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We’re no strangers to the thrill of opening a new box in the mail. At The Quality Edit, unboxing is one of our favorite events. The anticipatory thrill of tracking a UPS shipment, the giddy joy of stalking the mailbox the day of, the slippery sound of a knife through tape and cardboard. And then seeing it: the item you’ve been waiting for. There’s never been a better time to gift a subscription. It’s not just a gift once during the holiday, but a gift throughout the year as well.
Food & Drink
I am an unbearably functional gift giver in that I generally advise friends and family that my favorite gifts are those that alleviate a need: like coffee. Try Mistobox. With different tiers, there’s a price point for everyone. You get to taste a variety of gourmet beans, and a personalized quiz gets to the heart of which blends you’ll love. With 500+ options, there’s guaranteed to be a match for your recipient. As a bonus, they also offer decaf options and espresso.
For those who didn’t hop on the sourdough trend during quarantine -- or rather, have an increased appreciation for bakeries who make it an art -- try the Boudin Bakery Artisan Bread Subscription ($29.95/month). Based in San Francisco, this iconic bakery is renowned for its sourdough, and is actually the oldest operating business in town. Plus, their loaves taste even better than they look.
TQE editor Hallie swears by her vegan cheese subscription, Srimu. These “artisanally crafted NOT cheeses” are delicious, luxurious, and plant-based. The Srimu subscription is a stellar choice if your gift recipient is lactose-intolerant, vegan, or simply opts for sustainable items. Better yet, the subscription itself is extremely personalizable, allowing you to opt for monthly, bi-monthly, or quarterly deliveries as well as how much cheese you’d like.
And who would we be if we didn’t include a wine subscription? Hear us out for a second: boxed wine should be your go-to gift this season. Inspired by the simplicity of European house wine, this female-founded startup based in Austin is on a mission to change how we think about wine. Compostable boxes reduce carbon emissions, they plant a tree for each box you buy, and your box lasts up to six weeks. BOXT ($74/month) offers about four bottles’ worth of high quality wine in their traditional box, which also promises more bang for your buck.
We also adore the polished ease of the by-the-glass Usual Wines subscription. For $80/month, the recipient will receive an aesthetic and delicious pack of 12 small-batch glasses that are made with zero additives and minimal intervention. The Mixed Pack is a great place to start, but they also offer (simply) White, Red, or Brut.
Styling a home is hard work and can be overwhelming at the get-go. Embellish a home over months with Art Crate’s monthly shipment of prints and pieces from independent artists. You’ll work with their curators to establish and fine-tune taste, and be the first to discover up-and-coming artists. Pricing varies based on sizing and style, but the brand’s most popular package is a large print delivery per month ($37/month.)
Want a lush oasis but struggling to get started? The Sill offers a plant subscription ($60/month) in which subscribers receive an easy-care plant and a chic ceramic pot. The variety changes monthly, boosting your space and your mood. As a bonus, The Sill also provides a pet-friendly subscription with blooms ideal for homes with pets and small children.
BEAUTY & SCENTS
I’d asked for my first perfume as a Christmas present when I was fourteen. I’ve been absolutely devastated they’ve stopped producing it, as it was my one-and-done. I’ve spent the past few years obsessively hoarding my last drops and hunting for a similar scent. (If you know a dupe for Margaux by Tocca…LMK)
Enter Scentbird ($44/3 months), a perfume testing box arriving monthly that allows you to sample new fragrances. As perfume is such a personal experience, it ensures you don’t buy a whole swanky bottle someone doesn’t connect with, offering an elegant solution to a classic gift conundrum.
If your recipient is more into beauty, Birchbox offers 3, 6, or 12-month options with samplers of various beauty and grooming products. When I was in college and only stuck to the same everyday makeup, my roommate and I took great pleasure in our monthly boxes allowing us to explore different styles and products I frankly wouldn’t have tried otherwise.
Finally, let us introduce you to our latest crush: Merigold. Their monthly delivery of all-natural, organic face masks ($28/month) aims to introduce moments of pause and routine, suitable for both skincare enthusiasts and those seeking everyday luxury. Made from seasonal and nutrient-dense ingredients, the set feels significantly earthier and more elevated than a sheet mask from the drugstore. Their Ritual Kit is also available for gifting, including a handmade, locally crafted ceramic bowl and application tools.
CLOTHES & STYLE
In the fall of my senior year of college, I was sick of all the sweaters I’d worn to nubs. I longed for fresh clothes and cocktail dresses, but didn’t want to buy anything I wouldn’t wear after graduation. Around then, the Nuuly box launched: a subscription service from URBN, the company behind retailers like Free People and Anthropologie.
Nuuly is a younger, trendier, and friendlier-feeling version of Rent the Runway; discounts on rented items were substantial too, allowing me to spring for the items I genuinely loved. I picked dresses I never would have worn otherwise, coats that felt daring and unique, and got that *new clothes* feeling without the sting of a price tag. Start someone out with a Nuuly box at $88/month, or spring for a box in a month in which they’ll have multiple occasions.
More of a sneakerhead? Gift the hottest kicks with the KYX World subscription -- allowing them to swap sneakers as they like, with access to limited drops and vintage shoes. Get started at $49/month.
I read over a hundred books a year, and actually got my start as a book reviewer, so I nearly always have a stack of reads on deck. My family and I do Book of the Month together, passing around our monthly picks in a de facto book club. Considering we’re scattered across the country, it’s a way of feeling closer.
For bookworms, the Book of the Month is a must. For non-bookworms, Book of the Month is a must; they hand-pick five titles to choose from so you can spend more time reading and less time researching. A monthly curated delivery of the buzziest titles is a great way to remind ourselves to unplug, light a candle, and get swept away. Start with 3 months for $49.99.
You can’t go wrong with a Vinyl Post subscription for anyone who owns a record player. Instead of shipping monthly records, Vinyl Post ships a playable vinyl postcard you put on a record player; the music is pressed into it. The kit also comes with an MP3 download and info on the artist curated by the team -- a twist to thrill any music lover. While records themselves can be on the pricier side, the Vinyl Post subscription is a steal starting at $6.99/month.
We love the feeling of a subscription box. Better yet, we love gifting that feeling. This holiday season, gift your friends or loved ones that zing with a curated subscription box. There’s never been a better time.
Five reasons you should be gifting a subscription this year:
- There’s a box for every interest.
- A range of price points ensures you can shop around to fit any budget.
- Your gift recipient gets that unboxing feeling every month!
- A subscription box is a great option for picky people who may not be clear about their exact preferences in wine, cheese, or other go-to options.
- You’ll be on their mind every time -- and can join in on the experience.