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8 Seriously Cool Subscription Services to Give This Year

(Graphic: Helen Jane Hearn/TueNight)

In 2015, as Facebook algorithms remind us to ping each other with birthday e-cards and Amazon gets closer to making deliveries by drone, the idea of gifting someone a jelly of the month — an anything of the month — feels quaintly retro. Strike that: It feels right.

Send your favorite humans some good-old-fashioned, curated-and-dispatched-by-real-people, recurring snail-mail love. (It doesn’t have to be jelly.)

tuenight gift guide lauren oster subscriptions vinyl me

(Photo: Courtesy of Vinylmeplease.com)

1. Vinyl Me, Please

The “best damn record club today” kicks off your recipient’s new bespoke music library with one of their special-edition color LPs (think Wilco’s AM in swirling marigold, or a limited-edition clear pressing of Father John Misty’s I Love You, Honeybear). Each month thereafter, they’ll send a new album, a 12”x12” art print inspired by the album and a custom cocktail recipe pairing.

Starts at $99 for 3 months + 1 bonus album, vinylmeplease.com

tuenight gift guide lauren oater memberships one story

(Photo: Courtesy of One-story.com)

 

2. One Story

Your favorite bookworm might now prefer an e-reader to full-sized tomes — I get it, I nearly dislocated my shoulder trying to read War and Peace on the subway a few years ago — but they won’t be able to resist One Story, an award-winning literary magazine. Once every three weeks, they’ll receive a brand new, kick-ass short story, perfect for tucking into a purse or back pocket.

$21 for 12 issues, onestory.com

tuenight gift guide lauren oater memberships bitters and bottles

(Photo: Courtesy of Bittersandbottles.com)

3. Bitters + Bottles

Born from the belief that everyone should know how to make a great classic cocktail, this service builds its subscribers a home bar (and shows them how to make the most of it) over the course of three months. Each goodie box includes four to six full-size bottles of quality spirits; an explanation of each spirit’s provenance, flavors, and affinities and five surefire recipes. Give the gift of never having to wait for 30 minutes by the counter at a faux speakeasy again.

$85/month, bittersandbottles.com

tuenight gift guide lauren oater memberships tea tour

(Photo: Courtesy of Onsullivan.com)

4. Sullivan Street Tea & Spice Co.

This Old-World-inspired shop in NYC’s Greenwich Village offers three versions of its cozy care packages, each of which will brew 30-35 cups: Tea Purist (an assortment of non-flavored bestsellers), Flavor in the Mix (non-flavored teas plus seasonal fruit, spice and floral blends) and The Herbalist (caffeine-free mixes of herbal and herbal-blend teas).

$40 for 3 months, onsullivan.com

tuenight gift guide lauren oater memberships soaptopia

(Photo: Courtesy of Soaptopia.com)

5. Soaptopia Soap of the Month Club

Discerning bathers will love a monthly dispatch from sunny southern California, where the small-batch soaps are all natural, heavenly smelling and cruelty-free. Crafted with fresh ingredients and essential oils, each six- to seven-ounce bar is packaged in “nesting fibers and leaves, petals, [and] dried flowers.” Decadence has never felt so virtuous.

$48 for 6 months, soaptopia.com

tuenight gift guide lauren oater memberships candy japan

(Photo: Courtesy of Candyjapan.com) 

6. Candy Japan “Mystery Sweets”

Finnish expat Bemmu Sepponen lives in the Land of the Rising Sun (that is, Tokushima, Japan). Twice a month, like an eccentric globetrotting benefactor or Santa Claus by way of Sanrio, he will send the addressee of your choice a box full of inexplicable and delightful Japanese candy. This right here, my friends, is the best of the Internet.

$25/month, candyjapan.com

tuenight gift guide lauren oater memberships gift lit

(Photo: Courtesy of Giftlit.com)

7. GiftLit

GiftLit’s team of expert curators (think librarians, authors, educators and industry experts) believe “a book given as a gift should be special.” To that end, they create specialized collections for everyone from board-book-gnawing babies to cookbook collectors and send each of their monthly selections with elegant gift wrapping and a personalized book plate. Give this to the old-school reader in your life — or to encourage a few new ones.

$29.95 and up for 3 months, giftlit.com

tuenight gift guide lauren oater memberships art snacks

(Photo: Courtesy of Artsnacks.com)

8. ArtSnacks

Show a budding artist — or one who lacks a Jeff Koons-like budget for sampling slick new gear — some love with ArtSnacks’s shipments of premium supplies. Each hand-selected mailing is road-tested by art professionals and arrives with tips and tricks from experts. Check out #artsnackschallenge for a look at what happy subscribers have created with their kits.

$20/month, artsnacks.co

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