Attention holiday shoppers!

'Tis the season to be frenzied, as everyone and their dog flocks to the stores to wrap up their Christmas shopping. You can save yourself a lot of hassle - and money - by taking advantage of the holiday specials offered by local shops and programs.

If deciding what to get at the Museum Shop leaves you frazzled, you can take a break and contemplate the objects that decorated the studies of Chinese scholars during the Museum's "Scholars and Shoppers" event. Pictured here: a mouse-shaped water dropper from the Kangxi period (1662-1722).

On Thursday, Dec. 17, the Museum Shop in the University of Pennsylvania Museum offers a special break for last-minute shoppers - 20 percent off all gifts and 10 percent off books - and a chance to take in the "Treasures of the Chinese Scholar" exhibition for half price as part of the "Go West! Go International! 3rd Thursdays" series.

That same evening, the Kelly Writers House will also join the shopping fray with a "Book Bazaar" coordinated by house librarian Sharon Male featuring new and used books at insanely low prices.

The Penn Bookstore also offers 20 percent off a wide selection of merchandise during its annual "Holiday Spree" from Wednesday, Dec. 16 to Saturday, Dec. 19. As always, the Penn Bookstore is open late for your shopping convenience.

And throughout the season, both the Museum Shop and the Museum's Pyramid offer a number of unusual gifts from around the globe and across the ages, including a wide selection of inexpensive gifts. Admission to both shops is always free.

* denotes "Go West! Go International! 3rd Thursday" events

  • "SCHOLARS AND SHOPPERS": 4:30 to 8 p.m. at the Museum, 33rd and Spruce streets. Special admission $2.50, students/seniors $1.25, children under 6/PennCard holders free. Info: visit or call 898-4000. *

  • BOOK BAZAAR: 7 to 9 p.m. at the Kelly Writers House, 3805 Locust Walk. Info: visit or call 573-WRIT. *

  • HOLIDAY SPREE: 8:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Dec. 16-19 at the Penn Bookstore, 3601 Walnut St. Info: 898-7595.

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Originally published on December 3, 1998