American consumers spend a whole hell of a lot on holiday gifts. Retail sales are expected to reach $655.8 billion between November and December, while internet sales will spike around $117 billion, according to forecasting from the National Retail Federation. And that isn’t all due to celebrities buying crazy things—like a gold-encrusted wisdom tooth or a custom-painted Birkin Bag—us normal humans are making it rain on the cashiers, too. According to a NRF survey, Americans are planning on spending an average of $935.58 on gifts this year.
And with the holidays meaning big bucks for retailers, those companies are bringing out the big guns, hoping you’ll opt for the real leather or gold-plated options because ‘It’s Christmas.’ That’s truly what makes this the most wonderful time of the year, when the most ridiculous of so-called luxury items start popping up in shop windows.
Here are some of the more eye-rolling gifts you could be buying this year.
For somewhere in the neighborhood of $1,000, these ‘80s throwback designer skates could be nestled under your Christmas tree. Net-A-Porter says the understated roller skates are “made in Italy from silver textured-leather, appliquéd with the label’s signature playful red stars and a bright-blue heel patch.” Wearing suggestions include roller discos (time machine not included) or while running errands in the city.
Want your special someone to feel like the life of the party? The solid sterling silver party hat is finally out of retirement at Tiffany & Co and ready to be donned again. Surprisingly, with so many everyday uses for this chapeau, it is also affordable. A mere $1,000 is all you’ll need to bring it home for the holidays.
Is your boss just using any old paperweight to hold his Dale Carnegie collection upright? These subtle bookends show you care and definitely say “Don’t worry, you’re not paying me too much,” all at the same time! Made from sparkling crystals and dipped in gold, Aerin describes the set “As beautiful as they are practical.” And with an $875 price tag to boot, they make the perfect Secret Santa gift.
Looking for that last-minute stocking stuffer? This ‘lovebug’ bagchain features both real feathers and googly eyes, definitely justifying the $170 price tag. Perfect for your not-at-all spoiled tween niece.
Need something for your new age-y aunt? This incense and tealight burner is “a modern embodiment of ancient rituals.” The $820 censer was designed by Apparatus and includes a spun brass base and porcelain dome, because you know, regular old wood and metal won’t do during the holidays.
In all seriousness, if you are looking for help polishing off that gift list without setting a new spending record, check out our holiday gift guides, which feature affordable, sustainable options that enrich more than just the giftee. Or consider this unintentional advice from the NRF:
Commit to not buying yourself crap (harder than it sounds) and you’ll come out of this whole thing a bit wealthier.