Editor’s note: This story is reprinted from the November issue of GCU Magazine. To view the digital version, click here.
Story by Lana Sweeten-Shults
Photos by Gillian Rea
In the Christmas gift realm, an iPhone 11 Pro Max or a 4K Ultra HD TV might not be poetic enough for you — or might not rhyme with your budget. If so, consider this: Grand Canyon University gear makes for unique gifts you’re not likely to find in the typical store. (And avoiding the rumpus that’s Black Friday shopping is always a plus.) Here are a few ideas, many of them on lopeshops.gcu.edu.
When you drop the words “Christmas shopping” at the feet of the Lope Shops’ Shelly Schrimpf, Assistant Director of Campus Retail & Licensing, she shifts into high-gear retail mode.
“Christmas is one of our busiest times of year,” she said, detailing the stores’ contribution to the holiday shopping experience: ITS 5 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS SALE. Translation: $6.99 T-shirts on Dec. 2, $12.99 long-sleeve T-shirts on Dec. 3, $19.99 hoodies Dec. 4, family bundles plus a 25% discount off family merchandise on Dec. 5 and 50% off patio items Dec. 6.
Schrimpf expects the ultrasoft, fuzzy sherpas to continue to be one of the Lope Shops’ best sellers again this winter. GCU-branded sherpas are $59.99.
Fuzzy throws and blankets also tend to move quickly at Christmastime. Prices range from $24.99 for a 50- x 60-inch fleece to a 54- x 84-inch Pro-Weave sweatshirt blanket for $39.99 and a fuzzy throw for $42.99.
If your Christmas tree is looking a little slim on the decor, no problem – the Lope Shops offer holiday ornaments aplenty. Go fancy with the Kitty Keller 24-karat, gold plated cloisonné designed ball ornament ($48.99; it’s super pretty) or try some of the fun options, such as a GCU Christmas sock or ceramic gift ornament ($12.99 each) or the white-and-purple-striped ball ornament emblazoned with the University’s seal ($12.99).
For the guy in your life, it’s ties, socks and hats to the rescue!
A purple GCU tie ($39.99) might be the right call, but you also could pick off a GCU seal pre-tied bowtie ($24.99) or grab a pair of GCU-branded socks, such as the Strideline Tokyodachi socks featuring an animelike Thunder ($14.99), the Strideline Havocs ($13.99) or the Lopes Up socks ($17.99). The Lope Shops carry Zephyr Hats, too ($12.99 to $32.99).
Grand Canyon Beverage Co. Manager Brennan Williams recommends the K-cups, designed for Keurig single-cup brewing systems. Pick up a 50-pack of Camelback Sunrise K-cups ($42.99) or nab a 12-ounce, whole-bean bag of Antelope Reserve Coffee or Camelback Sunrise Coffee ($9.99 each). A case of 8-ounce cans of GCBC’s signature energy drink, Stampede, runs for $35, and a four pack is $7.99. Stampede cases are available at GCBC, and lopeshops.gcu.edu has other GCBC items.
While the physical copies of the latest Canyon Worship album are sold out, you still can buy a digital copy on such platforms as Google Play ($9.49). The CD features 10 songs written and performed by Center for Worship Arts students.
Season tickets are no longer available, but individual tickets remain for the children’s musical “A Year With Frog and Toad” (Nov. 15-17 and Nov. 22-24), Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” (Feb. 7-9 and Feb. 14-16) and “The Drowsy Chaperone” (March 20-22 and March 27-29). For dance lovers, Ethington Theatre also is the venue for the Dance Department’s winter (Dec. 6-8) and spring (April 17-19) dance concerts.
FOR THE LI’L LOPE
Consider giving young readers a copy of “Thunder’s Vision” ($7.99) or the follow-up, “Thunder’s Herd” ($7.95). Check the Lope Shops or go to lopeshops.gcu.edu. Stop by the Lope Shops to add a stuffed animal Antelope ($12.99) or a Cheer Lope ($14.99) to your gift of reading.
The holidays can be stressful. One way to de-stress: a gift certificate for a stay at GCU Hotel. Rates vary ($89 to $209) depending on the room and time of year. The hotel has a Stay-and-Play Package with GCU Golf Course, which includes a room at the hotel and golf at the employee green fee rate, and the hotel’s bedding also is for sale at the front desk.
The climbing wall at the Canyon Activity Center is a good way to pump up after plumping up on turkey and pecan pie over the holidays. Purchase passes at the wall as a gift for yourself or, perhaps, a friend. Semester passes are $30 if you
have your own climbing gear and $45 if not.
TOY AND GIFT DRIVE
Finally, if you want to give a gift with a lasting impact, University Relations Manager Debbie Accomazzo said to consider participating in the Toy and Gift Drive at the basketball game Dec. 3 to benefit Phoenix Rescue Mission.
Accomazzo said, “Give a gift of time or money -- no gift is too small, and it all matters.”