Before having any kind of color applied to your hair, select a salon with a certified color professional. Not every hairdresser is an expert in color. Find a salon that specializes in color and ask about the qualifications of their staff. Usually a high end colorist will charge more, but it's worth it. Considering you are looking for something for the holidays, think of this as a gift to you.
Plus few things offer the opportunity to change your look the way changing the shade of your tresses does. It lets you keep everything else virtually the same while still giving you the change you seek. Not a bad deal actually.