10 Great Subscription Boxes for Everyone On Your Gift List

The Go Love Yourself Box, Cratejoy
The Go Love Yourself Box, Cratejoy

Most people have at least one person on their gift list who’s a little difficult to shop for. Whether they’re male or female, young or old, a beer lover or bookworm, you can probably find something they’ll like on Cratejoy.

Billing itself as the world’s only marketplace for subscription boxes, Cratejoy is an online retailer with over 1600 options to choose from. You can narrow down your search by clicking the "women," "men," or "kids" tabs at the top, among others, or by searching for specific interests. There’s something for foodies, fashionistas, bibliophiles, gamers, fitness enthusiasts, art lovers, pet owners, and more.

The subscription boxes, which charge by the month, vary widely in price. Some boxes charge as little as $6 per month, while the Robb Vices Membership (think fine wines, cigars, and gadgets) is one of the most expensive offerings at $159.95 per month. You can also choose whether you want to subscribe for one, three, six, or 12 months.

Ready to give a gift that keeps on giving year-round? Check out a few of our favorite options below.

1. Coffee and a Classic ($28.99): Comes with a classic novel, bookmarks, “bookish treats,” and some sort of beverage (you can choose coffee, tea, or cocoa).

Coffee and a Classic, Cratejoy

2. Pooch Perks Premium Customized Dog Boxes ($19.99): Comes with five or six toys and treats for your pup.

3. Girls Can! Crate ($18.50): Contains activity books, games, and props to help children aged 5-10 learn about a different female role model each month.

4.The Go Love Yourself Box ($30): Includes a self-help book, self-care items, and additional resources (like journals and webinars).

5. Matter ($40): Billed as “part museum, part lab project,” each box includes a variety of scientific objects and natural history specimens.

6. GeekGear (About $32; ships from UK): Includes 6-10 pieces of Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts merchandise, including a monthly T-shirt, accessories, wall art, and more.

7. Skulls Unlimited International, Inc. ($24.99): Their “Bonebox” comes with various animal bones, teeth, and claws—great for science teachers or collectors!

8. Finders Seekers Mysteries ($30): Filled with fun puzzles, mysteries, and cryptic messages for you (or your gift recipient) to solve.

Finders Seekers Mysteries, Cratejoy

9. First Sip Brew Box ($24.99): While no beer is actually included (for legal reasons), each box comes with various merchandise from a different craft beer company.

10. MexiCrate ($5.99): Includes 10-15 items of Mexican candy and snacks.

Celebrate the Holidays With the 2020 Harry Potter Funko Pop Advent Calendar

Funko
Funko

Though the main book series and movie franchise are long over, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter remains in the spotlight as one of the most popular properties in pop-culture. The folks at Funko definitely know this, and every year the company releases a new Advent calendar based on the popular series so fans can count down to the holidays with their favorite characters.

SIGN UP TODAY: Get exclusive deals, product news, reviews and more with the Mental Floss Smart Shopping Newsletter!

Right now, you can pre-order the 2020 edition of Funko's popular Harry Potter Advent calendar, and if you do it through Amazon, you'll even get it on sale for 33 percent off, bringing the price down from $60 to just $40.

Funko Pop!/Amazon

Over the course of the holiday season, the Advent calendar allows you to count down the days until Christmas, starting on December 1, by opening one of the tiny, numbered doors on the appropriate day. Each door is filled with a surprise Pocket Pop! figurine—but outside of the trio of Harry, Hermione, and Ron, the company isn't revealing who you'll be getting just yet.

Calendars will start shipping on October 15, but if you want a head start, go to Amazon to pre-order yours at a discount.

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

What You Should Know About Coronavirus Face Masks for Halloween

The coronavirus pandemic doesn't need to interfere with your Halloween activities.
The coronavirus pandemic doesn't need to interfere with your Halloween activities.
ajr_images/iStock via Getty Images

This Halloween, wearing a mask won’t be such a novel experience. With the coronavirus pandemic motivating millions of people to adopt face coverings as a routine part of their daily lives, having a partially obscured face in public is no longer unusual. But before dressing up for some responsible trick-or-treating or a small family gathering, it’s important to remember how cloth masks and Halloween costume masks serve two very different purposes.

First, should kids even go trick-or-treating this year? According to Monica Gandhi, MD, associate chief of the Division of HIV, Infectious Diseases, and Global Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco/San Francisco General Hospital, the answer is an unequivocal yes. “Kids should definitely go trick-or-treating this year,” Gandhi tells Mental Floss. “We know how to protect kids and adults. It is by facial masking."

As you may have already guessed, the plastic or rubber Halloween masks intended to transform you from your regular self into Batman or Wonder Woman are not believed to offer protection against the spread of germs. “We do not know the ability of rubber or plastic to block viral particles,” Gandhi says.

It's probably not likely. "Halloween masks provide no protection," William Miller, MD, senior associate dean of research and an epidemiology professor at The Ohio State University, tells Mental Floss. "First, they often have a hole for the mouth and nose. Second, they don't fit tightly. No one should consider a Halloween mask as adequate protection."

That doesn't mean you necessarily need to leave the costume masks behind. “To be safe, I would recommend a simple two-ply cotton or surgical mask underneath the rubber or plastic costume mask to cover the nose and mouth when trick-or-treating,” Gandhi says. It's also possible to cover the outside of the mask with fabric, but there's no guarantee that a loose-fitting mask won't have openings elsewhere that could allow pathogens to enter. And unless you’re going as a socially-distancing Spider-Man, that could hurt the costume’s look.

There shouldn’t be any concern about an outer Halloween mask affecting the performance of the inner protective mask, Gandhi says. One exception might be if the costume mask is cumbersome and adjusting it shifts the position of the protective mask. For both adults and kids, it might be a good idea to test the dual mask fit for comfort and breathability before wearing it for extended periods. You also don’t want to make a habit of repeatedly touching your face to adjust it unless you’ve washed your hands first.

Parents on the fence about taking their costumed kids door-to-door this year should check their local guidelines, which might place restrictions on the hours or places for collecting candy. Kids should travel with family and try to stick to houses that have set up outdoor candy stations. Leaving the collected candy untouched for a day or two, Miller says, will reduce the already low risk of viral transmission from the wrapper surface.

With a little caution, Halloween can still be fun. And if you’re undecided about wearing two masks, there’s a simple solution: Just go dressed as a health care worker.