If you haven’t finished your holiday shopping, you’ve got a few more precious days to check those last names off your list. The window is closing quickly for shipping gifts in time for family dinners and holiday celebrations, but that doesn’t mean all is lost. There’s still plenty of time to find and give the perfect item, and we’ve got a few ideas that will make anyone on your list happy.
Instead of the generic scarves and gift cards available at every store, giving subscription boxes can be a way to make a gift slightly more personal and thoughtful. Plus, if you sign someone up for several months of the boxes, you’re guaranteeing good mail days in the future — something the recipient will be grateful for long after the wrapping paper is tossed.
Choosing from the myriad of boxes is half the battle, especially since you can choose a box for practically any hobby or interest at this point. However, a survey conducted by The Cheat Sheet shows that the men on your list will probably like some boxes more than others. No matter whether you’re buying for your partner, your dad, or your coworker, you can’t go wrong with choosing a box that’s food or drink related.
Food, drink boxes most popular
When selecting a box subscription they wanted, about 46% of men who participated in the survey said they would prefer a box that sent food or drink items. The infographic below shows a selection of the survey data gathered in response to several questions, which asked respondents to select the gifts, digital products, and subscriptions they have on their holiday wishlist.
Gifts for alcoholic beverages were most desired at 25%, with food-related boxes coming in second at 20.8%. Subscription boxes for apparel and accessories followed at 18.8%, and grooming supplies were least in-demand at 14.8%. [Update, 12/16/2015: An earlier version of this article stated that most of the men who chose “other” subscriptions said they preferred another gift instead. The majority of participants who chose “other” wrote in “none” as their answer.]
It shouldn’t be too surprising that many of the men on your list are interested in receiving alcohol and boxes of food at their doorsteps. In an ongoing Longitudinal Study of American Youth conducted by the University of Minnesota, researchers found that men in Generation X (those born between 1961 and 1981, or between the ages of 34 and 54) are much more involved in food preparation than generations before.
Those findings make sense when compared to The Cheat Sheet’s survey results. Of the 1,026 respondents, 57% were between the ages of 35 and 64, which encompasses all of Generation X and a few from the millennial and baby boomer age groups. (Of all the survey respondents, 452 answered the question about subscription preferences.)
As for the drinks, subscription services allow men to enjoy spirits they like and learn about them at an accelerated pace, said Mack McConnell, founder of the monthly subscription service Taster’s Club. “The world of spirits is big,” McConnell said in an interview with The Cheat Sheet. “It’s a lot to take on and go at yourself.”
Signing up for a subscription like Taster’s Club allows people who want to expand their expertise and their palate, without putting in copious amounts of effort or time they can’t invest, McConnell said. Subscription boxes also give people a chance to taste foods or drinks they might not have access to in their hometowns, without ordering specialty goods at a high cost. After a few months of receiving the boxes, you’ll have a varied selection of foods or drinks that you’ve become an expert on, with a little help from the boxes’ curators.
Boxes to buy
Need a few food or drink suggestions? We’ve written before about options like Blue Apron or Plated, which send pre-measured meal ingredients to your doorstep. Other food options like Try the World, NatureBox, and JapanCrate all offer food and snacks for a specific interest, whether it’s health or a penchant for international flavors.
If you’d rather give a more “spirited” gift, try Taster’s Club or options like Crafted Taste, which sends ingredients for mixed drinks. Others like Craft Beer Club send 12 microbrew selections from across the United States to your doorstep.
One of the advantages to selecting a subscription box is that many of the companies make giving a gift subscription easy. Sites like Mantry, which provides a themed food box each month, even guarantee delivery by December 25 if you order by December 21. Another perk is that in the wide world of food and drink subscriptions, there’s bound to be one each of your recipients is bound to love. Have a brother who can’t wait to try a new hot sauce, or a coworker who’s all about their wine? There’s a box for that. Plus, it’ll show you’ve thought of them specifically, but you won’t have the pressure of making the right selection on your own.
No matter what, now is the time to complete your shopping list. Brainstorm a few of the interests for the people on your list, and complete a quick search to find a box that would complement them. Then, check those names off your list with confidence.
Interested in seeing other results from The Cheat Sheet survey? Here’s the No. 1 gift men want for Christmas.