Holiday gifts: 10 gift ideas for recharging the body, mind and soul


Here are our favorite philanthropic and experiential gifts to recharge the mind, body and soul this season.

Philanthropic gifts

Knitting kit


Handmade gifts tend to have the most meaning, and this knitting kit is no exception. A collaboration between We Are Knitters and the young crochet prodigy Jonah Larson, the crochet beanie, also known as the Charity Beanie, was designed exclusively by the young yet prolific knitter. 20% of the sales will be donated to Roots Ethiopia, an organization that supports children in the village where Larson is from. $60.

‘Humanity’ necklace

In a simple yet effective statement, jewelry designer Ariel Gordon puts “Humanity” at the center of this 14-karat gold nameplate necklace. Proceeds go to This Is About Humanity, a nonprofit organization that raises awareness and provides support to families separated at the Mexican border. $595.

Valerie Loves L.A. Loves Alex’s Lemonade Bar


Here’s a sweet stocking stuffer or hostess/host gift that gives back. Every purchase of this 61% bittersweet chocolate bar, topped with pieces of candied lemon peel and a sprinkle of fleur de sel, sends $1 to L.A. Loves Alex’s Lemonade, which aids the fight against childhood cancer. $12.

Customizable surfboard

For the adventure-seeking design lover, this customizable surfboard serves as a chic decor item with a decidedly West Coast vibe. Twenty percent of proceeds from each sale are donated to the Ocean Conservancy. Starts at $850.

Silk loungewear


Elevate bedtime with silk pajamas from L.A.-based label Helena Quinn. Until Jan. 1, the direct-to-consumer brand is dedicating 15% of sales from its Black Floral collection to This Is About Humanity. $38-$245.

Experiential gifts

World of Adventures trips

Adventure in its most elevated form, the Four Seasons’ private jet whisks travelers to far-flung locations for bucket-list-level activities. Trips are now booking through 2021 and upcoming tours include visits to UNESCO World Heritage sites in Kyoto, Japan, as well as beach-hopping between Bali and the Seychelles. $145,000 per person based on double occupancy; $163,000 per person for trips in 2021. For itineraries and to book a trip through a live chat, email or phone, visit



The popular online education platform allows people to get pro tips from the biggest names in entertainment, media and sports. Recent courses include Spanx founder Sara Blakely teaching self-made entrepreneurship, and Thomas Keller serving up cooking techniques from preparing seafood to sous vide. And arguably the most powerful person in fashion and media, Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour, leads a class on creativity and leadership. Starts at $90 for individual classes; $180 for an all-access pass.

Meditation app

Whether it’s meant to wind down or clear writer’s block, drop-in meditation studio Unplug has created a robust app that is designed to tackle a variety of circumstances. The newly launched app has more than 700 audiovisual meditations from 60 teachers and includes “panic-button” meditations, quick and immediate meditations for those who find themselves in an overwhelming or stressful situation. Sounds like a good thing to have handy during the holiday season. Starts at $7.99 per month.

Massage and group wellness


Self-care gets a social spin at the Now in Studio City. The massage studio, which also has other L.A.-area locations, recently opened an outdoor space that can be rented for parties and events. The Now will work to curate a spread of food and wine for a group to indulge in before and after a massage. Starts at $100 per group depending on the number of people. Call (323) 250-5060 to book.

Luxury travel service

A stylish approach to the traditional sightseeing tour, newly launched Nowaday provides refurbished Jazz Age cars and private-chauffeur storytellers to take tourists to landmarks around New York. The service has plans to start tours in Los Angeles and Paris. $49 per person.