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Holiday Shopping Around Campus
December 15, 2009, Volume 56, No. 15

The Red and Blue turns Green for the holidays in the spirit of sustainability. With several new options to spice up the season, there are recycled organic t-shirts, recycled school supplies, solar powered phones, eco-friendly greeting cards, Christmas greens and pieces of the Palestra which have become distinctive gifts. In keeping with a Penn tradition that began nearly 40 years ago when Almanac presented a front page story, “Poor Richard on a Campus Shopping Spree” it is still true today that holiday shopping can be done on foot during a lunchtime stroll around the block. For a sustainable way to find unique gifts without wandering to a far-off mall, check out the dozens of stores nearby and save time and gas. So, if you are you looking for some last minutes gifts, don’t worry. Almanac’s elves searched for gifts that everyone on your list will enjoy.

Penn Accessories and Apparel

Represent your love for Penn by proudly wearing it across your chest in a short-sleeved or long-sleeved t-shirt in white, red, navy or gray available for under $20 at the Penn Bookstore. Shirts emblazoned with the name of all 12 schools are available in navy. Also look for the special “Alumni” shirts. The layered look is so necessary in this fickle winter season so make sure to purchase hoodies. With the Jansport “Buy 1, Get 1 50% Off” deal, you can get a zip-up hooded, embroidered sweatshirt for just under $60 and afford to get a second one for a friend. There are also Champion sweatshirts available for about $35. Show your love for Penn and your planet by wearing the new line of recycled, organic tees and hoodies. They’re a bit pricier than the typical Penn garb, at about $30 for a t-shirt and about $65 for hoodies, but supporting the “Green” cause is worth the price. The women’s section features a Skittles-like range of colorful Penn sweatshirts and t-shirts. And ladies, make sure to dazzle this holiday season in a bling-ed out Penn t-shirt, complete with a sequined Penn logo by Collegiate Fashionista. The sales racks are always stuffed with all manner of apparel, always at a 25% discount. Adjacent to the sales section is the children’s section full of the most adorable miniature sweats and tees for the future Penn student who wants to match Mommy and Daddy.

The Wharton Store, on the first floor of Jon  M. Huntsman Hall, has a wealth of apparel and gear for the Wharton-ite. If you want to dress for the season, buy hoodies for $40, scarves and wool hats for $20, fleeces for $35-45 and sweatpants for $25-30. Colors are the standard navy, gray, white and black. T-shirts, headgear and polos are also available. Even better, now through the end of December is their 10-15% off holiday sale, so even gift-buying procrastinators have time to save on holiday gifts!

Shop@Penn, for those who want to shop online, www.shopatpenn.com/, offers more of a selection in individual school gear. The 12 different schools have apparel in the form of polos, headgear, t-shirts and sweatshirts. Check out the “Penn Collection” which features the “Holiday Fan Pack” (as well as “Back to School” men and women’s packs), which includes a Tommy Hilfiger fleece crewneck in navy, a red hat, and a two-tone tote in black/navy, all for under $50 and embellished with the Penn insignia.

Books and More

’Tis the season for unique holiday gift finds, and the Penn Bookstore has many in store. In addition to the traditional Penn gear, magazines, and textbooks that the store typically supplies, the Penn Bookstore is offering unique “Green” gifts at low prices. There are a number of specialty items that would make the perfect gift. With Penn’s emphasis on sustainability, the Bookstore offers unique eco-friendly gifts around the store. You can find some school supplies created from recycled materials, a multicolored pencil case ($1.48), a greenbook for examinations in lieu of the typical bluebook ($0.70), and two-pocket folders at $1.98 each.

The Penn Bookstore features some new, upscale gifts worth mentioning. Its new line of cashmere offers soft winter wear, with the Penn insignia stitched on each item. Featured gifts include men and women’s sweaters in navy and gray at $194.98 each, navy scarves for $99.98 each, and hats and gloves for babies at $64.98 each.

