Nothing equals the excitement of opening a package and finding out what lies inside. Though it’s not quite the same as receiving something from a friend, there is still a way to receive exciting (and often practical) items, coupled with the thrill of opening a parcel to see what’s inside.Subscription boxes, for which you pay a monthly fee (usually ranging from $15 to $50, depending on the products), have become an increasingly popular trend in recent years. The biggest market for these, unsurprisingly, is the US, where contents range from beauty items and computer gadgets to dog toys and treats, usually with money-off coupons for related items.The monthly fee includes delivery to your door via messenger, so you are spared having to go to your post office and battle the endless lines. The messenger calls in advance to let you know when he is coming, so all you have to do is be at home to receive your package – and open it with bated breath to discover what awaits inside! One of the first companies on the subscription box scene was Glossybox.Started in 2011 in Berlin and now in 10 countries, it provides customers with five or six makeup, hair and skincare products each month, with international names such as Lancome and Clinique. The products are a combination of full-sized and sample-sized; customers have the option of stating product preferences and any special requests.Israel has also eagerly embraced the trend of subscription boxes.Glossybox was active here from 2012 for a year or two, but was replaced by Beautybox, an Israeli company. For NIS 99 monthly (including home delivery), you receive five or six items beautifully wrapped in a box with tissue paper and a ribbon. Items are both full- and sample- sized, and include a range of Israeli brands such as Ahava and Dead Sea Minerals, and global brands such as L’Oreal, MAC and Versace.Members receive a card with information about each product, including the price for the full item. Alone, one or two of the items cost more than the monthly membership fee – for instance, a MAC mascara that would usually cost NIS 129. As a recent recruit to Beautybox, I can testify to the fun of receiving a monthly box of cosmetic items and the surprise of discovering what’s inside, and for far less than the actual cost of these products and with far less effort. It is also a great way to learn about new items on the market that I wouldn’t necessarily discover otherwise.Another company offering this service is the Hebrew-language women’s magazine At, sending a VIP box for a monthly subscription of NIS 129 if you commit to a year (or NIS 149 a month if you don’t).The VIP box comes attractively wrapped but features a wider range of items, such as fashions and accessories, gadgets, and leisure and cultural products – such as a sample version of singer Gidi Gov’s latest album and male cologne (so as not to neglect the men). All have the most recent issue of At and there are also coupons for free items. In total, each box contains products worth at least NIS 500.While beauty and women’s products are the most popular boxes here, to ensure that the whole family is provided for, Woofy offers a monthly subscription box for your pooch – including treats, games and practical items such as portable water bowls and flea-prevention products. Started earlier this year, Woofy already has an active canine following, both in subscribers and on its Facebook page – where customers upload photos of their dogs drooling in anticipation of the tasty treats and stimulating toys that are on their way.For NIS 117 a month you receive a box of items personally suited to your dog, along with a personalized greeting with the dog’s name. Woofy offers additional subscriptions (for extra dogs) at discounted rates, although its monthly box will happily occupy a family’s canine members. It also enables customers to purchase items at discounted prices for donation to animal charities, and will be opening up a shop in the near future.So treat yourself or someone else to one of these boxes, and await the arrival of the mailman with anticipation – as in days gone by.