LobstergramCredit: Microsoft Corp.Credit: Microsoft Corp.

The monthly mail order gift is the gift that keeps on giving, and that very fact makes it inherently funny. Keep your loved one guessing with these unique and humorous gift options:

1.       Forbidden Foods Club, from Zingerman.com 

    Give the gift of sin in 3 or 6 monthly installments. This gluttonous food assortment is perfect for the salt, fat, sugar, carb, gluten, lactose, animal-product lover in your life.  Or, if you time it just right, you could single-handedly prevent that frenemy from sticking to any sort of health-related New Year’s Resolution. Be devious, yet thoughtful, at the same time.

    2.       Bonsai of the Month, from GourmetGroceryOnline.com

      Because everyone needs 3, 6, or 12 additional bonsai plants for their home. Do you know someone with a penchant for tiny things and lots of empty window sills?

      3.       Panty Subscription, from PantybyPost.com

        Pretty panties shipped directly to your lover’s mailbox.  It is the very best suggestive win-win gift, unless, of course, you get her size wrong.  They also offer worldwide shipping, in case your lover is not nearby or is avoiding you.

        4.       Lobster Gram, from LiveLob.com  

          There is nothing like springing a live gift on someone--especially one with giant claws, received by mail, without warning.  This isn’t a monthly subscription.  Each Lobster Gram is ordered separately.  But do consider multiples--a repeated lobster bomb is exponentially more funny than one.  As a bonus, by the end of the year, the recipient will have an excess of claw crackers and a nice collection of those very cool bibs.

            5.       Teddy Bear of the Month Club, from Overstock.com

            This is an adorable and welcomed gift for any child, a truly great idea. Not only do they love to receive packages in the mail, they will cherish their new stuffed creature. They will squeeze it, hold it, name it, sleep with it, show it off to all of their friends, and proudly display it in their bedrooms. Your wife, husband, or boss will not likely have the same reaction. They may, in fact, be shocked by the repeated gesture. But that is why it is funny.  Keep them on their toes with an entire year of hoping it will stop.

            6.       Saltwater Lure of the Month, from FishingEnthusiast.com

              Specificity is funny. It gives the recipient the notion that you put the utmost thought towards finding the most perfect gift, tailor made just for them.  Go ahead--be bold.  Be way too specific and way off the mark. Did your mother-in-law just tell you a story about going fishing once as a child? The real gift you are giving to her, back in the landlocked Central Midwest, is the endless enjoyment of telling the story about how for 6 straight months she received an assortment of saltwater lures from her zany son-in-law.  On the other hand, this would be a much appreciated gift for an actual angling hobbyist--still specific but not so funny.

              With a few exceptions to the above, keep in mind that the funny-gifts-in-excess that you give are likely to be re-gifted.  But think of it as just another favor you are doing for the recipient.  In addition to the priceless laughter and fond memory, you are saving them both time and money while making them appear wonderfully thoughtful to someone else.