Yes, Hanukkah is here and Christmas is coming (fast) but no need to panic if you still have VIPs to shop for on your list and are scrambling for last-minute gift ideas. By now, you’ve surely heard of the magic of subscription gift boxes as gifts: Just sign up and they’ll regularly send a curated box of goodies for new parents, dads, kids, foodies, dogs (yes, dogs), as well as boxes for just about any special interest you can imagine, from coffee lovers to geekery. We’ve seen them all, and recommended our favorite over the years.
Along with the subscription gift boxes we’ve rounded up in 2012 and 2013–which are worth checking out too–we’ve got a whole slew of new monthly subscription gifts that keep on giving month after month, reminding that very important person just how special they are to you.
For your favorite pop-culture and trendy sister or friend: POPSUGAR Must Have subscription gift box
I’ve long loved POPSUGAR for keeping me up on the latest celebrity news and style trends in those few minutes I can steal for myself. And their monthly POPSUGAR Must Have box takes some of the favorite things their editors find and packages them up to arrive on the doorstep of some lucky person in your life. This isn’t a box of samples thrown together haphazardly; these boxes are beautifully themed for the season and put together by people who have an eye for style. Mamas, you may want to mark this one for your own wish list stat. In fact, that Dominique Ansel book is in our own Holiday Gift Guide this year as as a top pick for foodies. (starting at $39.95/month)
For the future mad scientist, or the kid you wish loved science more: Groovy Lab in a Box Subscription
Want your kids to finally learn that science is, indeed, cool? Sign them up for Groovy Lab in a Box, a recent recommendation on Cool Mom Tech, and get ready to turn your kitchen into your own in-home laboratory. I’ve recently subscribed to this monthly box for my own kids and can’t wait to get started. I especially appreciate that they include everything you’ll need right in the box, like pipe cleaners and straws, and even a 20+ page instructional lab notebook so older kids can get started on their own. While some science kits look far too much like school supplies to feel like a gift, Groovy Lab in a Box is packaged to be very, very groovy. (starting at $25.95/month)
For your favorite cool man who loves the coolest things: Bespoke Post subscription gift boxes
Though my husband is more an “off-the-rack” guy, I know he’d absolutely love to receive an awesome monthly box from Bespoke Post made just for men, and filled with cool finds based on a central theme like Weekender, Alchemy, or The Barber. He can take a peek at the latest box each month and decide if it’s right for him. If he wants to skip it he can, or he can choose a box from a different theme that he likes better. And what he’ll find inside is what makes these themed boxes so special: high-end grooming products, interesting foods, pro-level cocktail tools and stylish accessories. Don’t be surprised if he asks for this one again next year. ($45/month)
For creative kids from ages 2-16: Kiwi Crate, Koala Crate, Doodle Crate, and Tinker Crate
It doesn’t get much easier than one-stop-shopping, and Kiwi Crate’s new expanded line of crates makes it super easy to cross off almost every kid on your list this holiday. The toddler-aged Koala Crate is filled with fun, play-educational activities to be done together while the slightly older Kiwi Crate gives craft-loving kids lots of fun things to keep them busy and engaged. Tinker Crate makes a great gift for kids who love to see how things work and Doodle Crate targets that fickle tween and teen age group with arts and crafts that allow them to put their own creative stamp on their finished product. This one is a parent favorite for good reason; even our editor Liz’s nieces and daughters will be getting their own Doodle Crates and Tinker Crates from her in the coming week. (starting at $60 for three months)
For the person whose New Year’s Resolution is to snack better: Graze subscription box
A healthy gift that still feels like a treat? That’s the beauty of Graze, whose box of snacks can be delivered to someone’s home or office weekly or biweekly. With more than ninety different snacks that they put together, a box may include chili and honey almonds, dried fruit mixes, and shortbread with a dipping sauce. Yum. And, if your recipient really, really hates raisins or coconut or cashews, you can even flag those ingredients so the company keeps them far away. Really nice touch. (starting at $6.99 each week or biweekly)
For the cutest baby whose parents will love you forever: A Little Bundle subscription gift box
I fell head over heels for the gorgeously composed boxes by A Little Bundle which include some of the most chic and exquisitely beautiful items any parent could want for a new baby. Selected goodies lean heavily toward those smaller companies we always have a heart for (no mall selections here), with a special emphasis on organic and eco-friendly items. With a mix of exclusive and one-of-a-kind gifts, even if your tiny recipient can’t say thank you, his or her parents surely will. ($98 for two bundles)
For the extreme gamer, when you just don’t want to buy them another game: Loot Crate subscription box
Though my idea of gaming is trying to get past the latest level of Candy Crush, I know some older teens and grown ups who would think Loot Crate is the coolest thing since, well, anything other than Candy Crush. Each month, Loot Crate partners with cool brands to fill their boxes with all sorts of geekery from t-shirts to books to figurines, built around themes like Battle, Heroes, or Villains. I really like the selection of products they put in their boxes like the Schwings in their September box. Also awesome? Each month, they select one subscriber to win a huge Mega Crate valued at over $2000 filled with exclusive collectible gear, tech gadgets, and apparel and accessories. Now that would be some gift. ($58 for three months)
For the child who is utterly, totally obsessed with stickers: Pipsticks subscription box
If you know a child who cannot get enough of stickers, he’ll love getting a bulging envelope from Pipsticks each month filled with loads of colorful, high-quality stickers, as well as some pretty paper on which to stick them. As in, not your walls. I especially like that they find sparkly, puffy, and even smelly stickers and that they go out of their way to find the kinds of stickers you won’t find hanging in your local dollar store. No, it’s not the most practical or educational subscription box, but not every gift has to be, does it? And as someone who kept a beloved notebook full of her favorite stickers for years, my younger self would be in sticker heaven with this gift coming each month. ($15/month)
For the tired new mom who could use some essentials she doesn’t have to buy herself: The Honest Box Subscription
In those early days of motherhood, I would’ve kissed the person who signed me up to receive monthly deliveries of essential baby care and home cleaning products from The Honest Company. In other words, don’t underestimate the power of laundry detergent appearing at her doorstep to make someone tear up. And since all of their products are natural and non-toxic, you can be assured that you are sending them only the best things for them and their baby. Totally practical, yet perfect. ($35.95/month)
For the hard-to-impress person who will be really, really impressed: Quarterly
Know someone in your life who would flip to get gifts picked out for them by the likes of Wil Wheaton, Nina Garcia, or even Bill Nye? That’s exactly how Quarterly works: Pick the curator you know your recipient will love and every three months, they’ll send a new package of things that their curator thinks are interesting, cool, or useful. Their curators are a cool mix of tastemakers, from bloggers like Design*Sponge’s Grace Bonney to musicians, writers, and chefs. This is one seriously cool gift. (photo at top is from a Quarterly box by Chef Andrew Zimmern; box price varies by curator)
Please check each site’s shipping details very carefully when ordering for the holidays! Some boxes will not ship until after the new year though sites will often have a notification you can print out or email to let your recipient know the awesome gift you purchased for them. Which is precisely why they’re perfect for last minute gifts.