By Anya Cooklin-Lofting
For many years, my Grandmother has refreshed an annual subscription to my favourite print magazine for Christmas. Not only is it a generous and thoughtful gesture, but I look forward to sitting down with a coffee each month and leafing through the carefully curated pages, taking the time to read and enjoy great writing and beautiful photographs. Something about the little lift it brings has inspired me to approach gifting in a similar fashion this year. From magazines to gift boxes, pre-purchased monthly joy-bringing parcels offer year-round excitement for your loved ones as they anticipate the next delivery.
So, this month, I have rounded up some of the giftable subscription options that have caught my eye. While I’ve purchased a few of these packages for loved ones, if I’m on your Christmas list this year, take the below as a heavy-handed hint!
Discovering the latest and greatest ethical snacks, eco-cleaning products and household goodies is both a fun hobby and an honourable pastime. For the eco-conscious friends and family in your life, why not lend a helping hand with a subscription box of lean, green goodies? Authentic House, an online shop and subscription box service is a great place to start. The boxes are customisable, containing all manner of beautifully presented and completely plastic-free gifts from candles to shampoos. Boxes start at £27.50 and as a member of 1% for the Planet, Authentic House donates 1% of its sales to environmental non-profits.
For Beauty Buffs
There is no end to the number of delightful beauty boxes available for skincare savants or make-up mavens. However, The Vegan Kind’s Beauty Box ensures that none of the products your loved ones receive have been tested on animals. The Beauty Box subscription box arrives every other month with a no-repeat guarantee on the products included. Boxes start at £16.40 and include products worth over £50.
For Literature Lovers
If you’re anything like me, Christmastime at home with the extended family is spent either peeling potatoes or curling up in a cosy corner with a paperback. For bookish beloveds, the gift that keeps on giving is a literary subscription box. There are a fair few to choose from, including options for young readers, and quirkier boxes that serve to combine tastes for wine, tea or chocolate with the very latest in fiction. Tea Time Bookshop is a particularly brilliant place for customisable subscription boxes, and, as the name suggests, delivers notable literary works to your door with ethically sourced tea and coffee. For example, its Vintage Book Box gift subscription includes one or two good-condition vintage books, a drink of choice, biscuits, a bookmark and a literary postcard. Boxes start from £11.99.
Other great options for well-read relatives come from Bookishly, a similar service, but one that breaks down boxes into themes and authors including Ian Fleming and Agatha Christie. Its Classics Revisited subscription offers giftees a monthly modern book based on or inspired by one of the great literary classics per month, along with a bar of artisan, handmade chocolate. This particular subscription starts at £18.
Elevating everyday rituals is a great way to bring joy into the lives of your loved ones. If there’s one thing most of my friends and family do every day, it’s making themselves a delicious cup of coffee, so coffee subscription boxes with bespoke options prove perfect gifts for almost everyone. With Kiss the Hippo at Home, the subscription service offered by the cult, carbon-negative coffee company of the same name, you can choose between pods, whole beans or variations on ground beans. Boxes start from £36.
A favourite coffee spot of mine in London is WatchHouse in Tower Bridge, although there are outposts of the chain all over the city. The minimalist product design and delicious blends make going into the cafes a pleasure, and enjoying a classic WatchHouse coffee at home is the next best thing. Subscription boxes of its 1829 Espresso start from £10.80 with notes of blackberry, Nutella and cranberry. Make mine a double!