The Bookstore is featuring new books that highlight what the city of Philadelphia has to offer, and texts from members of the Penn community. More Philadelphia Murals and the Stories They Tell ($37), co-authored by Jane Golden, lecturer of mural arts in the department of fine arts in the School of Design, features photos and information about the city’s Mural Arts Program. Historic Landmarks of Philadelphia ($34.95), by Roger W. Moss, adjunct professor of architecture in the School of Design, is another Penn- and Philadelphia-centric book. The Vartan Gregorian Professor of English Peter Conn’s new book, The American 1930s: A Literary History ($27.99) is available at the Penn Bookstore. Finally, College senior and recent Marshall Scholarship recipient—Joshua Bennett, C’10—is the author of Jesus Riding Shotgun ($10), available online at www.poetcd.com.

And as always, the seasonal sales at the Bookstore last throughout the month of December. The store is offering holiday boxed cards and gift wrap at 30% off. It’s also featuring a number of rotating book sales, including an under $20 table full of books, buy one get two free, 50% off, and 20% off new book arrivals. The store is also hosting a Jansport buy one get one half off sale through December 19. Many items are available online at the Bookstore’s website, www.upenn.bkstore.com.


Feeling guilty about the environment but addicted to your electronics? Head over to the Computer Connection and ask about their eco-friendly section. Rechargeable battery kits and 4-packs for $6.99 allow you to save both money and the environment at the same time. Festive green connector cords made from recycled materials are perfect for hooking up your Ethernet, printers and scanners. Be sure to remember the solar-powered hands-free phones, surge protectors, 500GB backup drives, and more. While you’re there, boost up on school spirit and check out their Penn-logo bearing USBs and mouse pads. Get holiday gift ideas from the Connection’s online 2009 Holiday Wishbook that includes great deals like a 13” Apple MacBook with free printer for $699, iPods on clearance, and other items in their current ongoing sale. Other special offers included a free $25 CCX gift card with the purchase of any Apple MacBook Pro and a free laptop sleeve with the purchase of any 14” or 15” Dell or Lenovo laptop, while supplies last. Conveniently, shop at the Computer Connection next to the Penn Bookstore, or online at www.upenn.edu/computerstore.

Gifts: Unique, Cards, Stationery

Send a positive message about the environment, in addition to celebrating a special occasion with the “Ecopolitan” line of greeting cards available at the Penn Bookstore for the affordable price of $2.75—cheaper than most commercial greeting cards. Look out for the green “live green” signs for the other eco-friendly greeting cards, on display now are “Recycled Paper Greetings” celebrating Christmas and Hanukkah. Encourage the budding writer in your life with an “Ecosystem” journal collection—ranging from pocket-sized to standard notebook size—in a collection of rainbow colors. These journals are made of 100% recycled materials and 100% post-consumer recycled paper from the US.

A gift from Roses Florist has many plants that fit the season. Poinsettias are $4.99 and up, as are Christmas cacti—both available in pink, red, and white and red/white marble colors (poinsettias only). The mini Christmas trees come decorated and are only $10—perfect for accent pieces or even a child’s bedroom! Holiday arrangements of Christmas greens (holly, etc.) or red and white flowers are $35 and come with a collectible container that looks like a snowflake ornament. The ornament container is also available for Hershey’s and Lindt chocolate arrangements for $35. The holiday fruit basket is $50. They also have aromatherapy candles, cards and vases for all seasons. For last minute pickups, they will be open until 6 or 7 p.m. on Christmas Eve. Now that’s true holiday spirit!

Music and Performances

The music department of the Penn Bookstore sells a variety of CDs, including both popular classics and newly released albums by today’s most well-known artists. The Bookstore also sells a handful of CDs by the Penn Glee Club and the Penn Band. Don’t miss the Glee Club’s holiday-themed album, A Song by the Fire, which includes renditions of 22 wintertime classics such as “Silent Night” and “Let it Snow!” The Glee Club’s “Echoes and Tradition” is another CD being sold by the Bookstore and includes 16 great tracks such as “America the Beautiful” and “Brown October Ale.” Also, the Penn Band’s album The Band Before Time is a special edition two-CD set with traditional Penn songs including “Drink a Highball” and “The Red and Blue.” All of these CDs sell for $18.99 each. Visit www.pennband.net and www.penngleeclub.com for an even broader selection of music sold by these fantastic Penn student performers.

