The monthly club is an old-school approach to gift giving that's usually associated with fruit baskets or popcorn tins, but the Internet has advanced beyond the Harry and David catalog and into the 21st century. Subscription gifts are available now for everything from artwork to movies and, if it's what you want, you can still sign up for the scented candle of the month club, too.
- 1) 25 Colored Pencils for 25 Months. That's 500 pencils! In 500 different colors! Find it online at Social Designer, $33.
- 2) A Year of Art. Get a year's worth by signing up for an "art in a box" service. Chicago print shop Sonnenzimmer is offering 10 subscriptions slots for everything they make in 2010. (A year averages 20-30 handmade prints, $500.) Other options include the Bay Area's Compound Gallery ($360 for 1 year, requires pick-up in Oakland) or San Francisco-based The Thing Quartlerly ($200 for four artworks over 1 year, national delivery).
- 3) Wine Clubs. The Kitchn gave good reviews to Bottlenotes, which offers 9 different clubs, from seasonal offerings to dinner party wines ($245 - $1,000 for 1 year).
- 4) Fabric of the Month. MaterialGal's Etsy Shop offers a "fat quarter fabric of the month club" for quilters and sewers, $23 for 1 year.
- 5) Magazine Subscriptions. Help to save the struggling shelter mag business by purchasing a gift subscription for one of the titles that still remains: Elle Decor ($10 for 1 year), Living Etc. ($122 for 1 year, delivered from the UK), House Beautiful ($10 for 10 issues), Martha Stewart Living ($24 for 1 year), Dwell ($20 for 10 issues), Real Simple ($24 for 1 year), or Architectural Digest ($20 for 12 issues).
- 6) A Year of Flowers. Send flowers year-round with a subscription. Florists with national delivery include Calyx ($450 for 1 year), FTD's monthly flower plan ($600 for 1 year), orchid plan ($560 for 1 year), or bonsai plan ($600 for 1 year), Organic Bouquet ($500 for 1 year), or Plow and Hearth ($410 for 1 year).
- 7) CSA Box Subscriptions. CSA, which stands for Community Supported Agriculture, is a national program for consumers who want to buy directly from local farmers. Year-long subscriptions vary in price, depending on whether you purchase half or full shares. Find a CSA farm that delivers near you here.
- 8) Netflix Subscriptions. It's the ultimate movie of the month club. A basic gift membership starts at $168 for one year.
- 9) Candle Clubs. Yankee Candle will send you a new scented candle each month ($198 for 1 year). With Colonial Candle's club, you get a box of tapers every month ($312 for 1 year). If you prefer soy candles, check out Saxony Soy Candle's candle of the month club ($204 for 1 year, $16.95 monthly).
- 10) Soap of the Month Club. We found a bunch of these on Etsy, including KreatedbyKarina's scented soap of the month club ($56 for 1 year), BohemianRose's handmade soap of the month club ($70 for 1 year), and the dirtyhousewife's gift-wrapped soap of the month club ($55).
Photos: Social Designer, Sonnenzimmer, Joe Shlabotnik licensed under Creative Commons, MaterialGal, Elle Decor, FTD, Bill.Roehl licensed under Creative Commons, Marit & Toomas Hinnosaar licensed under Creative Commons, Colonial Candles, KreatedbyKarina