Stocking stuffers


As the saying goes, the best things come in the smallest packages, and stores both on and near campus are well-stocked with plenty of these small gifts. Many of these trinkets are affordable and appropriate for office gift exchanges—maybe with the exception of the temporary tattoos (see below).

CHOP SHOP: The gift shop at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia has a ton of kid-centric gifts, including hand-held computer games, princess tiaras, magic wands, and yes, those temporary tattoos. For kids who like to kick it old school, the store even has books of paper dolls and paper NASCAR vehicles. And for the grown-ups (and dedicated Penn employees), it also sells beaded around-the-neck holders perfect for proudly displaying a PennCard. Next door at HUP, the gift shop boasts holiday-themed gifts, including silver angel candelabras, gold and silver tree ornaments and Christmas tree refrigerator magnets. They also have red and green salt-and-pepper shakers and holiday wine goblets.

GET GIRLY: Douglas, located at 3603 Walnut St., has a whole stocking stuffer section, with plenty of gift options under $10, including a small jeweled notebook with a matching pen, gel eye masks in pink or yellow and head massagers. They also have numerous lip balms and hand creams, as well as dog-themed luggage tags perfect for the frequent traveler.

LISTEN TO THE MUSIC: If your gift recipient is a music lover, and you’d rather shop online, stop by WXPN’s virtual store at There, you can show your support for the radio station with an XPN coffee mug in white or “World Cafe” mug in black. They have short sleeve “onesies” for the smallest music lovers and “Live at the World Cafe” CDs, volumes 11 through 27.

INTERNATIONAL FLAIR: For coffee and tea drinkers, chocolate lovers and readers of obscure magazines the world over, Avril 50, located at 3406 Sansom St., provides one-stop shopping. They have coffee beans (available whole or ground), as well as chocolates from Michel Cluizel, Dolfin and other international chocolatiers. The store also has the largest selection of international magazines in the neighborhood, ranging from architecture and politics, to fashion and poetry.

ANCIENT ARTIFACTS: The Penn Museum, located at 3260 South St., has unique gifts for kids, including a seven-inch high plush Egyptian jackal-headed king doll, and several Professor Noggin’s educational trivia games, including one on “First Peoples of North America” and another on “Wonders of the World.” For adults, they have mini-Zen garden, bonsai-growing and origami sets, as well as a puzzle with a scene from one of the Museum’s Mayan chama pots, and a flat metal bookmark featuring a bull’s head from the exhibit, “Iraq’s Ancient Past.”

Originally published on December 3, 2009