The concept of a "_____ of the Month Club" is a pretty old-fashioned one. The one that started it all, the Book of the Month Club, was founded way the hell back in 1926, mailing—as you might imagine—new books to its members each month. It's kind of adorable when you think about how it must have been back then, sending mail to a company to request that they send you a book every 30 days. How quaint!
Today, the Book of the Month Club is still kicking, and while you still get a real, physical book in the mail, the business operates as e-commerce only. And that's not a bad thing! Their updated format gives you more choice about the books you get, and allows you to participate in online discussions.
And while a few other monthly mail-order services popped up in the pre-internet decades—wine, cheese and other broad interests for the most part—the internet has only served to broaden the types of of-the-month clubs available to people who want to sign their loved ones up to receive weird, wonderful crap each month.
I haven't checked to see if there's actually a Crap of the Month Club—and I have no plans to—but I recently found seven awesomely peculiar monthly mail-order services I'm tempted to sign myself up for.
Celestial Earth Minerals, a company that may or may not have a pretty blatant oxymoron in its name, runs the delightfully sparkly Mineral of the Month Club.
For $250 a year, a "featured mineral" is mailed to the recipient (henceforth to be known as "you," because that's who you're really considering getting these memberships for, right?). Past featured minerals have included fancy rocks like wavellite, angelite, gyrolite, wulfenite, and other ites I've never heard of despite spending a good chunk of my youth with my hand in the mineral bins at The Nature Company.
Each mailing comes with about a dozen pages of information about the enclosed mineral, as well as a newsletter signed by Dmitri, Mary, Christine and Lora, who don't need last names because they're such huge celebrities in the mineral community.
I couldn't find a Succulent of the Month Club, so the $95-a-year Moss of the Month Club will have to do.
Found on Etsy, which is an unexpected treasure trove of of-the-month clubs, this service will send you a monthly sandwich bag of assorted moss and lichens, a word I have never said aloud out of fear of mispronouncing it.
According to the seller, teresab123, "You may get a miniature birdhouse to decorate with moss and lichens, you might get just moss and lichens, maybe a beautiful fern or moss covered rocks... maybe even a small terrarium kit complete with the container and everything you need to fill it!!!" Triple exclamation points is right!
Even though a huge number of of-the-month clubs focus on edible stuff, I'm a little weirded-out by mail-order food. I just don't trust mailed food, for some reason. I do think I can make an exception, however, for the Peanut Butter and Jelly of the Month Club, as I would gladly eat PB&J for every meal.
Even though I'm totally satisfied with a jar of Goober, this review makes me think I'd love their "hard-to-find" international peanut butters and jellies.
How can I argue with another triple-exclamation-point declaration?
Shopping for vintage T-shirts at the thrift store, as I often do, is hit or miss. Usually, I'll find one or two gems per outing, but only after trudging through the mud that is hundreds of orphaned Hollister tees. It can be tedious.
You know what's not tedious? Having a personal vintage T-shirt shopper, which is essentially what the Vintage T-Shirt of the Month club is. For $100 a year, you'll get a T-shirt that's at least 20 years old (in the size you've indicated) every month for a year. Considering I usually pay between $5 and $10 for the shirts I pick out myself and never know what I'll actually find at the thrift store, getting a surprise T-shirt for about $8 a month is a pretty sweet deal.
Sticking with the theme of old stuff, this Etsy seller offers to send a different vintage children's book to your door each month. The beauty of this service is that you could receive a book from any time between 1800 and 1975, so you could end up with a book you actually remember from your own childhood, or an amazing relic.
And even if you don't have kids, it's totally not creepy to sign up for this. The collection you'll end up with turns out to be a lovely thing to display on a shelf. And hey, if a child happens to wander into your apartment, you'll be prepared.
As the daughter of a woman who collected Gund and Steiff bears, the idea of getting a new teddy bear in the mail every month thrills my inner child, assuming she didn't die in an emotional fire years ago.
According to the vendor, "Every month we'll deliver an adorable, soft and cuddly teddy bear all dressed up in a seasonal theme. You may see a skiing bear in the winter, a surfing bear in the summer, or even an oh-so-scary bear for Halloween!" Something tells me it's not oh so scary. Probably just cute.
At about $300 a year, this one of the more expensive of-the-month clubs on this list, but not quite as pricy as...
This is not another stuffed-animal club. We're talking adult toys, much like the Butt Plug of the Month Club Emily once received a press release for, but with more anatomical variety.
PureDelish.com will send subscribers a different "fun and sexy" and "beautifully gift wrapped" toy every month for three, six or nine months, because no one can handle 12 months of this stuff. You get to choose a preferred type of toy—vibrators, strap-ons, etc.—your preferred color (yes, pastel dildos are available, since you were definitely wondering), and perhaps most importantly, whether or not you want matching thigh-highs with each delivery. (And who wouldn't?!)