Quintessential Kenyon: Student Life, Uncut

10 Super Random Holiday Gifts You Can Find at Your Very Own Kenyon Bookstore

Madeleine Thompson
December 3, 2014

Whatever your preferred holiday — Chrismukkah, etc. — there is something for everyone at this most magical time of year. There is also something for everyone you have to buy a present for, and you can find it all at the Kenyon Bookstore. I, for one, really enjoy buying and giving presents, and I usually go out of my way to keep a running list of things people mention wanting throughout the year. But not everyone can be me. And since that is the case, the bookstore has all your holiday needs covered. I took a tour of the place and have compiled a list of ideas. You know, in case it gets to December 24 and you’ve realized you’re a little behind.

1. BOOKS! For the bookworm in your life. It is a bookstore, after all, so this one’s not that random. There are sections for everything — poetry, mystery (store manager Jim Huang is quite the connoisseur), biography, recent releases, Kenyon authors. They do a great job of curating literature of all shapes and sizes, and you can say a lot to someone via the book you pick out for them.

 2. “App A Day” calendar. For the tech junkie in your life or perhaps a tech-impaired relative. This box calendar would sit nicely on a desk. It’s probably pretty informative, too. Maybe Grandma will ending up asking if you’ve checked out this or that app, and it’ll be super embarrassing because she knows something about the iPhone that you don’t.

3. Skunk puppet. For the animal lover (idk) in your life. Because who wouldn’t want a plush version of Kenyon’s unofficial mascot that you can stick your hand in? Hang on, this might actually be a porcupine. What does a porcupine look like? I should’ve taken a picture of the frog puppet instead. ... This is either a skunk or a porcupine, and it is very soft.

 4. Calligraphy supplies. For the artist in your life. The bookstore has a sweet display full of calligraphy stuff in the back of the store right now, complete with brushes and ink and fancy instruction books. This would be a great gift for any age, but especially for 11- to 14-year-olds, because it’s super crafty and do-able but a step above Legos. 

5. Mermaid travel puzzle. For honestly anyone in your life because everyone loves puzzles. And mermaids. This is one of those things where you may ask yourself why oh why can this be found in my college bookstore, but the answer is obviously “why not?” It comes in a zipper pouch so you can carry it around with you and whip it out if you’re ever bored at a place where there’s a flat surface. I mean come on.

 6. Kenyon apparel. For the preppy dad in your life who maybe wishes you’d gone to a big state school but is still proud. And also literally any other relative, because the apparel covers everything from belts to winter coats to baby onesies. Some of these items are on the more expensive side, but if you really want to show someone appreciation, buy them a cozy purple blanket. My grandfather has gone through (I kid you not) four Kenyon sweatshirts because he loves them so much and wears them all the time.

 7. Bigfoot research kit. For the budding conspiracy theorist in your life. This one really cracks me up, and I have nothing further to say about it except that my birthday is on Friday (wink wink).


 8. No idea what this is. I picked it up and turned it over, and I think it’s just an angry-looking jar. Great for holding things though. You could put chopsticks or tall candles or, like, a jump rope in there. For the Easter Island enthusiast in your life?

9. Fitbit. For that one person you know who likes talking about how often they go to the gym. We all have that one person. Be careful giving this though, because I’m sure you’d hate to give the impression that the recipient needs to exercise more. So give it to your nutjob sister who plays like 10 sports and “enjoys an active lifestyle” if that’s even a real thing.

 10. Craft kits. For the crafty youngster in your life. These are seriously really fun though, so giving this to a relative is really like giving it yourself because you can make them let you do the craft too. Fun for hours on end (because, real talk, some of these crafts are slightly challenging).