The economy is sagging and consumer spending is down, but that doesn’t mean people have stopped giving gifts. Of course, the average man on the street isn’t going to be giving a $1.6 million helicopter to their significant other, as Angelina Jolie recently gave to Brad Pitt. Celebrities are notorious for giving the sort of lavish gifts most people couldn’t even dream up, like the waterfall Jolie gave Pitt for Christmas. That’s right, a waterfall. But it’s those same insane gifts that are part of the reason why our culture is so infatuated with celebrities. They make an insane amount of money doing things many of us would do for free, like singing a song, performing in a film or playing a sport. And while some celebrities, such as the aforementioned power couple, also use their money to support non-profit organizations and contribute to worthwhile causes, it’s their lavish gift-giving that gets the majority of the press. Here is a look at some of the ridiculously extravagant gifts celebrities give out.
Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore had one of the most publicized break-ups in the history of celebrity couples. Thankfully they handled it with class, and the story swiftly died. But while this celebrity couple was still joined in marriage, Kutcher gave Moore a pricey Christmas present. The Peter Beard Limited Edition Art Book is a gorgeous compilation of Beard’s African adventures in the 1960’s. Though many art and photography books carry a somewhat steep price tag, this book was one of only 2,250 copies in existence. And that exclusivity brought with it a $1,900 cover price. That’s a coffee table book that will certainly force you to use a coaster.
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International soccer star David Beckham and his fashion icon wife and former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham may be the most photographed couple in the world. Their financial opulence has been well-documented, and according to the British version of MSN Money they took things to a new extreme during the Christmas holiday. David gave his blushing bride a diamond necklace decked out with over 100 rubies, worth more than $3 million US. Victoria showed him her appreciation by gifting her hubby a Rolls-Royce Phantom, a ride worth a paltry $428,000. Why do the ladies always get the nice things?
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Oprah Winfrey is well known for her giving nature. Guests of her long-running talk show often walked out the door with elaborate gifts, vacations and even cars. Well, during the holidays at the end of 2008,Winfrey opened her bank account wide for the dedicated staff of her company HARPO. She gave each full-time employee a cruise of the Mediterranean valued around $5,400. HARPO is no tiny startup, either. More than 1,700 employees enjoyed the cruise that holiday season.
Not to be outdone by his celebrity wife on the gift-giving front, superstar dad Brad Pitt gave their son Maddox quite the gift last year. The boy’s a passionate go-cart racer, so the movie star took him on a casual father-son trip, to the South of France. So Maddox could learn more about his favorite hobby, Pitt decked each of them out in racing gear and headed to an elaborate go-cart track in France.