Looking for the best products to gift — and to get — this holiday season? Check out Underscored’s Holiday Guide here.
Watching a loved one rip into a package on Christmas morning is nice. But knowing several more will be coming throughout the year? Now, that’s what we call capturing the holiday spirit. Monthly subscription services truly are the gifts that keep on giving, and whether you’re shopping for a foodie, a beauty lover, a plant fanatic or someone who’s coffee-obsessed, there’s a service for everyone on your list.
Voracious readers will appreciate a gift subscription to this service that allows them to choose from five curated new titles each month. Haven’t had time to finish a book before the next book is sent? You can skip a month. Want more to read? Add other books from the site, including top books from previous months for an additional fee.
A monthly subscription to the Audible service will be well received for those who prefer to listen to their books. The service includes thousands of audiobooks, podcasts and original programming. Want to take it for a spin yourself? Test it out with a free 30-day trial and cancel anytime.
Each Bokksu box comes packed full of 20-plus varieties of Japanese candies and snacks from family-owned businesses, plus a tea pairing and a cultural guide detailing its contents’ origins and flavors. Read our review of it here.
A gift for a furry friend is truly the best one you could give. Every Barkbox comes with two toys, two bags of all-natural treats and one chew, all tailored to a monthly theme.
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Harry & David Sweets Subscription Box ($29.99 per month; harryanddavid.com)
The sweetest gift for the sugar fiends on your list? A box filled with goodies (think chocolates, buttery cookies, Moose Munch popcorn and more) delivered to their doorsteps each month. Each box comes with a different theme so they’ll never grow tired of a certain treat.
With the gift of MasterClass, your giftee can choose to study creative writing with Margaret Atwood, acting with Samuel L. Jackson and so much more. Offering digestible virtual lessons on users’ own time, MasterClass is anyone’s best bet for learning a new skill.
Whether there are folks on your list looking to improve their wellness or others who are just super busy and could use a little help with meals, a weekly subscription to Daily Harvest is sure to be a big hit. Available in three sizes — small (nine items), medium (14 items) or large (24 items) — you choose weekly or have the option of monthly delivery and can customize what comes in the box. Everything is made with real fruits and veggies, and options include smoothies, bowls, soups, flatbreads, lattes, snack bites, desserts and more.
Shaker and Spoon (starting at $50; shakerandspoon.com)
Amateur bartenders will toast this gift subscription that delivers a box filled with three recipes and all the ingredients (minus the alcohol) needed to make 12 drinks (four per recipe). Available in monthly, three-month, six-month or 12-month subscriptions, the November box featured an American apple brandy theme, with recipes from New York-based mixologists. We’ll drink to that!
If you’re shopping for a homebody on your list (and this year, who isn’t), GlobeIn delivers handcrafted items from around the globe to keep your surroundings beautiful. Check out our review of it here.
Flowers on repeat? Yes, please! Brighten someone’s day over and over again with this thoughtful gift that delivers lovely arrangements to the lucky recipient’s door on a weekly, biweekly or monthly schedule. Choose from Classic, Seasonal or Luxe bouquets — from $55, $85 and $105 per delivery, respectively — and be prepared for many, many thank-you notes to come.
The Plant Club Plant of the Month (starting at $36 per month; cratejoy.com)
The green thumb on your list will give two enthusiastic thumbs up for this monthly service that curates a featured plant each month along with a pot, accessories and other goodies needed to help it grow.
The overall winner of Underscored’s best overall coffee subscription box testing, Blue Bottle’s service offers customized, delicious, high-quality coffee perfect for a wide variety of coffee drinkers. Choose from several subscriptions that allow you to opt for single-origin coffees, espresso beans or decaf, or a mix-and-match option and pick from one-, two-, three- or four-week intervals as well as coffee sizes from 6 to 36 ounces.
Rated Underscored’s best coffee subscription for those craving variety, Trade’s service begins with a helpful coffee quiz to get you started and offers a number of customizable settings and more than 400 coffee options. It’s easy to try new and interesting coffees with a seemingly unlimited variety of coffee beans to choose from. Plus, Trade allows you to pick which coffees are sent to you, giving you more control than many other services.
Huge coffee snob on your list? Rated the best coffee subscription for the budding connoisseur, a Black Box subscription from Angel’s Cup is a no-brainer. This subscription sends you a box of four different roasts, with only the roast date and a five-digit number to differentiate them. The idea is that each shipment is a blind tasting, so once you brew and drink each coffee, you go to Angel’s Cup’s mobile app to input and rate your tasting notes, comparing your scores to the roastmaster and other people who have tasted the same coffee.
Coffee and a Classic Book Box Subscription (starting at $40.84 per month; cratejoy.com)
Pairing a favorite hot beverage with classic literature? Sign us up! This unique subscription allows you to choose novels for adults or children, a drink — coffee, tea, hot chocolate or “surprise me” — and an essentials or premier box. Boxes include a book, beverage, bookmark and two accessories. The premier option adds a mug, snack and reusable box.
Beauty and wellness subscription gifts
Know someone stressed out who could use a monthly reminder to indulge in some self-care? This highly rated box is filled with 10 or more treasures each month, including full-size vegan, cruelty-free products. Past boxes have featured jewelry, face serums and masks, candles, snacks, tea, soaps, books, bath bombs and coffee mugs.
FaceTory Handpicked Korean Sheet Masks Subscription Box ($34.95 per box; amazon.com)
Shopping for someone seriously into skin care? This subscription sends sheet masks as well as other K-beauty goodies their way, making it especially good for someone who wants new beauty products on the regular.
Makeup and beauty obsessives will swoon over a subscription to Birchbox, which, since 2010, has been delivering boxes filled with sample-size items. Available in monthly, three-month or 12-month plans, products include skin care, hair care, makeup, nail polish and more. And if there’s a grooming product-loving guy on your list, there’s a men’s box available for $10 per month that includes five deluxe samples as well.
Curated specifically for women of color, this highly rated subscription service box includes five to eight full-size and deluxe travel-size products featuring everything from lipstick to body wash and face masks to false eyelashes.
Love the idea of your BFF, sister or favorite workout pal unpacking a curated box filled with wellness, fitness and beauty products four times a year? This popular subscription service curates six to eight full-size items (and allows for customization for some of them). Past boxes have included a Michael Kors beanie, Koral ankle weights, Dr. Brandt collagen serum, a Sur La Table silicone utensil set and an Unhide blanket, to name just a few.
The spiritually minded will show loads of gratitude for these monthly boxes that feature five to seven full-size products such as crystals, spiritual growth tools, aromatherapy, snacks and vegan beauty items. Past boxes have included candy, candles, jewelry and essential oil sprays.