Still looking for that perfect gift for someone on your list? With five days until Christmas, you’re getting down to the wire, but there’s still time to blow friends and family away with a gift that keeps on giving—and you don’t even have to leave your house to do so. Sounds like a win-win, right? Avoid the crowds at stores, take to the Internet, and give the gift of a thoughtful subscription box this holiday season.
Subscription boxes have become extremely popular lately, with themes from food to makeup to geeky fun accessories. With so many themes to choose from, it may be hard to narrow down your options. But having more options means a greater chance of finding the perfect subscription box for any person in your life. As an avid online shopper and lover of snail mail, I’ve already tested a plethora of subscription boxes, and I’ve researched many more to compile this go-to list.
For the friend who loves office supplies:
I’m low key obsessed with office supplies. Every time I go to Target, I instantly make a beeline for the $1 section so I can check out their notepads and washi tape . That’s why I was elated to discover the Happy Mail box by A Beautiful Mess.
Each month, the recipient of the Happy Mail box gets a mix of $50 worth of stationery products– cards, envelopes, notepads, journals, stickers and more. Typically, boxes include 9 card products and 2-3 other items that arrive in a cute white “happy mail” envelope. This box is $15 a month for a 12 month subscription, $18 a month for a six month subscription, or $20 month by month (all are worth it!). Their gift subscriptions come in 6 month ($108) and 12 month ($180) options.
For the book lover in your life:
There are tons of book subscriptions out there, covering various genres. My favorite is the teen fiction themed OwlCrate, a monthly box that includes a hardback young adult novel, 3-5 bookish items, exclusives from the author, and a pin. Each month has a cute theme (past boxes have had themes of Heroes and Villains, Epic, Writers Block and Wonderland, for example) that the items are centered around. You can expect goodies like jewelry, candles, tea, journals, magnets, figurines, and other surprises (all related to different teen fiction books, of course). OwlCrate boxes begin at $29.99, plus shipping. You can gift a one month subscription ($35, includes shipping), 3 month ($107.95, includes shipping) or 6 month ($209.88, includes shipping).
If your book lover isn’t into young adult fiction, there are many other book-themed subscription box options. BookcaseClub is another favorite of mine. All of the books I have received from BookcaseClub are hardbacks, and each box includes two books per month in the theme of your choice. They have several themes, including a mystery/thriller box, Sci-fi/fantasy, young adult, paranormal romance and regular romance. There’s also a kids option that comes with four picture books, and they have two quarterly subscriptions for the same price with a cookbook or military history theme. There’s a three month option ($28 plus shipping), six month option ($54 plus shipping), and 12 month option ($100 plus shipping) too.
For the makeup lover:
Beauty themed subscription boxes were the first that caught my attention, and jump started the subscription box trend. My personal favorite is the Ipsy Glam Bag, which gives you 5 makeup and beauty products in a cute makeup bag for $10 a month. They have a mix of deluxe samples and full sized products, which I really loved. They don’t technically have a gift subscription option, but you can buy a year subscription up front for $110, or give them money for however many months you’d like to gift.
Another popular favorite is Birchbox, which also sends 5 deluxe makeup and beauty samples per month. I’ve never tried this, but many fellow LD writers recommend it. I prefer Ipsy since you get a makeup bag too for the same price and full size products, but Birchbox does tend to have more higher end brands. You can gift a three month subscription for $33, a six month for $63, or a year’s subscription for $113.
For the socially conscious:
A new subscription box that I absolutely love is the GlobeIn Artisan box. Each box contains 4-5 items handcrafted by local artisans around the world who are paid a fair price for their products (“fair” means a price determined by the producer that provides a sufficient quality of living). It comes with a really pretty palm leaf basket that’s hand-weaved in Mexico and very handy to use around the house, but you can substitute the basket for an additional artisan item too. Each box benefits the artisans who create the items and comes with a card that shows you who made what’s inside. They also have a truly global reach, with artisans located all over the world (I’ve seen and received items from India, Mexico, Thailand, Haiti, Zambia and Palestinian territories, to name a few).
The items are well made and very functional, and make a great gift for a sister, friend or mom. Each month has a theme, but if you don’t like the theme of the month, you can choose from select past boxes instead. Gift a three month subscription for $114 or a six month subscription for $210. For a less pricey option, you can also do the Benefit Basket, which sends one artisan item in a palm leaf basket for $20 a month (the full box is a better deal, but this is a great option too).
For the guy that’s hard to buy for:
Between my dad, brother, and boyfriend, the men in my life are extremely hard to shop for. A lot of subscription boxes for men are very specifically themed for different “types” of people. But there are a few that should be a hit with most of the men on your list.
Birchbox’s men’s subscription comes with four grooming samples and an accessory or gadget. You can gift a three month subscription for $63 or 6 months for $113. Loot Crate is an option that’s more on the fun side than practical. It comes with 4-6 items and pieces of apparel perfect for any pop culture fan. Items are related to TV shows, movies, games and more. Each month has a unifying theme or concept. A gift subscription is $24.95 for one crate, $62.75 for three months or $118.70 for 6 months.
Dollar Shave Club is another great option. You select a razor style for your first box, then get replacement blades each month (and you can add on things like shave butter too). I personally use their 4X razor, and it’s the best razor I’ve ever used. They have some really nice gift options for their 4X and Exec razors ($45 & $55 for 3 months, both come with a trial of their shave butter and post shave cream in the first month).
For the friend that’s always on the go:
FabFitFun is a quarterly subscription box that comes with full-size, premium products with a $200 value for $50 per quarter. Of all the boxes I’ve tried, this definitely is one with the highest quality products for the price you’re paying. If you buy an annual subscription, you’re considered a “VIP” member, and can pick the exact color/ type of certain items you want each quarter (for example, a candle scent, a color of necklace, a style of tote bag, etc.) They have a fitness theme, but usually only have one fitness related item–the rest are beauty and lifestyle products. Their gift option is in the form of a credit towards a membership (starting at $30, through $300) so it’s a very flexible gift option.
Like I mentioned earlier, there are far more subscription box services online than I could ever fit into a single article. For more themes and options specific for your gift recipient’s interests, I’d recommend searching the categories at mysubscriptionaddiction.com. There, you can see reviews of past boxes, find coupon codes and search more specific categories to find the perfect box you’re looking for.
Though you may not be able to physically give your friend or family member their first package from the subscription box service, you can make a cute card or certificate explaining what you’re giving them and when they can expect their first box in the mail. Many of the boxes above offer the option to print a certificate with your gift purchase. Wrap it up as fancy as you would any other present, for a surprise that will keep on giving all year round.
Have any other favorite subscription boxes that are perfect for gift giving? Tweet us @litdarling or share it in the comments below!
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