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WTS International 2019 Trend Report

As a worldwide spa, wellness and lifestyle consulting and management company, we are consistently identifying new trends in the leisure market. We are pleased to share the following trends with you.

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1/ Medically based fitness centers will offer comprehensive health “prescriptions.”
Fitness centers will add medical staff, including exercise physiologists, physical therapists, and nutritionists, to work alongside personal trainers. After accessing a client’s health, the comprehensive care team will work together to provide medically based exercise and lifestyle regimens to promote overall wellbeing.

2/ Spas will provide holistic therapies that go way beyond facials and massages.
Spas will offer an integrative approach to reducing stress and balancing the body. Ancient treatments that are still outliers to most spa menus will become mainstream. You’ll see Ayurveda consultations, cupping, Reiki facials, crystal healing, and craniosacral therapy seamlessly incorporated into spa packages.

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3/ Pools will be transformed from splash zones to floatation therapy studios.
Floatation therapy will be used to promote relaxation and allow the mind to take a break from sensory overload. Coupled with guided meditation, floatation can help with stress, pain relief, and better sleep.

4/ Wellness retreats will focus on balancing Zen with fun.
Wellness retreats will not be about limiting yourself to yoga, spa services, and kombucha. New retreats will offer plenty of group ex but also adrenalin-pumping hikes, clean cocktails, and live music. Also, many getaways will focus on meditation, happiness, and finding purpose.

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5/ CBD oil will appear in massages and facials and be infused in everything you drink.
CBD—cannabidiol, derived from hemp plants—is one of the buzziest wellness ingredients. Although it doesn’t generate an actual buzz (CBD doesn’t contain THC), it can be used internally and externally to promote relaxation, reduce anxiety, and reduce inflammation.

6/ Recovery treatments (think deep stretching and foam rollers) will become key to boosting performance.
Off days will become as important as workout days. Structured recovery sessions can help reduce soreness, loosen tight muscles, and increase range of motion. Boutique stretch studios are opening that focus solely on manually stretching clients. Also, gyms will offer sessions with trained staff to provide active stretch therapy to help enhance recovery and fend off injuries.

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7/ Guests will expect highly personalized experiences.
Tailor-made spa experiences can include everything from tea types to a preferred aroma, music choice and customized Ayurvedic oils. Workouts will also meet individual needs and desires. Facilities need to transition from a passive location to an active space where guests can control their experiences.

8/ “Spirit” will take priority over mind and body.
The number of people suffering from anxiety and depression has increased. Wellness treatments and exercise can make a positive impact on mental health. Adding guided meditation, yoga, and therapeutic massage therapies can help people cope with stress and teach techniques to promote mental wellbeing.

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9/ Salt therapy will be used to boost the immune system and slow the aging process.
Salt therapy (or halotherapy) has many known benefits. Facilities are adding salt chambers to further relaxation, improve overall health, and improve the appearance of skin. Halotherapy is also known to counteract the exposure to pollutants and helps detoxify the lungs.

10/ Human wellness will be connected to the reduction of the carbon footprint at each facility.
People have started to connect their personal wellness to the health of the planet. With more facilities offering nature-based programs, a direct correlation between green space and how their gym or spa affects the environment is more important. Facilities that decrease their water consumption and their waste stream see it’s good for business and supports their clients’ personal wellness and sustainability goals.

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11/ Mashing work and working out.
Work-place wellness increases productivity. Companies in high-stress industries have integrated relaxing elements into the workspace, including soothing spaces, meditation apps to help disconnect at breaks, fitness club memberships, and short workouts to schedule between conference calls.

12/ Large fitness centers will act like small boutique studios.
Small classes are the trend, and big gym brands are responding. You’ll see big spaces creating small studios offering barre or cycling to cater to all kinds of clients. This approach caters to the customer rather than what was most efficient to the fitness center.

