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The best subscriptions to give this holiday season

December 1, 2021, 7:00 PM UTC

Sometimes, a single gift just won’t suffice, especially when you want to show your appreciation for someone in a way that extends far beyond the holiday season.

That’s where subscription services come in handy. For a reasonable price, you can ensure your recipient gets regular surprises in the mail, each tailored around a specific theme. Subscription gifts can encompass pretty much any interest, so it ultimately comes down to what engages the person for whom you are buying.

But if you’re stuck on which to consider, here are a few of our favorites.

Bean & Bean Coffee Subscription

Coffee lovers certainly have their favorite brands, but some people are always on the hunt for the next great thing. This woman-owned business sends out monthly shipments of organic coffee ranging from a smooth house coffee blend to Indonesian Sumatra. The company roasts every other day, meaning you’ll always get the freshest beans and the best possible cup. A three-month subscription will run you $57.

Mysterious Package Company

This is a different sort of subscription gift. Think of it as an at-home escape room, of sorts—one where the more someone gets into the experience, the more enjoyment they get from it. The Mysterious Package Co. will randomly send your recipient a series of elegantly crafted trinkets and documents (with prices starting at $99). They come without warning and build the suspense. And they’ll suck you into their fiction quickly. What it offers isn’t so much the tangible products it sends, but an escape from the daily routine. And it’s one that can last for weeks or even months, depending on the experience you choose.

Beachly

Know someone who’s landlocked, but dreams all day of the beach life? Beachly sends a custom package once per quarter with four to five pieces of apparel, as well as accessories and lifestyle products that are all beach-themed. There are separate boxes for men and women, both of which cost $99 per box if you pay quarterly, and $85 per box for annual subscriptions. There’s also a third with beach-inspired, cruelty-free beauty products—such as lip balms, moisturizers, and perfumes—which runs $29 per box.

Explore Local Box

Even as the pandemic recedes a bit, travel is still tough for some people. And after this much time at home and in their community, they might be running out of new things to discover. The Explore Local Box won’t cure that wanderlust, but it will expose them to new cities safely. Every month, a new box will arrive with products and food from a different location in the United States. It could contain Cape Cod cranberries or Vermont maple syrup, or maybe coasters made from fallen trees in Portland or artwork from Albuquerque. Prices start at $35 per month.

I Love Cheese

Have a curd nerd on your list? EachPeach Market, a woman-owned specialty foods company in Washington, D.C., tasks its cheese mongers to pick out two or three offerings, as well as condiments and other complementary things to nosh, and sends it out to subscribers. Also included are introductions to each cheese, recipe cards, and pairing suggestions. You’ll pay $200 for a three-month subscription or $350 for a six month one. And if your recipient isn’t a cheese lover, consider EachPeach’s “I Love Chocolate” monthly subscription for the same price.

Jiggy Puzzles

Puzzle fans are always on the lookout for their next challenge. Jiggy saves them that effort, sending a 500-piece puzzle each month, along with early access to new products and promotions. Each puzzle comes in a reusable drawstring bag and the company sells puzzle glue separately, in case you’d like to frame your work. Prices run from $29 per month to $295.80 for a full year.

Vivrelle

It’s one thing to want luxury items like a Chanel or Gucci handbag. It’s another thing entirely to be able to afford one. Vivrelle lets you do the next best thing: Rent them. For prices start at $99 per month, you can rent one item that retails for under $4,000, then keep it for as long as you like or swap it out for something new. (If that’s a bit high, you can spend $39 per month for a piece of jewelry that runs up to $1,000.) Want to gift more rental items or something more luxurious, that will run as high as $279 per month—and you’ll have to commit to at least a three-month membership.

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