Just so we all know what we’re dealing with here, I admit that I am a frugal man. There’s a big difference between being frugal and being and cheap. I am frugal.

That said, it may surprise you to know I’ve been “shopping” lately. I “shopped” online for the “most expensive Christmas gifts” and can’t believe what I saw. The gift suggestions were exorbitant and made my frugal hands shake!

My daughter’s canine housemate, Molly, is a very respectable pooch. I have purchased Christmas gifts for Molly in the past and plan to do so again this Christmas. Molly, however, will not be getting the dog collar I found on the Internet. Hailed as the “Bugatti of dog collars” by Forbes magazine, this collar is encrusted with 1,600 diamonds and is advertised at $3.2 million dollars. Sorry, Molly, you’re getting doggie treats again this year.

Those of us who have been married for a while know it’s usually not cool to give your wife an appliance for Christmas. However, there is a household appliance that some women may appreciate ̶ a gold-plated upright vacuum cleaner. Only 100 were manufactured and the price tag is one million dollars. I hope it sucks!

At the State Fair last summer I purchased for my wife a lovely pair of sunglasses from a bargain vendor for just $6.00. (Yes, I do spoil her sometimes.) I am so thankful she is happy with them. I can’t afford the pair of sunglasses Dolce & Gabbana is promoting online. The frame is made of solid gold with some diamond pieces on it. And they are supposedly a bargain at $383,609. I hope the deal includes a free carrying case.

If you’re looking for something a little more reasonable, your family may enjoy playing a game of 8-Ball on a lovely glass pool table. The G-1 Glass Pool Table features a shock-proof 15-millimeter (9/32”) glass playing surface. “See-through pockets,” the manufacturer boasts, “allow you to see your shots hit home from any angle.” It can be yours for about $73,000. Just put it on your Visa card.

Have you considered giving linens for Christmas? Certainly you could find lovely linens at your nearest Walmart or Target. Or you could give a custom-made Leontine Linens Home Trousseau which includes bed sheets, comforter covers, towels, shams, pillow covers and dinner napkins and some things items I know nothing about. The price? A mere $55,000 for the set. But for that, the linens “arrive pressed and ready for luxuriating.” I just felt a chill in my wallet pocket.

When my family visited our Great Uncle and Aunt, Bill and Harmka, 60 years ago we kids enjoyed playing with a marble game where you dropped in a marble and it rolled down a series of wooden slots. It was great fun… for a kid. Fast forward to 2019 and now kids can play with a huge spherical labyrinth for a wooden marble (the marketer’s words, not mine.) This marble game, advertised as The Superplexus, is “a complex network of chicanes, multi-planar hairpin turns, spirals, and staircases in service of moving a wooden ball from beginning to end in 425 turns.” Now here’s the best news ̶ the price tag is only $30,000. That’s the lowest price yet for these gift ideas. My frugal conscience is screaming, “Have you lost your marbles?”

If the all of the above items are too rich for your charge card, take heart. Versace, an Italian luxury fashion company, is advertising a pair of Greca Chain Squalo sneakers for women. “Inspired by the anatomy of the great white shark, the outsole of the Squalo sneakers evokes the shape of the animal’s jaws,” says the advertising copy. Gentlemen, you can buy a pair of these lovely sneakers for your sweetheart for just $1,495. I assume shoe laces are included.

I hope my research has been helpful.

Meanwhile, my thrifty nerves are shot. I’m going to clip some coupons and check the ads in Sunday’s paper. I’m sure I can find some gifts in my price range.

If you’re on my Christmas gift list this year remember it’s the thought that counts.

(Arvid Huisman can be contacted at huismaniowa@gmail.com.)