This trends report was developed by these WTS industry experts:
Katrina Morrison, Spa Director, [email protected]
Marko Dmanjanovic, General Manager, LivingWell Washington Hilton
Kim Matheson, Senior Vice President, WTS International
Henry Gudelsky, Corporate Operations Director, WTS International
Wayne Brouhard, General Manager, Millenium Family Fitness
Diane Serrano, Spa Director, Spa at Trump Waikiki
Kaitlin Novello, Activities Manager, Eau Spa
Caroline Wilmot, Spa Director, mySpa Miami
Mary Winter, Spa Director, Westin Sarasota
Marina Mitkovic, Spa Director, Lorien Hotel & Spa
Ben Batista, Spa Manager, Baccarat Hotel
Jeremy Aniciete, Fitness Director, Fitness Club at the Spa at Trump Chicago
Lisa Simmons, Spa Director, Blue Harmony Wyndham Bonnet Creek
Jenna Laramee, Corporate Operations Director, WTS International
Jamie Wolf, Corporate Operations Director, WTS International
Katie Rozinski, Spa Director, Spa at Trump Chicago
Kealy Teatum, Spa Director, Oceana Bal Harbour
Vanesa Paz, Spa Director, Eau Spa
Colleen Beck, Lifestyle Director, Affinity Community
Saige Robb, Fitness and Tennis Director, Eau Spa
Chris Griebe, Senior Vice President, WTS International
Charlotte Housego, Operations Manager, Eau Spa
Alison Colbert, Spa Director, Pallavi Luxury Spa
Stella Gustafsson, Executive Director of Spa Operations, Crystal Life Spa
Laura De La Rosa, Spa Director, Spa at Trump Doral
Katherine Brookshire, Director, Park Grove Wellness Center
Rachel Vague, Spa Manager, Sonoran Spa Westward Look Resort

For more information, or to request high resolution images for this piece, please contact us at [email protected].

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12 Facebook Tips for Spas that Help Make More Friends and More Money

Every business needs an online presence. Your current and potential clients are there, so you need to be there too. In fact, according to we Are Social’s annual Global Digital Report, over 3 billion people around the world currently use social media. For brands, social media marketing is affordable, effective and, if done right, a critical part of your marketing strategy that will drive leads and sales. The best (and easiest) ways to increase your spa’s social media presence and achieve your revenue goals:

Less is more.

Choose one or two platforms only and think quality over quantity. It’s better to stay focused and post less often than to spread yourself too thin. All of the social media sites have advantages but Facebook is still the best place to start. Now that Facebook and Instagram are owned by the same company, you can link your accounts and the same post will show on both platforms.

The basics.
Whether you are building your Facebook page for the first time or it’s been established for a while, don’t forget the basics. Your profile photo is the face of your company. Use your logo or a photo that best represents your brand. Your cover image is free advertising; use it to promote a special or a seasonal treatment. Also, there is a new call-to-action feature you can add to the top of your profile. This is a quick way for customers to get in touch. You should also check and make sure your “about” section tells a compelling story about your spa using relevant keywords. Search engines pull from this section for organic search, which will increase your chances of falling higher in the rankings.

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Share reviews.
Facebook has a rating system that allows customers to share their experiences. People trust online reviews. It’s as if a friend has given them a personal referral. This is a powerful way to attract new business. Also, many email software programs can integrate with your Facebook page making it easy for customers to become reviewers. With those two quick additions, your review numbers will skyrocket and so will the trust in your brand.

Pay to play.
In order to reach new potential customers on social media, you are going to have to pay. Fortunately, advertising costs are low. You can “boost” a post or pay for an ad for as little as $10. You don’t need to use paid advertising for all your posts, just the content that adds the most value to your customers and your brand. This is also a great way to get past the engagement algorithm Facebook recently launched. Boosted advertisements don’t fall within the parameters, keeping your content front and center to your target markets.

Cross promote.
Look at all your marketing communication tools—e-newletters, mailings, social media, flyers and brochures—to make sure they leverage all channels of your brand. Include your social media buttons in your email communications or link to your spa menu on social media. This will strengthen your presence and give your customers different ways to communicate with you.

