the site advertises itself as the largest ticket marketplace in theworld, where fans buy and sell tickets. Find tickets for Super BowlXLII or the 2008 Final Four.
Ticket City advertises seats for the opening ceremonies at next summer's BeijingOlympics starting at $4,000 apiece.
Hire a Personal Chef
That person who has everything probably doesn't have the time to takeproper care of himself of his family. Take-out, restauranteating and fast food can get old, so offer them the gift of finedining, in their own home.
Personal chefs plan menus, do the groceryshopping and prepare the food in their clients' kitchens. To find apersonal chef in your area, visit either the Web site of the
AmericanPersonal & Private Chef Association, or find a chef registered as a member of the
United States Personal ChefAssociation.
First-Class Flight to Anywhere in the World
Sure they have everything, but have they been everywhere? Offer themthe opportunity to decide where to go next, and allow them to bringthe appropriate number of travel companions in their family. Even around-trip domestic ticket is nice, if that's more in line with yourbudget -- it's unlikely they've seen every last corner in the lower 48states.
Many airlines offer gift cards and gift certificates indenominations of up to as much as $10,000. Often, too, you can findfrequent fliers looking to sell ticket vouchers online at sites likecraigslist and eBay. But if you buy vouchers, make sure that youtrust the source and that what they are selling is transferable!
A Private Vineyard
It's always hard to buy for the wine snob who at least claims to knowmore about wine than anybody else. So let them have a go at makingtheir own vintage.
First, make the gift-giving about thepresentation: Present them with a fine bottle of wine, neatly wrappedin cellophane paper and a colorful bow. Then, when they inquire aboutthe provenance of the label, act surprised that they aren't acquaintedwith the particular winery, and let them know that there is more wherethat came from, that the vineyard is now theirs.
Sotheby's andChristie's Great Estates both offer a wide selection of internationalluxury real estate options.
Their Personal Memoir, Penned by a Professional
Sure, they've been everywhere and done everything in the world, but how will your friend's legacy be preserved? Hire a professional ghostwriter to put those memories and anecdotes into potential bestselling prose.
Customize their "auto" biography by collecting diaries, photos, letters and family tree research for both personal use or even commercial distribution. Ghostwriting services online include
The Penn Group, where clients can secure a
New York Times
bestselling author for a fee between $40,000 and $250,000.
A regular full-length manuscript from someone less famous goes for anywhere from $18,000 to $26,000. Companies like
Arbor Books, plan the project, conduct research and interviews, do the writing and edit and then put together the book's art and design.
Nate Herpich is a freelance writer and editor living in Brooklyn, N.Y. He has also written for The Wall Street Journal, the Christian Science Monitor and Sports Illustrated.com.