Subscription Boxes for Everyone on Your Holiday Gift List

Subscription boxes are everywhere these days, and we’ve tried quite a few over the years to find out whether or not they’re worth it. Some end up holding great treasures for niche collectors, while others are filled with useless gray items and other common loot.

Here are a few of my favorite subscription boxes from the past year that you can get a hold of too.

Loot Crate ($14/crate)


The premiere subscription service for nerds and geeks of all genres, Loot Crate has a variety of different themed boxes allowing you to dress up yourself, your pet, your kids, or just add to your collection of superhero, science fiction, fantasy, and gaming-inspired crates. Every month you’ll receive a variety of items spanning pop culture following a theme. The above pic is a collection from about 6 months of 2016. It’s like a ComicCon gift bag in your mailbox every month.

also try: Loot Crate Partner Crates ($35/crate) – Loot Crate also partners with a variety of third-party creators to get officially licensed gear in even further niches like Marvel, Harry Potter’s Wizarding World, and WWE. Take fandom to whole new levels.

Wine Down Box ($45-$49/box)


The perfect way to wind down from a long day is sharing some wine and a snack with friends. The Wine Down Box knows this and helps curate different wine pairings every month for sommeliers and adventurous wine drinkers everywhere. The picture above is from the October Wine Down Box and included some dry salami, goat cheese, and crackers in addition to a California-vinted Sauvignon Blanc, which was the perfect way to enter the chilly November.

also try: Wine of the Month Club ($24/month) – If you’re prefer to find your own pairings, the original Wine of the Month Club will send you multiple bottles every month of a variety of wines (which you can select preferences). Double down on the wine and match them to your favorite local flavors.

Plated ($12/meal)


Those meal delivery services seem to be everywhere these days, which is why we contacted all of them to find out which ones reigned supreme. After spending nearly a month eating from a variety of meal boxes (which you can read about by clicking the link above), we settled on Plated as our favorite for a few reasons. The recipes were simple, yet fresh and filled with comfort foods. Also the recipes themselves can be replicated as there are no proprietary sauces and spices used.

also try: Green Chef ($10-$15 per meal) – A close second to Plated, Green Chef uses all organic and natural ingredients, and the entire package is fully recyclable. If you’re looking to support sustainable food services, Green Chef is a great start.

Burn Box ($20/$25/$30 per month)

Burn Box October

We tried a few cannabis accessory subscription services and found the variety of items can be a bit kitschy sometimes, but Burn Box stood out for the quality of items included. Raw papers, wood matches, sturdy glass, and accessories potheads actually use make Burn Box a winner among the cannabis subscription industry.

also try: Kush Cargo ($20 Nug or Dab/$38 Combo) – if you’re a dabber, you may want to check out Kush Cargo, which provides specific tools to make dabbing more enjoyable. Their nug package isn’t bad either.

Play! by Sephora ($10/month)

I live with a couple of women, and they love Play! by Sephora over Birchbox in the beauty subscription boxes. I’m told it’s because the samples are much larger, so you have a chance to figure out if you actually like something as opposed to getting one of those hotel, travel-sized bottles of conditioner that’s not even big enough for one use on your hair. Sephora knows beauty and marketing – we all kinda respect them around here.

also try: Birchbox ($10/month) – If you still want variety though, Birchbox does often have great products. It’s like having a personal shopper bring you stuff to smell and decide on.

Mystery Chocolate Box ($15-$17/box)


Chocolate is one of the most iconic flavors in the world, and the Mystery Chocolate Box is a monthly subscription box that aims to explore all the different flavor pairings it enables. Each month, you receive 3 mystery bars with only allergen information listed. Then you gather your friends, taste, and attempt to guess what’s in them (which is a lot harder than it sounds).


Dr. Brian Penny is a former Business Analyst and Operations Manager at Bank of America turned whistleblower, troll, and freelance writer. You can find his work in Cracked, High Times, HuffPost, Lifewire, Forbes, Fast Company, and dozens of other places, although much of it is no longer under his name. Dr. Penny loves annoying fake media.

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