Build partnerships.
One of the easiest ways to increase your social media presence is by utilizing partnerships. First, look at the companies closest to you. Are you located in a hotel or near other companies with an established social media presence? Collaborate on social campaigns to leverage each other’s followers. Try serving a food item or a cocktail from the bar next door at your next event. Tag them in your post and ask your new friends to share it. This strategy will let their followers know they recommend you, which will build trust in your brand. You can follow this same strategy with well-known wellness leaders, fitness instructors, makeup artists and other influencers.

Be the talk of the town.
One quick way to build excitement around your brand is by creating a Facebook event. Many people don’t know that once someone indicates that they are interested or going to an event, it will show up on their friend’s Facebook pages and extend your reach further. Also, on your Facebook page, events receive priority and are posted at the top.

Game changer.
Running a Facebook contest can be a game changer for growing your business. You have to follow Facebook’s rules (that change often), but in return you’ll gain new likes and followers. One example of a successful campaign is a “Like and Comment to Win” Contest. You could ask, “Which treatment would you most want to have?” with photos of a massage, facial and mani/pedi. If Facebook users like and comment with their choice, they would have a chance to win the service they chose. Make sure you keep the language simple and clearly state when you will be posting the winner. This would be a great post to boost!

By Pamela Bucklinger, WTS Content Marketing Director

For more information on this piece or other WTS International news, please contact us at [email protected].

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WTS International Names Catherine Warren as Corporate Operations Director, Spa Division

WTS International is thrilled to announce the appointment of Catherine Warren as Corporate Operations Director, Spa Division.

A well-known and highly regarded figure in the spa and fitness community, Warren is a frequent award winner who has been part of the WTS International family since 2010.

She was the recipient of the 2016 WTS Manager of the Year Award, as the Spa Director at Eau Spa – formerly The Ritz-Carlton, Palm Beach. Under her direction, Eau Spa received the coveted Forbes Five-Star rating for three consecutive years, making it one of only 60 spas in the world to receive this prestigious honor.

Warren was recently named as one of the ‘Top 5 Spa Influencers’ by American Spa Magazine. She’s a regular contributor to a number of beauty, spa and wellness publications, a guest expert on South Florida TV and is a regular speaker and presenter at international industry conferences.

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Warren has also acted as creative director of prominent events such as Eau Spa Mad Hatter’s Party, the Palm Beach Film Festival’s ‘Old Hollywood’ event, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Gala Kick-Off, and the Worth Avenue Yachts’ ‘Spa Yacht Hop.’

In her new position at WTS, Warren will oversee a portfolio of accounts utilizing her considerable skill-set in areas including strategy creation and implementation, resource management, brand development and the integration and management of assets.

Commenting on the appointment, Gary Henkin, President of WTS International, said, “Catherine Warren brings a wealth of experience to our firm. She truly understands the luxury spa market and will be collaborating very closely with our spa directors in her new role. I’m thrilled to have her representing our company at a corporate level.”

An alumnus of Clemson University, Warren earned a BFA in Fine Arts and as an MFA candidate at the University of Alabama, she participated in specialized fine arts studies semesters in India and Italy, as well as being a graduate of ITM in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

She has been recognised for excellence in a range of areas, including content creation and social media, training, revenue growth and management, the development of standard operating procedures, membership management, account maintenance, problem solving, and sales staff support.

Her career includes a number of high-profile positions, including vice president of health & wellness for Carillon Miami Wellness Resort, IBS spa software consultant in Richmond, Virginia, medical spa director and assistant athletic director at the Atlanta Athletic Club, and on-board spa manager with Steiner Leisure in the Hawaiian islands.

