A holistic holiday gift guide of NYC experiences

Posted On Tue, December 5, 2017 By

Posted On Tue, December 5, 2017 By In 6sqft gift guide, Features, holidays, NYC Guides

Photo via Matthew Henry/Burst

The catharsis of shopping and gift giving does not come without monetary guilt, but in a city as commercially diverse as New York, it’s possible to spend locally and come away with products bringing long-term relaxation and mental balance. No one wants to give or receive a gift that feels empty of emotional value and purpose. Here are some ideas for purposeful products and experiences that can be bought within the five boroughs for friends and family (or yourself!) this holiday season.

Photo via We Travel/Flickr

1. A yoga class

The pressure to workout is high enough when you’re the one who invested in a class, but when you’re gifted the paid opportunity to do yoga, an added element of etiquette raises the stakes even higher for you to find the time and energy to attend.

On the Lower East Side, Golden Bridge Yoga has no minimum for its gift certificates and RA MA Institute New York offers both yoga and meditation programming in its studio. Classes at both locations start at $22.

ABC Carpet & Home’s Industry City location, via Industry City

2. Splurge-worthy home goods

Cheaply made household objects make for cluttering gifts that often end up in the donation pile come the new year, but tasteful if pricey picks for the most important people in your life are worth the investment.

ABC Carpet & Home’s Industry City and Union Square locations both feature larger items that are prohibitively expensive, but some of the smaller wares – including singing bowls – are more realistic. A little money won’t go too far at Canal Street’s designers’ co-op Colony either, but the selection of gorgeously made, home-oriented buys is worth the serious splurge. Shopping tip: Focus on finding one thing that you love and really cherish instead of buying 10 things that you like.

Mala beads via Pixabay

3. Holistic items

Whether or not the giftee is knowledgeable of or even open to feng shui, there are certain gifts which may not seem overtly “holistic” but are. Books and candles often fall into this category – pieces that walk the line between material and experiential. Mala beads, like these at West 23 Street’s OLO Acupuncture, can also make a thoughtful and intentional gift for the right person.

Via Savor Spa

4. A cleansing experience

21st century Americans tend to emphasize individual treatments over a communal spa experience, but New York being so metropolitan, a wide array of multicultural bath houses exist.

Wellness spaces
Modern Sanctuary is a luxurious health and wellness space in NoMad complete with a pink Himalayan salt room, and the Upper West Side’s Savor Spa has an organic skincare focus with elements of Korean beauty rituals.

aire ancient bats, bath house NYC, AIRE Ancient BathsVia AIRE’s Ancient Bath House

Spa Castle, a resort-sized Korean-style spa in College Point, is known for being seedy but sprawling, and Groupon often features heavily discounted day passes. (Beyond the boroughs, King Spa, in Jersey, is said to have nicer facilities.) Wall Street Banya offers a smaller, Russian-style bathhouse in the Financial District, and nearby in Tribeca, AIRE’s Ancient Bath House offers guests access to a suite of amenities including pools of hot, warm, cold and ice water; jet and salt baths; and a steamy hammam.

Image by Namaste Bookshop

5. A little bit of magic

Not everyone believes in the healing power of gemstones, oils, and talisman, but they are often fun, affordable and, if chosen right, meaningful. New York has a number of witchy purveyors, including Enchantments and Namaste Bookshop in Manhattan and Catland Books in Bushwick.

Via Holistic Spaces

6. Space clearing

Especially around the holidays with everyone’s jam-packed schedules and travel plans, it’s important to have a way of cleaning your space of stress before and after guests arrive. Palo Santo sticks, sage, and scented sprays make excellent gifts for your host to help clear any negative energy and rebalance once the festivities are over. Article coauthor Anjie Cho’s website, Holistic Spaces, offers a few options.

A note for after the holidays
Marie Kondo’s advice to throw out what does not spark joy may feel overemphasized, but the simple wisdom of the idea runs deep. After the holidays, if you’ve acquired gifts you wouldn’t notice missing if they disappeared, or you haven’t touched or opened by the time Chinese New Year rolls around, you’re probably best donating or regifting them.


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