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Posted at 10:45 AM ET, 12/ 4/2006

Celebritology Holiday Guide: Memorabilia Mania

By Liz Kelly

Let's face it: Fruit baskets and gift cards are just so overdone. Show your friends and family you really care this holiday season by giving a gift that speaks to their obsessions. Maybe you know someone with a "collection" or have an uncle who sets his watch to Graceland time or even know a certain Celebritologist who would so kill to own a shirt Tom Cruise wore in "Vanilla Sky"* -- surprise them with something they'll always um... cherish.

A world of items once owned -- or touched, or chewed -- by celebrities is yours for the buying. Unfortunately, an egg-salad sandwich half-eaten by Britney Spears was snapped up by Internet casino earlier this year. But, fear not, there is plenty left to round out your holiday gifting. Below, a quick survey of some of the more interesting one-of-a-kinds making holiday wish lists this year.

Jessica Simpson's alleged gum. (Photo courtesy eBay)

Jessica Simpson's Discarded Gum
If you missed out on the egg-salad sandwich, get thee to eBay now to submit your bid for Simpson's discarded gum from the set of "Employee of the Month." The seller, who claims to have been an extra on the movie, adds that the gum may be useful for future cloning purposes. (I wonder, did Ashlee spring from gum?) At the time of this writing, bidding stands at $455.

Britney Spears's Book Report
We all know Britney Spears has set foot in a school -- she filmed her "... Baby One More Time" video in a school hallway. What isn't as well-known is that Spears also spent some time as an actual student and a Christie's auction ending today in New York includes a book report Spears wrote about Sophocles' "Antigone" in her junior year of high school. It isn't as quite as telling as her recent stream-of-conciousness Web postings, but -- oops -- the many misspellings and grammatical errors are just so quaint. The estimated bidding range is $500 - $700.

Philip Seymour Hoffman's Childhood Home
Nothing says "I love you" like a little real estate. But why just give any old condo when you could give your honey the house where scarily intense actor Philip Seymour Hoffman spent his formative years? The formica-clad kitchen and wood-paneled family room make it the perfect backdrop for a rousing evening of Hoffman flicks: "Boogie Nights," "Capote" and "Magnolia." The asking price is $139,000.

This dapper ensemble could be yours. (Photo courtesy eBay)

Dr. Phil McGraw's NASCAR Jumpsuit
I'm no fan of the loud-mouthed self-proclaimed self-help guru, but the man does know a good cause when he sees it. Proceeds from the sale of a NASCAR jumpsuit worn by McGraw go directly to Toys for Tots. The UPS-sponsored team suit is signed by the good doctor. Kill two birds with one stone: help kids get toys and buy the perfect gift for your Dr. Phil-loving buddy with a 49.5-inch waist. Bidding is currently up to $33,710.

'Scrubs' Scrubs
If blue is more your color, the cast of "Scrubs" is getting in on the charity auction game, too -- sale of seven cast-decorated scrubs will benefit the New Orleans Museum of Art. It's no surprise that "it" boy Zach Braff's shirt is currently leading the bidding at $202.50. Surprisingly, the scrubs created by Sarah Chalke, who seems to have upped the ante by using a Bedazzler, are only up to $76.10 as of this writing.

Carrie Underwood's Dress
I'm beginning to think this charity auction thing is some kind of conspiracy designed to push celebrity-scrap chasers out of business. What's next? Jessica Simpson selling her own gum? Anyhow, the dress "American Idol" Carrie Underwood wore to this year's American Music Awards is up for sale. Encrusted with more than 800 diamonds, the dress is valued at approximately $850,000. Underwood will donate a portion of the sale proceeds to the Humane Society of the U.S. for their Rural Area Veterinary Services Program. While I'm all for keeping farm animals in the pink, I really think Philip Seymour Hoffman's house is the better deal. The house has a deck.

If nothing but virtual contact is good enough for your celeb-obsessed friend, eBay and Skype have teamed up to auction video calls with stars like Rob Lowe, Henry Winkler (The Fonz), Rainn Wilson ("The Office"), Rachel Bilson ("The OC") and others. What is Skype, you ask? Why, it's "the hot new way to make phone and video calls over the Internet!" Duh. Proceeds will go to charity.

If vintage entertainment is what you have in mind, you might want to plan on taking part in the Dec. 14 and 15 auction -- both live and on the Internet -- of over "$3 million worth" of vintage Hollywood memorabilia. Just a few of the items included in this mega sale are Bert Lahr's Cowardly Lion costume from "The Wizard of Oz" (bidding starts at $400,000), Elvis's wedding ring (expected to fetch at least $100,000) and the switchblade James Dean used in "Rebel Without a Cause" (expected to fetch at least $30,000). Fear not, some more modestly priced items are still available. Jean Harlow's personal lounging pajamas are a steal at an estimated $500 - $700 while a suit Sidney Greenstreet wore in "Across the Pacific" will bring an estimated $1,200 - $1,500 -- a bargain for all that fabric.

Happy shopping.

* Solely for voodoo-related activities.

By Liz Kelly  | December 4, 2006; 10:45 AM ET
Categories:  Holiday Guide, Miscellaneous  
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