WHEELING - The feel of fine linens against the skin, the taste of exquisite chocolate or cheesecake, or the experience that can only come from a world-class spa or resort - all make fine luxury gifts this holiday season.
The present of pampering is one the receiver will appreciate following a stressful holiday season, just as they would a fine night's sleep.
New high quality sheets provide the feeling of luxury throughout the year, and also are a very practical gift. Most people spend more time in their beds than in any one spot each day, while comfort in slumber also can lead to better health.
Above, a customer at the West Spa at Oglebay Park’s Wilson Lodge receives a massage from a spa professional.
When shopping for sheets, thread count and the material type are the most important factors to consider. Sheets constructed of 100 percent cotton are preferable.
The best bedding typically is constructed of "Egyptian" cotton or "Supima" or "Pima" cotton - all long-fiber cottons that are more durable. "Supima" cotton denotes high quality cotton grown in America.
A sheet's thread count pertains to the number of threads per square inch of fabric, and the most luxurious sheets have thread counts of 800 or above. That's not to say these sheets are always the softest, but they will soften after repeated washings.
Luxury in the home often is in the eye of the individual, and the gift-giver needs to consider the person for whom they are purchasing the gift.
Cooks and bakers might regard a Kitchen-Aid stand mixer as the ultimate in luxury, while the coffee-lover might want a Keurig single-cup coffee brewer - along with an assortment of the needed K-cups.
Music lovers would love a Bose Wave Music System radio.
Even a top-of-the-line Dyson vacuum cleaner is an ideal luxury item to the person who strives to keep a tidy home - or who just has shedding pets.
As for one-time luxurious treats, gift cards for massages and spa services can be purchased at both Oglebay Park's West Spa and the Trillium Spa at Seven Springs Resort.
"Any day of the week is a great day for a massage," said Anna Weltz, communications manager at Seven Springs. "A lot of guests purchase gift cards, and these can be used at the spa. Rather than a husband buying a certain spa service for his wife, a gift card can be used toward any service at the spa."
In addition to the many different types of massages available at fine spas, most also offer such services as body treatments, hydrotherapy, facials and salon services such as manicures and pedicures.
Couples packages also can be purchased - for husbands already thinking ahead to Valentine's Day.
Also, any person with a sweet tooth can appreciate a piece of cheesecake. Decadent foods make a great luxurious gift, especially if shared with someone else.