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.
Even at home hair coloring kits have come a long way when it comes to being gentler, safer and more pleasant smelling. They too use far fewer harsh chemicals that can lead to damaged hair in a heartbeat. Making it safer for you to get the desired results. Which as hair color ideas go isn't a bad thing, now is it?