Do something for your best friend, partner or significant other that is just for them, without expectation of anything in return.

What do you long for the most? Is it material in nature? Spiritual?

“My days are filled with working. Running from appointment to appointment. Making myself available to people who need me. Unplugging is time for me. Time to put on the fireplace. A time to needlepoint and relax. It’s a time to slow down and to block out the outside world. A time to heal from the week’s demands and recharge.” (Phyllis Westling)

Living in Los Angeles means you can be outdoors all year long while everyone is bundled up (no gloating intended). What better way to spend some unplugged holiday time than checking out an outdoor spot you haven’t been to before, or returning to an old favorite. We’re excited to re-visit Echo Park Lake which, after being renovated for two years, is looking beautiful. Take a bike ride or walk around the lake (note the Victorian architecture of this neighborhood) and picnic on the dock. Visit the boat house that dates from the 1890’s where you can rent a paddle boat, canoe, or even a romantic gondola for two. Details here.

Plug into the holidays by checking out the life-size gingerbread house at San Francisco’s Fairmont Hotel. You don’t have to celebrate Christmas to appreciate the splendor of the two-story gingerbread house. Warning: It’s hard to resist a discreet nibble or two. Afterward, grab a tiki cocktail at the Tonga Room downstairs. Your phone probably wouldn’t work there anyway…besides, you wouldn’t want it to get wet in the simulated rainstorm over the pool stage. Enjoy your unplugged afternoon. You’re welcome.

‘Tis the season…to act like an elf. The US Postal Service’s Letters to Santa program is celebrating 100 years of helping make children’s holiday wishes come true. NYC’s program “Operation Santa” is the largest in the country with thousands of volunteers responding to more than 500,000 letters. Details including a downloadble PDF with participating post offices can be found here. Spend an unplugged afteroon making kids’ dreams come true. Funny hat and pointy shoes encouraged.

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