Kim Cook

Suffering from a pre-holiday “what to give” headache? The prescription may be a subscription.

These gifts literally keep on giving: New installments arrive over the course of weeks or months.

While the idea isn’t new, the breadth and variety of what you can subscribe to is: Anna Sui makeup and zebra masks for kids. Freshly-pressed records, juices and high-fashion togs. Mystery boxes for people and for pets. Or consider a subscription for e-books, movie passes, or classes in art, cooking or exercise.

“They’re a great improvement on the gift card,” says Neale Martin, a consumer expert and CEO at Sublime Behavior Marketing in Marietta, Ga.; like gift cards, subscription gifts are easy to buy, especially last-minute, at a variety of prices, but they also can be highly customized.

Liz Cadman founded a website, My Subscription Addiction, devoted to boxes containing a mix of items each month. That improves the odds that your recipients will like it, she says: “Boxes give you variety. Most include five-plus items, so you know someone’s going to like at least a few of them.”

Many local stores will work with customers to put together subscription gifts. Here are some online offerings:

Home

Decoterie sends a curated box of limited-edition home accessories and textiles — coasters, thank-you notes and a personalized ceramic bowl were among items in one box. (www.cratejoy.com/decoterie)

Burke Décor’s subscriptions include home, spa and travel accessories. (www.burkedecor.com)

Set your style parameters at Linen Crate and get a monthly box of tablecloths, placemats, towels or rugs, as well as items like platters and spa accessories. (www.linencrate.com)

The edible subscription universe is vast and varied: Chocolate of the Month, Bacon of the Month, Spice to Meet You, Candy Japan and Original Craft Beer Club. Pressed Juicery sends an array of juices.

For women

There are all kinds of beauty, fashion and wellness subscriptions, many of which ask you to describe your personal style and makeup parameters.

Birchbox offers sample sizes and one full-size product. (www.birchbox.com)

Stitch Fix sends five new wardrobe items, chosen by a stylist. Send an e-gift card, your recipient selects delivery dates, keeps what she wants and returns the rest in the prepaid bag. (www.stitchfix.com)

At Quarterly, prominent people like Nina Garcia, creative director of Elle Décor, and science icon Bill Nye create boxes and include a note outlining why they chose what they did. Nye’s boxes have included bow ties and cardboard DNA models. (www.quarterly.co)

Cadman recommends Popsugar Must Have as a subscription gift for women. “It’s $40 a month, and they send a variety of beauty, fashion, home, food and fitness items,” she says. October’s box included a satin pillowcase and a gift card for monogrammed jewelry. (www.musthave.popsugar.com)

For men

With Dollar Shave, you choose the style of blade and razor, and refills arrive on your schedule. (www.dollarshaveclub.com)

Or try Bespoke Post, Cadman says: “It’s $45 a month and they deliver high-quality items (think ties, barware, grooming kits, shoes, etc.). Each month they announce new box options, and your giftee gets to pick which one they want.” (www.bespokepost.com)

At Trunk Club, a stylist gathers a clothing selection which you preview and approve online. When the items arrive, you can nix them if they don’t look right. (www.trunkclub.com)

What about a whole year’s worth of cool socks? Soul Socks, which sends a house-designed pair of cotton socks each month, helps support job-training programs for high schoolers. (www.soulsocks.com)

For kids

Arts and crafts are fun for children. Check out Green Kid Crafts and Art in a Box. (www.greenkidcrafts.com; www.artinabox.net)

Tinker Crate offers puzzles and engineering challenges for 9- to 12-year-olds. (www.tinker.kiwicrate.com)

Spangler Science Club, aimed at kindergartners through sixth-graders, sends stuff for science experiments. (www.spanglerscienceclub.com)

My Geek Box centers around a theme like “sidekicks” or “justice” with geek gear, collectibles and T-shirts. (www.mygeekbox.co.uk) GiftLit sends monthly book boxes, while Brickbox’s niche is all things Lego. (www.giftlit.com; www.brickbox.com)

For your 3- to 12-year-old traveler, Little Passports starts with a suitcase and a map. Then comes a monthly array of activity kits, gadgets, stickers and souvenirs. (www.littlepassports.com)

Citrus Lane sends boxes skewed to babies, toddlers or preschoolers, full of quality toys, games and snacks. (www.citruslane.com)

For pets

Barkbox sends dog and cat toys and treats monthly. (www.barkbox.com)