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These subscription boxes make amazing gifts

These subscription boxes make amazing gifts
A veteran in the subscription-box space, Allure introduced the Allure Beauty Box in 2012.   Roy Rochlin/Getty Images for Advertising Week New York

A subscription box is the gift that literally never stops giving -- until, that is, you decide it should. As its name suggests, a subscription box is typically a monthly package with a single theme, arriving at the door of your designated address. You can buy a subscription box for yourself, or you can give one as a gift -- a curated box of, say, cured meats or Marvel Funko Pops is definitely a departure from the same old, same old this holiday. 

"Cancel anytime" policies are common, making it easy to break up with your box. If you buy from a merchant through Amazon -- and Amazon's marketplace boasts more than 400 subscription box options -- then you'll manage the subscription via the site's "Memberships & Subscriptions" section. Cancel with a click, or change your renewal settings with another click. Amazon also backs subscription-box purchases with its "A-to-Z Guarantee," which offers protection against missing, lost, delayed or damaged shipments.

If a subscription box sounds like the answer to your holiday gift-giving needs and more, but you don't know where to start, then we have good news: We've curated a list of suggested subscription boxes. Our recommendations are all available for purchase through Amazon, and all boast ratings on the site of four stars or higher, based on at least 250 user reviews. And, yes, all may be canceled at any time via Amazon. 

Each suggestion here is geared for a specific type of person: the dog lover, the tea lover and the makeup lover, included. And, remember, it's okay if all these types of people are you. 

Subscription box for the dog owner: BarkBox 

BarkBox via Amazon

BarkBox promises a monthly delivery consisting of two dog toys, two bags of dog treats and a chew; each box is built around a monthly theme. (Try guessing what October's was...) 

BarkBox says the first box will ship immediately; shipping is free within the contiguous United States (i.e., not Alaska or Hawaii). 

Select what size dog you're buying goodies for: small, medium or large. No matter the size, the boxes are the same price: $35 a month. 

BarkBox, $35 a month  

Subscription box for the person who ❤️ makeup: Allure Beauty Box

Allure Beauty Box
Allure via Amazon

This box from Allure basically pledges to deliver value and expertise -- and, oh, yes, also makeup. 

A veteran in the subscription-box business, Allure says each monthly box boasts six or more editor-tested products, at least three of which will be full-sized. This October, for instance, Allure says subscribers received items by Boscia, Kaja, Whish and more. A mini-Allure magazine is also included in each box. 

The subscription costs $23 a month; Allure pegs the retail value of one month's contents at more than $100. 

Allure Beauty Box, $23 a month 

Subscription box for kids: Bitsbox

Bitsbox via Amazon

Bitsbox is aimed at children, ages 6-12, who want to learn coding -- or, frankly, whose parents or guardians want them to learn coding. Each monthly box comes with about a dozen app projects, plus stickers, an explainer for the grown-ups and more. New subscribers will start off with the Level 1 box (titled "Animal House"). It introduces concepts and comes complete with a binder for all the app cards you'll be getting. From there, the boxes level up sequentially. As your child's coding skills mature, so do the materials offered by Bitsbox. Coding is done through the Bitsbox website. 

Note that Bitsbox teaches typed coding, so your pint-sized coder really needs access to a physical keyboard (and, yup, the internet). On the whole, no special equipment is needed: Bitsbox says any laptop or desktop computer capable of running "any modern web browser" will do. 

As of publication, the first Bitsbox was being sold for $21; after, the subscription will renew at $30 a month.  

Bitsbox, $21 for the first month

Subscription box for self-care: TheraBox

TheraBox via Amazon

This subscription box is perfect for someone who needs pampering and de-stressing. Each monthly TheraBox comes with six or more products, such as organic bath soaps and scrubs, plus a mindfulness item. One box from 2020, according to TheraBox, delivered items from brands such as Meg Cosmetics, J&L Naturals and Clear My Head, and included a felt-letter board that was just waiting for an inspirational quote to be spelled out on it.

TheraBox was offering its first box for $32, and then for $45 a month after. It estimates that the contents of each monthly box are worth more than $120. Shipping is free. 

TheraBox, $32 for the first month

Subscription box for people who like to snack: Bokksu

Bokksu via Amazon

Okay, so, there are a lot of subscription snack boxes to choose from on Amazon: from cookies to keto. We're highlighting the Bokksu box because, if you'll pardon the expression, it's a bit outside the box. Plus, it's got extremely positive notices on Amazon: a four-and-a-half stars rating based on more than 1,000 user reviews.  

Bokksu offers a monthly, themed dose of 20-25 Japanese-made snacks (mochi puffs! seaweed tempura! sake candy!), shipped directly from Japan -- with no added shipping cost to you. Each box also includes a guide that informs your snacking experience with background and information on the month's theme, the box's flavor profiles and more. 

The first Bokksu box is priced at $45; then, it's $50 for every month after.  

Bokksu, $45 for the first month

Subscription box for people who are literally here for the tea: Simple Loose Leaf Tea Company 

Simple Loose Leaf Tea Company
Simple Loose Leaf Tea Company via Amazon

Simple Loose Leaf Tea Company offers a number of subscription boxes: ones focused on loose-leaf black teas, loose-leaf green teas, loose-leaf herbal teas and a loose-leaf sampler. Each kind of box ships free, and is available as a four-tea, three-tea or two-tea pack. In the name of flavor-saving, the teas come in resealable pouches. Your initial box even comes complete with reusable, linen filters. 

As of publication, Simple Loose Leaf Tea Company was offering its first boxes -- of the two- three- and four-tea collections -- for $5. The two-tea collection was $15 for every month after. The four-tea box: $25.

Simple Loose Leaf Tea Company four-tea box, $5 for the first box

Subscription box for people with cold feet: Sock Fancy 

Sock Fancy
Sock Fancy via Amazon

With its subscription box (or, package, really), Sock Fancy will deliver you (or your giftee) a new pair of crew or no-show socks once a month -- or, at about the rate you (or your giftee) probably loses a pair. Sock Fancy won't tell you in advance what kind of socks you'll be getting -- that's because it's supposed to be a surprise. Sock Fancy does promise that all of its combed-cotton socks are stylish, durable and made on a 200-needle knitting machine. So, basically, this subscription box is supposed to deliver a good surprise. 

The packages ship free. An initial shipment of no-show socks in men's or women's sizes can be had for $9.60, and $12 a month after. Prices for the crew socks vary depending on whether you're buying men's socks or women's sizes. 

Sock Fancy (no-show socks, men's or women's), $9.60 for the first box

Subscription box for Harry Potter fans: Harry Potter T-shirt Club

Harry Potter T-Shirt Club
Harry Potter via Amazon

Are you, or do you know, the Harry Potter fan who has absolutely everything Harry Potter? The Harry Potter T-Shirt Club may be the ticket to keep things hopping at Hogwarts. Every month, you'll receive one officially licensed Harry Potter T-shirt featuring a "new mystery design." Translation: You won't be getting something off the rack at the department store; these shirts are printed by Amazon, and exclusive to T-shirt club members. 

Men's, women's and youth sizes are available. At last look, the subscription price was the same no matter who you're buying for: $20 a month. Shipping is free. (And, in full disclosure, it appears the only box involved in this subscription are the Amazon boxes that the shirts are shipped in.) 

Harry Potter T-shirt Club, $20 a month

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