Additionally, the Annenberg Center for the Performing Artsis a major cultural venue which exhibits innovative human expression in theatre, music, and dance. The Center sells gift certificates that are available in any denomination and can be redeemed for tickets to any Penn Presents or Dance Celebration performance. Upcoming performers in 2010 include the River North Chicago Dance Company, The American Composers Orchestra and the South African Soweto Gospel Choir. To purchase tickets or gift certificates, visit www.annenbergcenter.org or call (215) 898-3900.


The Penn Museum Shop offers a unique selection of gifts for everyone on your list, including books, apparel and decorative items. Fans of the Museum may enjoy owning a replica of their favorite object in the collections, or jewelry based on an exhibit, such as a pair of gold-plated bull’s head earrings ($44.99), inspired by the famous bull head lyre from the recently launched: Iraq’s Ancient Past: Rediscovering Ur’s Royal Cemetery. Christmas ornaments inspired by the collections are mostly under $10 and make great stocking stuffers, or give back to a community in need by purchasing a hand-made item from the Fair Trade Federation, such as a colorful Guatemalan shoulder bag ($49.99).

The Pyramid Shop has a variety of fun and educational gifts for toddlers to teens, from a plush world map travel bag ($29.99) to gifts for the budding archaeologist, such as a pyramid dig kit ($7.99) and sets that allow a child to excavate, discover and restore a Mayan temple or a terra cotta soldier ($29.99). Imaginative children can travel back in time to ancient Egypt with a collection of hieroglyphic stamps ($24.99) and a kit to make your own papyrus ($7.99). Another favorite this year is a puzzle based on a Chama vase from the current exhibit: Painted Metaphors: Pottery and Politics of the Ancient Maya ($12.95). As always, you can feel good shopping at the Penn Museum, where all PennCard holders receive a 10% discount and a portion of the proceeds helps to support the Museum and its collections.


Penn Athletics is the official online store for Penn sport fans to purchase Quakers merchandise. The store offers apparel items such as hats and t-shirts, as well as books and DVDs. The store’s top selling items are the sport-specific apparel items, which you can use to represent your favorite Penn team. You can also purchase framed prints of your favorite sports teams, players and matches. Other interesting finds include The Palestra documentary DVD ($24.99), and the “PSN Complete” Annual Package Gift Subscription ($59.95) to the Penn Sports Network. Shop online at www.pennathletics.com.

It is now possible to own a literal piece of collegiate athletics history with gifts from the Palestra Collection. The Palestra was completed in 1927 and was the site of many legendary basketball games. These finely crafted items, made from the original hardwood flooring of the Palestra, are available at the Penn Bookstore and online. A fraction of the collection is now available at the Penn Bookstore including a distinctive wooden frame at $125, wooden ink pens at $140, and cuff links at $150. The offerings include pens, picture frames, a bottle opener and sterling silver cufflinks. The Bookstore plans to  carry more items from the collection. Meanwhile, the entire collection is available online where prices range from $75 to $150. Each product comes with a certificate of authenticity and a brief history of The Palestra. Shop online at www.upenn.edu/palestrawoodcraft.

Stop by Philadelphia Runner to pick up gifts for the athletes on your holiday list. Gift ideas include: reusable water bottles, watches, Oakley Jawbone sunglasses ($205-$250) and the stylish Nike Lunarglide running sneakers ($99.95). For smaller stocking stuffers, consider safety lights, gloves, or running socks. By signing up for their customer rewards program, you can receive a mailed $25 certificate for every $300 you spend. Philadelphia Runner also supports charities such as Students Run Philly Style, a program that trains young people for marathons to help them succeed in life. For more information call (215) 662-5100 or visit www.philadelphiarunner.com.


Related: New This Year–Animated Penn eCards

Almanac - December 15, 2009, Volume 56, No. 15