Subscription boxes are all the rage now. I’m a pretty big fan myself.
What are Subscription Boxes?
Subscription boxes are a gift you buy for someone (or even yourself!) that comes from a company that puts together a different themed gift each month and mails it. I personally receive a book (or two or three) each month from Book of the Month and absolutely love it.
The great thing about subscription boxes is that it takes out the guesswork of what to buy someone each Christmas or Birthday. And, you aren’t just passing out gift cards. To me, that always felt like exchanging money.
I have just a couple issues with subscription boxes.
- It is too impersonal. In some situations and relationships, it is perfect. But for some family members, I really want to personalize the gift even more.
- It can expensive to spend all of that money upfront. This is especially true if you want to buy them a 12-month membership. Usually, the monthly gift is at least $10 per month or more for the good ones. What ends up happening is you buy them a 3 or 6-month membership when really a 12-month membership would be awesome.
Creating Your Own Personalized Subscription Boxes
Making your own subscription boxes adds that personalized touch and can either be zero cost (see the book idea below) or you can spread your costs throughout the year. Personally, I like to shop the Black Friday sales then have all my gifts wrapped and done. However, this idea gives you the freedom with your budget to spread the costs throughout the year.
Here are some tried and true ideas.
- Cooking Subscription Box. My mom loves to cook. Her personalized subscription box contains 12 unique cooking items that she would normally not buy for herself. I go to World Market in December, and paying attention to expiration dates, buy 12 items then wrap and label them January through December. I add a small note on each one just hinting on what is inside.
- Movie of the Month. On the first of each month one year, my children received a new Blu-Ray. I choose to give them a movie from my childhood. Some were definitely a bust. Times have changed so much that kids often don’t understand the lingo but there are some classics out there that were a hit – like Goonies, Space Camp, and The Princess Bride.
- Game of the Month. This is a favorite at my house. I make sure to do a lot of research beforehand of the games that win awards my children’s age bracket. We open the Game of the Month on the 1st of every month and play it so much we are usually tired of it by the time the next month rolls along.
- Reading Subscription Box. For my Aunt who loves to read as much as I do, I sent her 12 of my favorite books that I had already read. I especially liked this gift because it cost me nothing, it was from the heart and also reduced the waste in my house. I found 12 of my favorite books that I didn’t think she had read, wrapped them with a decorative sticker containing each month’s name and a note of why I thought she would like each one. All without giving away the title. Also included in each box was a special bookmark.
If you want your own labels for each month with room to write a sneak peak of what is inside you can download the full 12 months in the resource library.
Activity of the Month
Lastly, our favorite is the experience gift or as we call it “Activity of the Month”. There is where my kids open an envelope each month with an activity we will do together each month. This one takes some planning beforehand. I figure out which 12 activities I want to do throughout the upcoming year for each calendar month. Then I make note of it on my phone so I can buy the game tickets or make reservations if needed.
Here are some ideas that range from FREE to costly. This is a perfect example of a gift where the cost is spread throughout the year.
- Bike Ride and Picnic
- Progressive dinner – different restaurant for the appetizer, main course, dessert
- Shopping for school clothes
- Breakfast at a restaurant before school
- Road trip
- Professional Baseball/Soccer/Football game
- Swimming Water Park
- Beach Day
- See the sunrise and sunset together on the same day
- Volunteer together
- Go to a play or musical at a local theatre
- Video game night
- Ice skating
- Dinner date with Mom – child picks the restaurant
- Paddle Boating
- Bingo at local organization
- Movie night – child picks the movie and gets popcorn and drinks
- Pumpkin Patch
- Pedicure/Spa outing with daughter
- Batting Cages
Presenting Your Personalized Subscription Boxes
You can present your gift in a couple ways.
- Wrap all the presents at once and have the month on each present and give it to them with instructions to open the present on month specified. This is easiest for adults that live away from you.
- For children, it is easier for you to give them the present each month. They won’t let you forget!
The first year I gave my family a certificate stating they were enrolled in my Personalized Subscription plan. Feel free to download it from the resource library then personalize it!
Giving gifts throughout the year in this fashion is my favorite thing to do. I’m always thinking how else can I give a gift? What else would make a good Gift of the Month or a good Subscription Box for someone else? These are always everyone’s favorite gift to receive as well. I’d love to hear your ideas!