a "seasonal" set from UrbanStems, Atlas Coffee Club, a box from Decorated, and Winc. (Photo: UrbanStems, Atlas Coffee Club, Winc, Decorated)" data-caption="Clockwise from left: a "seasonal" set from UrbanStems, Atlas Coffee Club, a box from Decorated, and Winc. (Photo: UrbanStems, Atlas Coffee Club, Winc, Decorated)" data-rich-caption="Clockwise from left: a "seasonal" set from UrbanStems, Atlas Coffee Club, a box from Decorated, and Winc. (Photo: UrbanStems, Atlas Coffee Club, Winc, Decorated)" data-credit="UrbanStems, Atlas Coffee Club, Winc, Decorated" data-credit-link-back="" />
Netflix. Substack. OnlyFans. Subscription-based services are bigger than ever. And when it’s time to do your holiday shopping, subscription boxes are the gift that literally keeps on giving. (They also make great “to me, from me” gifts for yourself.)
For David Tao, co-founder and CEO of the at-home teeth-whitening brand Laughland, subscription services are a great mode for presents or self-care treats. What’s more luxurious than doing a face mask or enjoying a new candle? Not having to brave a checkout line for it. Oh, and getting all the membership perks that go along with many of the subscriptions, like free shipping or access to exclusive products.
“Many find subscription― which you can pause or cancel any time ― as a preferred alternative to getting in the car, fighting traffic, finding parking, stumbling through the endless aisles,” Tao told HuffPost. “Once a user discovers this new experience, it’s hard to imagine they’ll prefer the hassle of driving to the store over clicking a few buttons.”
Adam Levinter, founder and president of Scriberbase and author of “The Subscription Boom,” added that subscription brands make people feel special. Instead of trying to find the right sweater for your mom and inevitably getting something itchy, or making a “spa basket” for your friend that you’ll likely drop on the train, you can set them up with a recurring gift. Something just as nice as they are.
“Getting a curated box, shipped to your door every month, makes that shopping experience so novel and delightful for the customer,” Levinter said. “It’s a thing. It’s a story. It’s a community.”
As Levinter explained, subscription boxes can be packed with perks. You get to try new selections of perfumes or different herbal teas. You get the monthly excitement of finding something other than bills and pizza shop flyers in your mailbox. And, when your subscription box has an online community, like the Stitch Fix Facebook page,Book of the Month’s online book clubs or Urban Stem’s #sendhappy hashtag, you get to connect with a larger community who share your interests ― and impeccable taste.
For Amy Konary, vice president of the Subscribed Institute at Zuora, a software company for subscription-based services, finding the best subscription for a loved one means taking note of their benefits. Your road-tripping barista brother may love a subscription to monthly coffees from around the world. There’s a box for that. Your music dad who still collects vinyl? There’s a box for that. And you’re sober-curious bestie that lives to host, you guessed it, there’s a box for her too.
“What makes a good subscription is lots of different elements,” Konary says. “Whether it’s duration, surprise, entertainment or community delivered all-around a specific outcome.”
If you’re looking for a holiday gift-worthy subscription box for you or a loved one, we’ve rounded up some fun options below.
HuffPost may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page. Every item is independently selected by the HuffPost Shopping team. Prices and availability are subject to change.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.