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Gift guide: Best subscription gifts

Want to give your holiday gift some legs this year? Give a subscription service -- anything from beer to crafting kits -- to keep your most special of recipients happy long after the holiday season.

Increasingly popular, many subscription services make it easy for those who want to give them as gifts by allowing the buyer to pre-pay for a set number of months.

Here are the coolest services we've found for a variety of people on your list:

For the book lover

Powells.com, the website of a Portland, Oregon independent
Photo Credit: Flickr/lysmekah

Powells.com, the website of a Portland, Oregon independent bookstore, offers a unique subscription service for the book lover in your life. Every six weeks, they’ll send a new book, including limited editions, first editions, signed copies, and other literary treats with a focus on independent publishers.

$39.95 per shipment

powells.com

For the beauty-obsessed or pampering-deprived

Birchbox may have started this new wave of
Photo Credit: Birchbox

Birchbox may have started this new wave of trendy subscriptions with its popular monthly boxes of beauty-product samples. They make it easy for the gift giver, too. You can choose from three subscription lengths and the recipient logs into the site and fills out their own beauty profile to personalize their box.

3 months: $30

6 months: $60

12 months: $110

birchbox.com

For the bacon lover

Because this is a thing. Bacon Freak will
Photo Credit: Bacon Freak

Because this is a thing. Bacon Freak will send your bacon freak two pounds of bacon each month and as a bonus (or maybe the bacon is the bonus) a “Bacon is meat candy” t-shirt.

3 months: $146

6 months: $270

Check the Bacon Freak website for additional options.

baconfreak.com

For the pet lover

For that friend who counts Fido as a
Photo Credit: Bark Box

For that friend who counts Fido as a family member (or for a Fido who needs new toys to distract him from your shoes), head to BarkBox. The monthly pet treats subscription service will generate a gift card with a coupon code you can present to the lucky recipient (who then enters that coupon code on the BarkBox website in order to claim and personalize the boxes).

1 month: $29

3 months: $72

6 months: $126

12 months: $219

barkbox.com

For the beer lover

The Craft Beer Club sends 12 or 24
Photo Credit: Flickr/maryatuab

The Craft Beer Club sends 12 or 24 bottles of craft beer each month and lets gift givers choose subscription plans from one to 12 months. Beers will arrive in a variety of styles from around the country. Prices below are for 12-bottle shipments.

1 month: $39

3 months: $117

6 months: $234

See the Craft Beer Club website for additional options.

craftbeerclub.com

For the wine lover

Lot18 offers a less traditional subscription experience (it’s
Photo Credit: Lot 18

Lot18 offers a less traditional subscription experience (it’s just a singular shipment), but it does go above and beyond in the personalization category. Here’s what the recipient gets: First, they receive six mini tasting bottles, which they use to explore their likes and dislikes. Then, after tasting the wines and rating them online, Lot18 sends full-sized bottles of the wines they’re most likely to enjoy. Here’s what you do: Choose between three packages: a wine tasting and wine profile for $25; the tasting kit, profile and one shipment of six wines for $100; the tasting kit, wine profile and one shipment of 12 bottles for $150.

tastingroom.com/gifts

For the eco-friendly

... or maybe just for the celebrity-obsessed. Actress
Photo Credit: The Honest Company / Diego Diaz

... or maybe just for the celebrity-obsessed. Actress Jessica Alba’s eco-friendly home and lifestyle brand The Honest Company offers The Essentials bundle. For $35.95 a month, the recipient will get natural, non-toxic personal care and home-cleaning products like shower gel, surface cleaner and dishwasher pods. Each box comes with five items.

1 month: $42

3 months: $106

6 months: $206

12 months: $390

honest.com/gift/guide

For your friend who's been there, done that

Unless they've been to Japan, they probably haven't
Photo Credit: Candy Japan

Unless they've been to Japan, they probably haven't tried these mystery sweets. Candy Japan will send a box of treats from across the globe every two weeks. Some of the items listed on their website include Candy Spray Apple, Ume mints and Puchi gum.

2 shipments (sent in one month): $25

4 shipments (sent over two months): $50

8 shipments (sent over four months): $100

12 shipments (sent over six months): $150

24 shipments (sent over 12 months): $300

candyjapan.com

For your mom friend

Kiwi Crate delivers a box full of arts
Photo Credit: Flicr/wendycopley

Kiwi Crate delivers a box full of arts and crafts supplies right to the door of moms and dads eager to entertain their tot. Each case has a theme like gardening or space and all the materials needed for two to three projects. Kiwi Crate is for children ages 3-4, but there are also crates for different age ranges from 3 to 16+. Note that shipping is free for all plans except one month.

1 month: $20 + shipping

3 months: $60

6 months: $110

12 months: $205

kiwicrate.com/gift/

For the charity-minded

Got a friend who spends more time taking
Photo Credit: Love with Food

Got a friend who spends more time taking care of others than of him or herself? Accomplish two goals by feeding them and someone less fortunate at the same time. For each box Love with Food sends, it also donates a meal to a hungry child through organizations such as Feeding America Network.

Prices vary based on the number of items in a box. A tasting box, priced below, includes eight or more snacks and one meal donated.

3 months: $36

6 months: $66

12 months: $120

See the Love with Food website for additional options.

lovewithfood.com

For your manfriend

The Mantry is an artisan food delivery service
Photo Credit: The Mantry Company

The Mantry is an artisan food delivery service geared toward the trendy, kitchen-literate man who appreciates niche products from around the country. Each shipment arrives in a cool wooden crate with products like clam chowder from Bar Harbor, Maine; smoked and cured sausage, and thai chili sauce. Bonus: There’s also a manual with product information and recipes.

1 month: $75 + $10 shipping

3 months: $225

6 months: $450

mantry.com

For the t-shirt collector, dive bar enthusiast, or anyone really cool

Every month, the recipient will get a “rare
Photo Credit: Dive Bar T-shirt of the Month Cl

Every month, the recipient will get a “rare and obscure” t-shirt in a selected size from a real dive bar around the country, plus a postcard with information about the bar. The bars/t-shirts are chosen by the “Dive Bar Crew” based on their own "seedy" travels and suggestions from club members. Each month features a new shirt, and then it is retired. A subscription costs $22 per month, and gift givers can prepay for three, six, nine or 12 months. As a bonus, the service also has some creative shipping options, like shipping the first t-shirt to yourself so you can wrap and gift it, and all subsequent t-shirts directly to the recipient.

divebarshirtclub.com

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