Subscribe Now

A roundup of soothing spa offerings to help you survive the holidays.

Is it just us, or does the hustle and bustle of the holidays get more hectic every year? As soon as the calendar flips to December, the days seem to whip by in a blur of tinsel and wish lists, candy and shopping bags. Before you know it, you’re slumped under the tree, wearily wondering where the month has gone and vowing that next year, you’ll remember to slow down and enjoy it all a little bit more.

We’re here to remind you to do just that. Salons and spas around the North Shore are pumping up their usual offerings with special packages and programs for the holidays, and one surefire way to add some relaxation to your to-do list is by indulging in a bit of pampering. We asked the beauty specialists at the area’s most acclaimed spas and salons to offer a sneak peek at their holiday offerings, and they gave us the dish about chocolate pedicures, pre-party primping, and even a few “secret elves.” The spirit of giving is definitely alive and well, too, since these salons make it a point to give back to their clients with discounted services and even charity events for the community. So whether you give one of these luxurious gifts to your best friend, favorite auntie, or simply decide to spoil yourself, these special holiday packages will definitely add a little extra sparkle to the season.

Spa ni’joli & Salon Like any good Santa, there’s seemingly nothing the elves at spa ni’joli & salon in Methuen haven’t thought of when it comes to awesome holiday packages. They offer everything from help getting ready for your holiday party to mini-pedis for preteens, complete with a bottle of polish for them to take home. “We really just try to put the spirit in everybody,” says owner Nicole DeRosa. “We always try to do something different that we don’t typically offer all year round.” Discounted packages at a variety of prices offer full days of relaxation, massages, and spa manicures and pedicures, as well as services for guys, teens, and preteens. The salon itself is transformed, too, with garland, music, and pretty wreaths. Steaming mugs of hot chocolate topped with whipped cream and red and green sprinkles will warm up even the chilliest winter afternoon. “We also always change up the spa pedicures,” DeRosa says, by adding special products with scents like winterberry and chocolate to the treatments. “It’s just something that feels very inviting and fun.” spa ni’joli didn’t forget about holiday parties, either, offering two different pre-party primping packages that include services like airbrush tanning, makeup application, hair styling, nail services, and temporary eyelash application. 116 Pleasant Valley Street, Methuen, 978-682-9772,

Indra Salon At Indra Salon in Andover, the spirit of giving back imbues everything owners April Lyn Graffeo and Jose Batistine do, according to Edgardo Gonzalez, director of public relations and marketing at Indra. “They’re incredible individuals, and they’re always looking for ways to give back to the community,” he says. That’s especially true around the holidays, when Indra offers complimentary hand and neck massages to clients, whether they’re getting salon services or just stopping in to buy a gift certificate. “When the client comes in, we make them feel special,” Gonzalez says. “If you want a Diet Coke, we’ll go and get it.” A fireplace, decorations, little gift boxes filled with chocolate, and discount programs add to the spirit, too. But the real magic comes with Indra’s special fundraising events, such as auctions, to raise money for causes that are important to the salon’s employees and clients. For example, the salon’s “Bag a Bag” silent handbag auction earlier this year raised more than $6,500 in a single night to help fund epilepsy research. “A company should always give back no matter what,” Gonzalez says. “Caring for others is the greatest gift you can give. You’re getting in a spiritual way. It makes everything much more rewarding.” 8 Main Street, Andover, 978-460-8800,

Bodiscience Holistic Day Spa For Dawn Tardif, founder and owner of BodiScience, an Ayurvedic spa in Beverly, the holidays are all about getting clients to take a break and focus on rejuvenation. “Everyone’s shopping for everyone else; they’re not really taking care of themselves,” she says. “We’re exhausted, and we don’t have the time or energy to spend with family members.” Tardif says BodiScience sends out postcards to remind clients to take time for themselves around the holidays. They also give out extra little presents along with their gift certificates. BodiScience’s Secret Elf program invites clients to make wish lists for the spa services or products they’d like to get, along with the name and contact info for the person who might give them that gift. Then, BodiScience will send the wish list to the right person, and if they order something, the gift will be completely assembled and wrapped when they come to pick it up. Complimentary chair massages also help people relax as they do their shopping. “Around the holidays, that’s something that we’re all about,” Tardif says. “We’re here to give back to people so that they can feel recharged, restored.” 100 Cummings Center, Suite 150F, Beverly, 978-927-9909,

Bliss Spa & SalonWhen we caught up with Bliss owner Belinda Gosselin, she’d just put the finishing touches on this year’s holiday packages, including the decadent-sounding Chocolate Delight Package, featuring a spa manicure and pedicure, a Bliss facial, and a 60-minute Swedish massage. She also filled us in on the brand new stress-relieving back treatment that will be included in one of packages. It’s a 60-minute treatment that Gosselin describes as “a facial for the back.” Gosselin says including new treatments in holiday packages gets people out of their run-of-the-mill mani-pedi rut and encourages them to try fun new things. “It kind of opens their eyes to the newer services or what’s up and coming,” she says. Other specials at the North Andover salon are the Holiday Pampering package, featuring a hot stone pedicure, stress relieving back treatment, and Bliss facial; and the Holiday Season Sampler, which includes a mini facial, 30-minute massage, and a manicure and pedicure. Indulgent body treatments accompany yummy treats like pastries, chocolate, tea, and coffee, and guests are free to pad around in slippers and a bathrobe during their treatments. “People will

come in here [and] they’re hectic all the time and running around. They like something that’s a little bit different,” Gosselin says. “A lot of times they’ll say, ‘It’s the only time we get to relax.” 419 Andover Street, North Andover, 978-689-4400,

M. Lekkakos Salon, Spa & Boutique M. Lekkakos Salon, Spa & Boutique in Wenham is known for its facials, so some of the most popular holiday packages are ones that include a massage-facial combo. Especially popular for wintertime are the hydrating facials that combat cold weather-induced dry skin. “We usually try to feed the skin with moisture,” says owner Maria Lekkakos, a former Miss Massachusetts. Hydrating facials treat skin “that’s really, really dry and dull-looking to revitalize it.” At M. Lekkakos, every facial is different and based on the client’s unique skin-care needs. “I think the holiday season is stressful,” Lekkakos says. “One thing that we do for clients is that we personalize and customize [the facials] for each individual.” Plus, the facials focus on more than just the face: they also include a therapeutic massage for the legs, feet, scalp, and decolletage. “That’s what I wanted,” Lekkakos says, adding that she asked herself: “If I could put myself in this bed, what would I want as a client?” She hopes that clients can come into the salon and just relax. “People get so hectic with the holiday season. They’re exhausted from shopping,” she says. “It’s very quiet; it is like a home in here.” 154 Main Street, Wenham, 978-468-9540,

Interlocks Salon & Day Spa With a dozen packages and gift ideas to choose from, Interlocks Salon & Day Spa doesn’t skimp when it comes to making someone you love feel special. There are packages just for the guys, hot stone massages, and signature facials. The seasonal pedicure changes to reflect the time of year, so be on the lookout for the special winter pedicure, which will include yummy scents and even special treats, like whoopie pies or pumpkin spice cake, for you to nibble on from your massage chair. But the most fun might come with the spa packages, which range from the simple “Fingers to Toes”-a two-and-a-half-hour package that includes a manicure, pedicure, and one-hour massage-to the seriously indulgent, six-hour “Ultimate Day at the Spa.” That package includes a 90-minute hot stone massage; facial; spa manicure; signature pedicure; shampoo, blow-dry, and styling; and, to top it all off, a catered lunch. 58 Merrimac Street, Newburyport, 978-465-3010,