NEW YORK – For celebrities, Christmas doesn't just come in December — it comes at many awards shows.
Backstage at the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards (search), the gifts available at the celebrity "retreat" lounge included custom-fitted Fendi eyewear, Tommy Hilfiger (search) jackets, iRiver portable MP3 players, roundtrip helicopter rides by Blue Star Jets to the Hamptons and Motorola cell phones.
Beyonce Knowles, 50 Cent, Britney Spears, Missy Elliott and others participating in Thursday night's show at Radio City Music Hall were invited to peruse the gifts.
Knowles was particularly impressed by a Tahiti trip at Pearl Resorts. "If I have time, I'll go," the 21-year-old singer said.
Karen Wood, president of Backstage Creations, said Carmen Electra and boyfriend Dave Navarro, and the groups Good Charlotte and Coldplay visited the celebrity lounge Wednesday.
"Carmen liked the Reed Evins shoes," she said. "(And) Good Charlotte was all stoked about the Motorola phones."
Do celebrities ever take more free gifts than they've been offered?
Since they're able to take home an estimated $20,000 in gifts, not that often, Wood says, although she allows that "sometimes, people will say, `I'd like some more sunglasses.'"