14 gifts that keep on giving

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14 gifts that keep on giving

Welcome to the 2016 TechCrunch Holiday Gift Guide! We’ll be rolling out a bunch of guides leading up to Christmas, hopefully making your holiday shopping a little easier. Looking for gifts for others on your list? Check out our full 2016 Gift Guide Hub.

Hit songs of the season ask: why can’t we make everyday a holiday?

The answer is that we can. By giving loved ones a subscription-based gift that has new parcels, experiences or digital content arriving every season, we can spread the cheer across the year.

With that in mind, here’s a handy list of gifts that keep on giving. These aim to be more personal than paying for someone’s Amazon Prime or Netflix subscriptions… but those aren’t half-bad either.


For the tech obsessed: Tech without commitments

Lumoid gift cards can be redeemed for regular rentals of the latest and greatest gadgets throughout the year. The site offers everything from cameras and fitness trackers to over 200 different drones. According to founder and CEO Aarthi Ramamurthy, Lumoid recently added Snapchat Spectacles to its inventory.

Prices: $35 for a wearables home try-on kit, to $75 per weekend drone rental.


For the lil' ones: Toys every month

Maybe you want to buy the kids in your life the latest app-connected robot toys, but know they’re likely to lose interest after a month or two. Pley offers toy rentals throughout the year, something like a Rent the Runway or Gamefly. Monthly subscriptions can easily be sent as a gift. Kids pick the toys they want each month from Pley’s online catalog.

Prices: $12.99 to $29.99 per month.


For the clean cut: Grooming essentials

Bevel sells high quality razors, shaving cream and other grooming products made for all different hair textures and skin types. The company’s site allows users to order products like the Shave System Starter Kit as a one-off, or to send quarterly deliveries of grooming products and razors to a lucky, potentially baby-faced, recipient.

Prices: $29.95 every month, plus shipping and handling, for a quarterly shipment. Buyers are billed until they un-subscribe.


For the snacker: Sustainable, healthy snacks

Gourmet food gifts appeal to the palate but may not fit your gift-giving budget. LoveWithFood.com offers a monthly snack subscription that starts at $7.99. The company’s boxes contain all-natural, organic or gluten-free snacks from up-and-coming brands. The site allows users to choose from categories like Vegan, Kosher, Gluten Free and GMO-free. LoveWithFood donates a meal to feed the hungry for every box it sells.

Prices: start at $7.99.


For friends with fancy feet: Sock Club

SockClub sends a pair of its original designs every month for as long as you want to give them. While sock-of-the-month clubs abound, no site makes it as easy to give a subscription as a gift. A personal message accompanies every pair. The socks are for everyday wear, not athletic training.

Prices: $12 monthly on a pay-as-you-go basis, up to $132 prepaid for 12 months.


For the gourmand: Fancy foods

Sweet, savory, dry or drunk, holidays always inspire edible excellence. Gourmet food purveyors Mouth.com find the best small batch, and artisanal food makers across the U.S., then deliver their goods in luxuriously packaged gift sets as one-offs, or monthly subscriptions for 3-, 6- and 12-month intervals. Examples include Jerky, Cocktail Hour, “Indie-gredients,” or Pickles Every Month.

Prices: Starting at $37.50 monthly to $105 per month.


For the reader: An endless stream of great books

GiftLit subscriptions make a perfect present for readers who still relish printed matter, or budding bookworms learning to read. Age-appropriate plans are available in hardcover or paperback. The company allows substitutions and exchanges of books. Some collections, like required feminist reading by Sheryl Sandberg, are curated by celebs.

Prices: from $57.95 for 3 months, to $229.95 for 12 months.


For botany lovers: Bouquets all year

The Bouqs Co. is an e-florist delivering “farm to table,” cut flowers from sustainable sources. Users can send a weekly, monthly or quarterly bouquet easily through their site, or personalize orders more extensively, sending flowers throughout the year on set, special dates.

Prices: the Decorator’s Package starts at $32 per month.


For the budding scientist: Experiments every month

MEL Science puts a high-tech twist on chemistry sets. The company sends a Google Cardboard VR headset and two experiments in its starter kit. Each month, recipients get all the materials and equipment they need to conduct two new experiments. Users can hop online to see 3-D models of what’s happening at the molecular level after they grow crystals or mix rainbows.

Prices: $49.99 per month.


For that stylish someone: Eco-friendly beauty

Petit Vour is an eco-friendly answer to BirchBox. Subscriptions make a nice gift for women who are environmentally conscientious but still crave little luxuries like trendy new cosmetics. Products inside each box are vegan and made from sustainable, fair trade ingredients and packaging.

Prices: $45 for 3-month subscription, up to $180 for a 12-month subscription.


For geeks or gamers: Toys and apparel with character

Lootcrate gathers up themed collections of tees, toys, comics and other goods then mails a box each month to super fans of geeky media and entertainment. “Crates” are either multi-media (LootCrates) or “franchise-inspired” apparel and accessories (LootWear). One-off crates and subscription prices vary.

Prices: starting at $19.95 per month plus taxes.


For the tinkerer: A DIY muse every month

MakersKit suits the DIY-er who loves to spend their free time getting their hands dirty, but not necessarily outdoors. Each kit contains materials needed to craft items like t-shirts, soaps, lip-balms, or candles. The company provides video lessons online. Kits are sold one-off or by subscription.

Prices: $24 per kit, to $288 for 12 prepaid.


For kids of any age: Toys that teach

Kiwi Crate sends boxes full of educational toys, books, and craft-making materials to kids every month. Crate contents are tailored around interests like preschool play, art and design, or science, and age groups from newborn to high school.

Prices: $16.95 to $19.95 per month.


For guys on the go: Skincare essentials

Oars+Alps makes all natural cleansers, creams and deodorants for men. The products are designed to travel well, whether that’s simply to the gym or on a long business trip. The startup’s signature product is a facial cleanser in solid stick form, rather than a slippery bar or leak-prone liquid. The site makes it easy to give a gift of all natural skincare products, in a kit or a la carte, that arrive every month or two.

Prices: $12-$18 per month for items a la carte, or $160-$220 for a full year’s supply.