“I’m delighted to join WTS,” said Warren. “I’ve learned so much and really grown as a professional with WTS and I truly respect and appreciate the integrity, pursuit of excellence and innovation that only this company can boast. It’s such an honor to be able to work for the best in the industry. I feel such an allegiance to the entire WTS family, and there’s nowhere I would rather be.”

For more information, or to request high resolution images for this piece, please contact us at [email protected].

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WTS International Builds on Success of 2016 for an Exceptional 2017

WTS International (WTS), the spa, fitness and lifestyle consultancy and management firm, is reporting a strong forecast for 2017, following a record year in 2016.

Last year was an exceptionally busy one for WTS and saw the firm expand its position as a global leader in the industry, with the delivery of 80 design projects and 22 new spa, wellness, fitness and corporate fitness openings around the world.

With some 2,500 members of staff worldwide, a corporate team of 65 employees and an executive committee of 20 people, WTS operates in over 30 countries and currently manages over 100 sites worldwide. It’s currently overseeing design projects in locations as diverse as Dubai, Switzerland, America and India.

With every project, WTS spends time consulting with clients to fully evaluate their needs, ensuring plans are firmly based on the company’s principles of excellence in both service and performance standards. Innovation is a key priority as WTS approaches every project with the aim of being relevant and cutting edge.

Of the many projects in the pipeline for 2017, Oceana Bal Harbour, Florida, a condominium paradise with unobstructed views of the South Florida beaches, is significant for being the first building in the area to be LEED certified. WTS will manage the on-site spa and fitness facility, ensuring a five-star service to residents and guests.

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The spa and fitness facility at the brand new MGM National Harbor luxury resort on the banks of the Potomac River in Maryland features a full-service spa and salon with men’s Barber Lounge and fitness centre. WTS designed the spa concept and handled all the pre-opening and ongoing management.

WTS will also provide ongoing consulting services for the destination and day spa within Trump International Hotel Washington, DC and the Trump International Hotel & Tower in Vancouver, where guests can benefit from signature treatments, as well as full lifestyle programmes. WTS has been involved in the development of the new spa concept for Trump Hotels, and has provided design consulting services throughout the development of both properties.

Other new openings for 2017 include VERDURE, a luxury wellness facility in Amarillo, Texas, for which WTS provided design review services, including operational feasibility, interior design review, equipment sourcing and layout, together with pre-opening services such as finance reviews, staffing, organisation and training, and program development, plus on-going management.

All aspects of the facility’s operations, from its luxurious amenities, exercise equipment and resort-style pools, to its personal training services and world-class spa treatments, are designed to encourage a healthy lifestyle and wellbeing with an uncompromising commitment to service.

The development is also intended to serve as a selling point for prospective residents and a value enhancement for current residents.

Building on over 40 years of spa, leisure and lifestyle consulting and management experience, WTS’s mission is to provide exceptional services to clients, and 2017 will be no exception.

For more information, or to request high resolution images for this piece, please contact Mary Simpkins at [email protected].

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Hotel Business Design: WTS International’s Concepts are Based on Meaningful Experiences

We’re thrilled to share a feature in Hotel Business Design that showcases WTS International’s spa branding and design work for Cachet Hotels.

“After WTS International delivered a completed concept presentation, the Hong Kong-based hospitality company approved the spa brand, called cSPA. It will be developed at Cachet Deluxe’s properties throughout Greater China, Southeast Asia and the Americas. The first cSPAs will debut in Bangkok and Hangzhou, China. Designed for the affluent spa connoisseur, the cSPA concept will be rolled out worldwide following openings in Asia.”

“As WTS sought to find the right notes to hit to make this brand sing and stand out from the others, we knew it was important to truly look at Cachet Hotel Group’s target market and make it our goal to craft the experience around their expectations of luxury,” said Dubois. “In the end, it became clear that, for these guests, thoughtful luxury wasn’t about opulence, but about rich and meaningful experiences.”

Environmentally friendly features are being integrated, based on the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards. “Cachet Hotel Group has made it clear that each project will be planned with the conscious selection of locally-produced materials, energy-saving lighting methods and more easily maintainable finishings as the means by which each will contribute to the well-being of the environment,” said Dubois.”

