November 27, 1978 12:00 PM


Stuck for holiday gift ideas? Don’t want to give Uncle Ziggy another pair of socks, Aunt Sophie stationery or Cousin Lance a Learjet? Here are a few ideas; some of them are insanely impractical, to say the least, but they’re useful as examples of what you might have given if things had gone a little better during the year.

The thoughtful will want to consider an offshore oil rig. It can be moved anywhere, drill in 300 feet of water, has crew quarters for 78 and its own heliport. It’s a gift the whole family can enjoy, especially if they’re the outdoor type. (Available through Sakowitz department store, Houston, for $28,700,000; order early to avoid the rush)

Can’t decide about that oil rig? Get yourself the All-American Decision Maker dart board, which has pointed answers ranging from yes and no to a definite maybe. (Lord & Taylor and other department stores, $7.50)

Anyone still up in the air may find solace in a $17 pacifier; it’s solid brass. (Neiman-Marcus)

For the person who has everything and would like to enjoy it twice as much, the Clone Kit provides a test tube, petri dish and an instruction book. It’s only guaranteed, however, to produce $7 checks for the Home Clone Corp. of Philadelphia.

Joggers who want to keep in touch could use a Runner’s Radio. It has an extra large speaker, adjustable straps and weighs only 6½ ounces. (Randix Industries, Albany, N.Y., $19.95)

The portable Lexicon LK 3000 Language Computer can translate in 12 different languages. It has a typewriter-like keyboard with a tiny printout screen and comes with one cartridge in, among other languages, French, German, Polish, Spanish, Italian or Portuguese for translating to or from English. Phrases are punched in in one language and appear on screen in the other. It can also serve as a calculator for currency conversion. (Lexicon, Miami, Fla., $225; additional language cartridges, $65; calculator cartridges, $45)

The French version would be indispensable to anyone who receives an April in Paris Weekend. The package includes an escorted tour by the director of the American Cinémathéque, with a special screening of any film from the Cinémathéque Française archive. A fringe benefit is a bit part in a U.S. movie filmed on location in Paris. (Bloomingdale’s, $15,000 including a round-trip flight)

While still in France, how about a tour of the wine regions of Burgundy, Champagne and Loire in a helium-filled balloon? During this two-week excursion, guests will be pampered with gourmet meals and lodgings at the most elegant châteaux. Float-off is June 16. (I. Magnin Travel, San Francisco, $3,200 per person, not including air fare)

Italophiles may prefer to savor the Continent by making pasta from scratch with a Pastamatic. Imported from the mother country, it comes with four disks for turning out spaghetti, rigatoni, lasagna and fettuccine. (Macy’s, approximately $175)

Reassuringly, while real estate prices roller-coaster in real life, in Monopoly, Baltic Ave. still sells for $60 and Boardwalk for $400. This year there is a conspicuously consumptive model of the game that costs $600. The board and pieces are made of chocolate, which makes this perfect for a cool game fanatic who can play without sweaty palms. Do not pass “Go”; do not eat $200. (Neiman-Marcus and Confections by Sandra, Canoga Park, Calif.)

A gas-powered yellow fiberglass miniature Corvette will please aspiring hotrodders ages 8 and up. The single-seater reaches a top speed of 15 mph, on a 3-hp, 4-cycle engine. The EPA at least would approve; this status car for spoiled kids gets 65 miles per gallon. (FAO Schwarz, New York, $695)

The lifesize replica of the Mayflower is safely harbored at Plymouth, Mass., but a 26-inch-high sterling silver facsimile, with detail so fine that even the rigging is spun from silver wire, goes for only $30,000. (Shreve, Crump & Low, Boston)

A three-foot Old World gristmill, handmade in Germany, makes grain from an adjoining water-wheel. In a few years the $5,750 device will pay for itself in wheat germ alone. (Bergdorf Goodman)

He always stands tall, of course, but a Snoopy at 6 feet and 32 pounds looks imposing enough to take on even the vicious cat next door. (Department stores, $250)

Cityscape is a composition of five cut-crystal columns rising from a stainless steel surface. Designed by Lloyd Atkins, it forms an array of prisms and happily has nothing to do with garbage strikes, urban decay or mass transit breakdowns. (Steuben, New York, $8,750)

If all else leaves you cold, there’s always a full-length Russian sable coat. It has a high collar to keep the wind from whistling down the back. (Garfinckel’s, Washington, D.C., $30,000)

Most of these goodies can be stashed into a 9,000-ft. mountain in Utah’s Wasatch Range in Natural Safety Deposit boxes. Each unit is 700 cubic feet, has been evenly divided for a couple and has elaborate safety features to protect valuables from thieves and disasters. It’s good to know your sable will survive even if civilization doesn’t. (Neiman-Marcus, $90,000 for a 50-year lease)

Tired of thinking about it? Pillow Talk is a bed pillow with two small speakers which connect to stereo or radio; put Silent Night or perhaps a rare copy of Stan Freberg’s old Green Christmas—”Deck the Halls with Advertising”—on the turntable and relax. (Carson Pirie Scott & Co., Chicago, $39.95)

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