Cost: $10,000 per couple
Don't let the pesky problem of where to ring in the New Year wreck your winter holidays. Take the easy way out! Pick up the phone and call Canlis (2576 Aurora N, 283-3313). Those consummate restaurateurs are hosting a blowout bash like you never dared imagine. This golden shindig kicks off at 5:30pm in the interest of rocketing through "10 centuries of food, drink, and entertainment" before the grand apocalypse kicks in. The proceeds from this star-spangled event go to charity; the charity on the receiving end of this enchanted evening is the YMCA youth mentor program. C'mon, Seattle, let the world know you've got cash! What could be more worth $10,000?
You know those classy-looking silver rack-and-pinion juicers you've contemplated purchasing at Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware? Forget 'em. They're petite, they're old-fashioned, and they make you look like a wimp. What you need is the new and improved Omega 4000, a juicer that'll take on any fruit or vegetable. Powered by a one-third-horsepower, 5,200-RPM permanent magnet motor, this heavy-duty stainless steel machine features pulp ejection for continuous juicing capacity and ultra-quiet, smooth operation, and there's no need to purchase a separate citrus attachment or filter sheets. No more "Would you care for a cup of freshly squeezed orange juice?" Now it's "YOU WANNA CUPPA JUICE, OR WHAT?" Where: 800-859-6994 or www.cutlery.com.
You talkin' to me? Let Il Papa Grande speak for you with a big wooden crate filled with: Jumbo Salami, Mancini Roasted Red Peppers, La Mediterranea Taralli Barese (pretzels), Il Trullo Marinated Mushrooms, Marfuga Black Olive Plate, Bertagni Grissini (Italian breadsticks) with olive oil, Prima Raspberry Fruit Preserves, Lazzaroni Amarettini (crisp miniature macaroons), Sappori Cantuccini (little biscotti), Caffarel Gianduia (silky hazelnut) Chocolates, Maina Panettone (light, buttery, sweet yeast bread), Ferrero Nutella (creamy chocolate nut spread), Flamigni Troucletto di Torrone Morbido (soft nougat), Gavioli Green Apple Sparkler, Gavioli Summer Fruits Sparkler, Gavioli Red Grape Sparkler, and the soundtrack from the movie Big Night. 'Nuff said. Where: 888-946-3789 or www.wine.com.
You know what they say: Garbage can say a lot about a home's occupants. Okay, maybe they don't really say that in cutthroat suburbia. But the fact is, the Smiths have a hell of a lot bigger and better lawnmower than you do, and while the entire block is partying it up at their big, big barbecue, you're hiding in your house feeling, well, small. It also doesn't help that Scruffles, the Smiths' pit bull, is making meat out of your not-so-sturdy plastic trash can even faster than Mr. Smith can serve burgers to your ex-best friends. What to do? Think bigger and better, and buy Brookstone's Ultrasonic Pest Deterrent with Xenon Strobe Flash. With a motion detector that detects pests up to 30 feet away, this mean machine deters wild and domesticated animals (Scruffles is both) from your trash with ultrasonic sound and a xenon strobe flash (at least there are no harmful chemicals or pesticides at work here). The killer can also operates on three settings—continuous, timer, and motion detector—so you can strategize as you like. Top that, Smiths! "George, why is Scruffles burying his head under the lawn?" Not for use near infants or caged animals. Uses four D batteries (not included) or AC adapter (included). Where: 800-926-7000 or www.brookstone.com.
Remember fiddling with those old black-and-chrome microscopes in high school biology class? Turning and turning those damn dials and still not getting a clear glimpse of your cheek cells? Turn no more, budding scientists—Smithsonian offers a Big-Screen Microscope that displays images on a 7-inch screen—that's 450 times the actual size! Mommy, what big eyes you have! Where: 800-322-0344.
Forget Katherine Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart, Elizabeth Taylor, James Dean, and all those other impostors. The biggest star of the 20th century was, hands down, Marilyn Monroe. Didja miss out on that whopper of a Monroe auction recently? You can still pay homage to the goddess of sex by ordering a Marilyn Monroe Gift Tote Bag, a glossy and glamorous sack complete with a picture of the buxom blonde bombshell who made How to Marry A Millionaire and The Misfits classics and Joe DiMaggio and Arthur Miller happy men (at least for a while). If this doesn't tickle your fancy, other ready-to-buy items include: The Great Movies Live!, a pop-up book that features a centerfold page of The Seven Year Itch ($55; after all, Marilyn was the first Playboy centerfold); a Marilyn sticker set ($25); or a 1974 Marilyn calendar with a commentary by Norman Mailer ($45). Where: www.remembermarilyn.com.