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Spa Trends for 2016

WTS is thrilled to have contributed to Travelmarket’s “Six Spa Trends to Watch in 2016.”

Kim Matheson, WTS Senior Vice President contributed #3 on the list—innovative tech treatments, “We’ll see technology not only in the guest journey itself, but also the use of innovative technology in treatments and to offer such alternative modalities as chromotherapy.”

Read the full piece here.

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Natural Resources Spa Consulting Merges with WTS International

NRi (Natural Resources Spa Consulting), has announced it has merged with WTS International (WTS), the global spa consultancy and management firm.

The move expands the WTS global business base and enhances the diversity and range of services the firm has to offer.

Specializing in consulting and operational services for wellness, spa, fitness and leisure facilities worldwide, WTS’ services include feasibility studies, concept and brand development, design consulting, pre-opening and daily management.

For over twenty years, NRi founder and president, Kim Matheson, has undertaken spa consultancy work, including design and pre-opening support, for a diverse range of clients; including The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, Marriott International, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Fairmont Hotels and Resorts and Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, as well as many other notable hospitality firms.

This business will now become part of WTS International, with Matheson appointed Senior Vice President of WTS.

Matheson said, “We have merged NRi into WTS, to create a global, cutting-edge consultancy and management firm. Our team is prepared to craft the ultimate in authentic and luxurious experiences, with a sense of place and dramatic experiential components.”

Gary Henkin, CEO of WTS International added, “Kim Matheson is a world class spa and leisure consultant, and her involvement with WTS will allow us to further expand the breadth and diversity of our services, field, both in the US and on a global basis.”

Both organizations continue to be recognized as industry leaders for their creative and innovative approach to spa / wellness facility design and operations, with recent awards to their name. The Pearl Spa at Four Seasons, Dubai, a client of NRi Consulting, recently won Best Spa Design at the Middle East Pool & Spa Awards.

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Matheson spoke about the project and the work NRi carried out for developer H-H, saying: “We were commissioned by H-H to create a unique spa. I was inspired to consider how we could make this space innovative, while upholding Four Seasons’ standards and also delivering an experiential sense of place to reflect the diversity and vibrancy of Dubai.”

WTS International was recently awarded the ISPA Innovate Award for the Herb Wall experience the firm created for Spa Evangeline at the Epicurean Hotel in Tampa, Florida. The Herb Wall has proven popular among spa guests who want aromatic herbs which are grown just a few feet away from the treatment tables and then incorporated into treatments.

“It’s a new way of customizing a guest’s treatment beyond simply choosing an aromatherapy add-on,” said Susie Hammer, WTS International vice president of spa operations, who collaborated with the WTS design team.

Commenting further on the merger with WTS, Matheson said, “Our goal is to create an unforgettable experience for each guest, resident or member. Moreover, our reputation and growth over four decades has been built on bringing together creative and distinctive concepts, unique elements in design, and operational excellence, all within designated project timeframes and budgets.”

For more information, or to request high resolution images for this piece, please contact Mary Pilch Simpkins at [email protected].

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Hotel Saranac Introduces Ampersand, a Luxury Spa, Salon and Fitness Center

WTS International (WTS) is thrilled to announce its newest client, the renovated Hotel Saranac on Saranac Lake, New York.

The renovated Hotel Saranac will be a social hub for the residents of Saranac Lake and an elegant base for visitors exploring the Adirondacks. That’s what makes Ampersand, the hotel’s newly introduced spa, so fitting.

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Hotel Saranac

Roedel Companies have partnered with WTS International to create a full service spa, salon and fitness center that will pamper guests staying at the Hotel Saranac as well as residents of the village. Whether it is getting a pedicure/manicure, a full body massage or a haircut in the barber’s chair, Ampersand’s amenities are just right for everything from a special occasion to the daily lifestyles of people in the region.

