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It's been a difficult year coming out of a pandemic and recent talks about a recession are not helping matters whatsoever! The holiday season is no time to be stressing about past events or things that could happen. This is the time to rejoice and celebrate everything in our lives that make us happy. Whether you would like to gift a little bliss to yourself, or want to give some to a deserving other, I have a few ideas that can make it happen!

Boutique Spa Hotels & Retreats

Conde Nast frequently lists the best boutique hotels and destination spas to get away to for blissful wellness vacations. Boutique hotels are small-to-medium sized hotels that offer spa treatments, wellness programs and farm-to-table food or fine cuisine. You don't necessarily have to travel far to find one as they are located in cities, towns and surrounding areas you may not have thought of. Victoria, Canada has several of them right downtown. One noteworthy one is Abigail's Hotel. This is an adults-only charming tudor-style hotel that offers a gourmet breakfast every morning, a spa bath in select rooms, a library lounge with books, movies and games, and close access to the Victoria Clipper. The rooms are incredibly charming and warm, the dining is superior, and the location is within walking distance of everything the tourist city has to offer. If you prefer to get away a little further from home and you frequently travel to destinations like Arizona, you definitely want to visit Sedona at least once in your lifetime where several boutique hotels are set against spectacular red rock mountains. One worth experiencing is The Wilde Resort & Spa located 5 km from downtown Sedona. This boutique hotel offers a full-service spa, yoga classes, a fitness facility, a pool and hot tub, an outdoor fireplace and indoor fireplaces in every room. This hotel has been given a "Fabulous 8.9" rating by guests on it's website. The Travel & Leisure magazine lists several wellness retreats that take relaxation to a whole new level with zen practitioners and meditation under the guidance of Head Teachers like Zentatsu Baker Roshi at the Crestone Mountain Zen Center in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in southern Colorado. These programs include Zen Mind Readings, Akido and Zen, Zazenkai, and Rohatsu Sesshin, which help one to "gather the mind". You will experience a "physical sense of inclusive wholeness", silent mini-retreats, seven-day intensive meditation sessions, oryoki meals, and Dharma talks that take you to the depths of your soul and back again. Namaste!

The Mongolian Yurt

If you've never heard of a yurt you're not alone! A yurt is a traditional tiny home native to central Asia. I have discovered an authentic one in Canada that was transported to the Halifax Professional Center in Halifax, Nova Scotia. In this yurt you can experience a range of healing and relaxation therapies that include sound therapy beds to melt away tension in minutes, boost brain function and improve sleep. Other therapies offered there combine traditional healing arts with neuroscience for results that last for days. It's so unique! An airline ticket to Halifax with a gift certificate from The Mongolian Yurt would be an amazing gift for someone who needs a lift!

Gifts of Aromatherapy

A great way to reduce stress caused by things you can't control is through the use of aromatherapy in the bath or hot tub. Aromatherapy has been in practice for thousands of years for good reason. Breathing in scents you love promotes relaxation. Essential oils make great gifts for people who have hot tubs at home or who like to take warm baths. They are easy to use and can be found everywhere from natural health spas and health stores to better drug stores. Some of the most popular essential oils include lavender, which helps alleviate insomnia; eucalyptus and peppermint to relieve tension headaches; jasmine to induce calmness and tranquility; or blends for specific purposes such as "Sweet Dreams", "Happiness", and "Every Day Is A Holiday" offered by Essante Organics. Essential oils are affordable and great to add to your holiday gift baskets.

Spa Gifts

When was the last time you had a "spa day"? If you're like most busy people it's been far too long. Don't wait until someone gets married to gift yourself or someone else a spa treatment. You and your loved ones have worked hard all year. Get them a gift certificate to the best spa in their area, or a gift basket containing all their favorite products so they can treat themselves at home when they've had a rough day. They'll love you for it!

Lavender Warming Booties

I discovered these online and thought they were the best thing going. Fleecy, lavender-scented heated spa booties to relax at home in! I'm definitely going to have to get a pair. These boots aren't made for walking, oh no. These boots are anti-chilling for thawing frozen footsies! The insoles are removable and filled with lavender flower and flax seeds. They are designed to be warmed in the microwave to activate the scent and the soothing heat. Available in pink blush or natural. They range in sizes from XS to Large. The boots are handmade in Argentina but you can get them online at for $114 CAD. Enjoy!

It's been a really long year! You and your loved ones deserve to celebrate this holiday season no matter what is happening in the world. Enjoy every moment you spend with them and take time to celebrate you as well. Love, Joy and Bliss!

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