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Top 10 Local Gifts To Buy A Penn Stater For The Holidays

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas you ran out of time and don’t know what to buy your favorite Penn Stater this holiday season. That’s OK. We have you covered.

Buying local and from Penn State students/ alumni is always the way to go, and it’ll be way more meaningful when it has that State College connection. There’s no shortage of local presents to gift someone, so we compiled 10 that we would want to receive this holiday season.

Idou Coffee Subscription

While there are plenty of excellent coffee sources in State College, Idou’s prices are probably the most reasonable and there are added perks beyond the beans. The three-month coffee subscription is $48 for local delivery, though you can opt for pick-up or ship it someplace else. On the first Monday of each month, subscribers get a 12 oz. bag that is hand-selected by its team.

The Boalsburg-based company was started post-pandemic by four friends who value excellent coffee, coffee for everyone, and social responsibility from farm to cup. You can read more about their story here and check out Idou’s other products here. This holiday season, you can also purchase a $38 holiday box, which features a 12 oz. bag, four coasters, a mug, and a sticker.

State College Bar Stuff

A few stores in downtown State College sell bar signs, and they are so damn cute. They’ll make a memory last a lifetime. Penn Staters make it known what their favorite bar is, and you can even buy throwback ones (yes, including The ‘Skeller). You can choose between Cafe, the Phyrst, the Gaff, G-Man, the Brewery, and more for $24 online at McLanahan’s and The Student Book Store.

Buying merch from local bars themselves is another fun present that is meaningful and practical if you’re local. Doggie’s has warm sweatshirts, Antifragile has sick hats, and Champs has about one million t-shirt options you can choose from.

K2 Roots Juice Cleanse

Juice cleanses are surprisingly common, but there’s no denying that they’re expensive. It’s a gift someone would love to receive but would never spend the money on themselves. Believe it or not, it’ll end up being cheaper to buy a cleanse from K2 Roots than to do it yourself at home.

The One-Day Cleanse is $53 and the Three-Day Cleanse is $159. You can choose between a beginner version and an advanced version depending on if you’re looking for a body reset or a full detox.

K2 Roots opened downtown in the spring of 2021 by Penn State wrestling legend and Olympic gold medalist David Taylor and his wife, Kendra. The cleanse is a perfect present for someone who cares about fitness and is looking for a fun and healthy experience heading into the new year.

Alex Blom Creates Apparel

Recent Penn State grad Alex Blomstrom grew a quarantine hobby to a viral clothing brand in a short time. Her embroidered tees feature a number of locations, and the State College one is particularly a hit, priced at $32. She also has a winter collection full of t-shirts, crewnecks, stickers, and more.

Clove And Sprig Candles

This candle company was started by Penn State student Kelsey Lauer during an entrepreneurship class, though it soon blossomed into something much bigger. Clove And Sprig candles burn for up to 70 hours and are handcrafted and poured in State College. They have decorative toppings and a sound experience with a crackling sound from the wooden wick. The winter line candles are $25.

Joe Pa’s Closet Clothing

Quite a few people sell vintage Penn State clothing these days, but nobody quite has the selection like Joe Pa’s Closet. Penn State alum Zac Cowell started the company when he was a student years ago, but it still has a cult following on campus.

The last big drop was on Black Friday, but there are still a number of t-shirts, hats, and hoodies on his site, and there’s free shipping. In addition to Penn State apparel, you can also find a ton of random vintage clothing for $25+ through his non-Penn State-related account, VintageZac.

If nothing stands out, it’s probably best to follow Joe Pa’s Closet on Instagram because he posts regularly, and from experience, shipping is quick so you’d get it in time for the holidays.

Yoga Lab Classes

As we gear up for the New Year and aim for ~healthy habits~, yoga classes are a fun experience to gift someone. Yoga Lab is a studio on McAllister Alley in downtown State College, and it is offering an intro to yoga four-week workshop for $60. These one-hour classes are led by the founders at 4 p.m. on Sunday, January 8, 15, 22, and 29. You can buy a gift certificate and let Yoga Lab know the person you’re enrolling.

You can also gift someone general class pass memberships for five or 10 classes, which are $65 and $110, respectively.

Downtown State College Gift Card

Once you get over the fact that gift cards are an acceptable holiday gift, you’ll be tasked with figuring out what place you’ll want to get it from. Fortunately, you don’t have to make that decision!

Downtown State College sells one starting at $25 that you can use at over 100 locations, including bars. It’s more meaningful than giving someone a check, and it’ll be incredibly appreciated by whoever receives it. You can order one online (unless you live in Connecticut, Hawaii, New Jersey, New York, or Vermont…then you can’t. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯)

MarRosa’s Sauce

Recent Penn State graduate Marcella Marino created MarRosa’s Old World Cuisine when she was a junior. She sells Sicilian, marinara, vodka, and tomato basil sauce made with Italian tomatoes. Marino could never find a sauce recipe like her family’s recipe, so she perfected her great-grandmother’s and has been selling jars ever since. You can order a case of six online for $42 or use the store locator feature to buy it in a store near you.

Tasting Trail Passport

Central Pennsylvania Tasting Trail offers a passport that encourages people to check out Centre County craft beverage locations — four breweries, two distilleries, five wineries, and three cideries. The passport is $35 and each time you present it and get it stamped, you’ll receive a free gift. Stops include Mount Nittany Vineyard and Winery, 814 Cider Works, Barrel 21, and more. If you complete the trail within a year, you’ll get an adorable blue sweatshirt. There’s a buy-one-get-one-half-off deal until Christmas day, too.

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About the Author

Colleen Nersten

Colleen is a senior biology major from York, Pa, and is one of Onward State's associate editors. She overuses the ~tilde~ and aspires to be no other than the great Guy Fieri. You can find Colleen filling up her gas tank at Rutter’s, the ~superior~ Pennsylvania gas station. Please direct any questions or concerns to [email protected] For the hijinks, always.

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