Ampersand takes its name from the nearby mountain popular with hikers, and its décor reflects that spirit of exploring the Adirondacks. The signature scents and treatments will include indigenous ingredients – pine, birch, maple – and reflect the true outdoor flavor of the region.

Mary Pilch Simpkins, Marketing and Communications Manager for WTS International, explained that Ampersand will be located within the historic retail arcade that makes up the hotel’s ground floor. “Upon completion, there will be a rustic elegance to the spa,” says Simpkins. “It’s very much about the outdoor enthusiast. Ampersand is meant to be a place to recharge and renew for the next day’s adventure.”

WTS International has over four decades of experience providing consulting and management services for over 300 spas, fitness/wellness centers, and leisure and lifestyle facilities worldwide.

From aroma therapy to skin treatments to full hair and makeup, Ampersand will be a place for people to come and feel revitalized. There’s a steam bath, experience shower and a series of massage rooms, including one for couples treatments. There will be a private room for group events that connects to the spa and has a food and beverage option for those special days shared by family and friends.

“The whole idea of this project is to restore the Hotel Saranac as the grand hotel of Saranac Lake. Ampersand is one more way we are doing that,” says Fred B. Roedel III, managing member of the Roedel Companies. “The spa will provide a place for hotel guests and the local community to relax and celebrate all that the Adirondacks have to offer.”

About Roedel Companies:
The Roedel Companies have 45 years of experience developing, constructing, managing and designing hotels. They own and operate nationally branded hotels throughout the eastern United States, including a growing portfolio of nationally branded and independent hotels such as Hilton Garden Inns, Hampton Inn & Suites, Homewood Suites, Holiday Inns, Holiday Inn Express & Suites, La Quinta Inns & Suites and Courtyard by Marriott.

For more information, or to request high resolution images for this piece, please contact Mary Pilch Simpkins at [email protected].

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WTS Educates: Gearing Up for the Holiday Retail Season

By: Janice Nichols, Corporate Operations Director, WTS International

One of the most powerful training tools we can use is what I call, playing the “what if” game. What if we gained one additional guest per day? How would that impact revenues this week, this month, this year? What if 50% of our massage guests purchased a $10 retail product? How would that change monthly profit? This conversation is a compelling way to begin educating our staff on upcoming holiday retail initiatives.

Here are some tips to make the holidays your biggest retail numbers of the year:

Make it Rewarding Have a measurable goal in mind: average retail ticket increase, total sales, or retail sales to service ratio and share it with your team by way of a Holiday Incentive Contest. We have a Preferred Retail Vendor Program available to our managed properties, which offer incredible incentives like cash, trips and more.

Get in the Giving Spirit The holidays are a time to think of others and give generously. Put your guests in the spirit by offering a retail discount to donate to your chosen local charity. Displaying a giving tree for example, gives your reception team an easy segue into suggestive selling and slows the guest’s exit, making time for impulse buys while imparting a warm, fuzzy feeling at departure!

Rethink the Mix Shoppers are seeking unique gift items to delight their loved ones. Your retail mix should shift toward impulse items such as travel candles, chocolates, lip glosses, nail polishes, hair jewelry and holiday themed body products that make cheerful stocking stuffers. Make current retail items new by repackaging them in themed collections and always be sure to purchase enough product to make a statement and to last you through the season.

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Make it Sparkle “Spruce” up your retail space by including upscale holiday decor like pine cones, greenery and gold or silver accent pieces. Burn spice scented candles, and perhaps play subtle holiday music. Who can resist a beautifully wrapped package? Have pre-wrapped items displayed and ready for purchase. Place gift items near the check-out area and have testers for featured products at the counter.

Girls Night Out Invite your top spending guests and their friends for an evening of wine sipping, complimentary mini-services and of course, exclusive promotions on fabulous gift items.

Implementing any or all of these tips can ensure that your sales team a successful season and your guests a wonderful holiday season!