Subscription boxes have a bad rap for being a little cheesy and a little impersonal. But honestly, if you know someone loves a particular thing, isn't gifting them an entire box of said thing a pretty impressive present? Sure, friends and family might appreciate gift cards to the best French restaurants in America, a meal at one of the best Chinese restaurants in America and day passes to one of the best day spas and spa resorts in America, but there is something about a box filled with goodies that makes the holiday season that much more special. This year, get creative when shopping for gifts and check out the best monthly subscription boxes from all over the country.
Best monthly subscription boxes
Vinyl Me Please
$100 for 3 months, $175 for 6 months, $309 for 12 months; vinylmeplease.com
This record subscription service delivers special-edition vinyl to the gift recipent's door once a month, complete with an album-inspired 12" x 12" art print and a custom cocktail pairing recipe. Other perks include playlists, downloads and interviews, as well as access to the Vinyl Me Please store and archive.
Bon Appetit Box
$150 for 2 months, $276 for 4 months, $390 for 6 months; bonappetitbox.com
Bon Appetit Box has curated an impressive list of artisanal French foods. Husband-and-wife owners Zoe and Bertrand were born and raised in the south of France, so they really know their stuff—each box comes enclosed with dining and cultural tips, along with information about who makes each goodie and how to best enjoy it.
$40 for 2 months, $60 for 3 months, $120 for 6 months, $240 for 12 months; nicelynoted.com
Nicely Noted is a stationery subscription service that delivers three letterpress cards and stamps (with themes such as creatures, shine or neon) on a monthly basis. For letter lovers, probably nothing is better than receiving snail-mail fixings as snail mail.
$50 to $100 a package, with one package every three months; quarterly.co
Sign up your giftee to a subscription run by one of Quarterly's influential curators, and he or she will receive in the mail a personal letter and care package once overy three months. Think a DIY synthesizer kit from Bill Nye, a vintage '70s action figure from Will Wheaton, seed bombs from Rosario Dawson or Mast Brothers chocolate from GQ. There is definitely something for (and from) everyone here.
$39.98 for two months, $79.96 for four months, $119.94 for six months; julep.com
Make your gift recipient a Julep "Maven" (or subscriber) and he or she will be granted first access to new makeup and beauty-product collections each month. A subscriber can also customize the selection to receive more of what he or she wants and less of what's not desired (like lip liner—who ever wants lip liner?).
$102 for 3 months, $175 for 6 months, $320 for 12 months; myflickerbox.com
This monthly service delivers boxes of small-batch, artisanal, thematically curated candles. Past themes have been labeled as Sweater Weather, Wild West and Blue Lagoon. This makes it a fun and inventive way to give a not-so-inventive gift.
$72 for 3 months, $$138 for 6 months, $240 for 12 months; rootbizzle.com
We're not a huge fans of the name, but we do like the idea of giving the fashionable men (or dapper ladies) in our lives the opportunity to accessorize with something new each month. Choose ties or socks, then pick a style (skinny? floral?) and size.
$54 for a Great Box, $69 for a Fantastic Box, $100 for a Statement Box; glassful.com
Bestow booze on a loved one with Glassful. Choose from three different price points and specify whether your giftee likes red, white or a mix. The recipient will receive three bottles of wine delivered to the door. Make sure the recipient or someone over 21 is home to sign for the package. Cheers!
Yum box (6 snacks): $16 for one month, $45 for 3 months, $84 for 6 months; Yum Yum box (12 snakcs): $29 for one month, $81 for 3 months, $150 for 6 months; srirachabox.com
Universal Yums will send a box of international goodies to your door once a month, with treats from a different country each time: Indonesia, Germany, you name it. A booklet describes each item in depth, as well as animals, stories and a music playlist from the month's chosen country. On the back of the booklet is a clue to what country will be featured next month. Great for kids or friends who love to travel (and snack).
$115 for 3 months, $225 for 6 months, $450 for 12 months; beauty-heroes.com
This beauty-box subscription delivers one full-sized, nontoxic skin, sun, body or hair product each month, allowing a recipient time to truly test it out and (hopefully) see results. Members also receive a 15 percent discount to the Beauty Heroes online store. This means once a giftee finds a product he or she loves, it will be easier to purchase more at any time.
$59 for 1 month, $159 for 6 months, $299 for 12 months; mantry.com
Again, the name is a real turnoff here (please explain to us what makes BBQ sauce and jerky "man" food as opposed to human food). But we'll admit that the goods in these boxes are top-notch no matter the individual's sex or chosen gender. Note: These boxes come only every other month.
$42.49–$72.99 for 1 month, $139.99–$199.99 for 3 months, $274.99–$384.99 for 6 months, $499.99–$749.99 for 12 months; healthysurprise.com
Healthy Surprise specializes in gift baskets full of treats without gluten, GMOs, soy, corn or wheat. It's the perfect gift for a loved one who never is able to snack with the rest of 'em. Choose from the Classic box (15 snacks), the Big box (21 snacks) or the Paleo box (17 snacks including meat and fish but without any refined sugar, dairy, grains or legumes).
$74.97 for six months, $149.94 for six months, $299.98 for 12 months; craftcoffee.com
Need a gift for the caffeine crazed? Try a Craft Coffee tasting box, which includes four ounces each from three different roasters (enough for 42 cuppas!), custom-tasting notes for each type and expert brewing tips. Your giftee can tell Craft Coffee of preferred roasts, his or her brewing method and whether ground or whole beans are desired.
$24 for 1 month, $72 for 3 months, $132 for 6 months, $240 for 12 months; artsnacks.co
To your most artistic giftee, ArtSnacks will deliver boxes of four to five premium art supplies along with a small edible surprise and a "menu card" describing each product and how to best use it. Sign up for the 6 or 12 month plan and receive free shipping.
People's Choice Beef Jerky
$23 to $71 a box; peopleschoicebeefjerky.com
This family-owned business has been honing its jerky-making skills since back in 1929. Choose from aptly-named options such as Simple & Savory (savory!), Sweet Tooth (sweet!), Some Like It Hot (spicy!), Health Nut (all-natural, gluten free, high in protein) and One of Everything (self-explanatory). Every few months, they also offer small batches of limited flavors from their "tasting kitchen," where they're always innovating and testing—you'll be happy to be the guinea pig.