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Big Red's Monmouth College gift ideas

Looking for some gift ideas this Christmas season? Maybe Monmouth College’s Big Red can help. Everybody, sing along!

On the first day of Christmas, Big Red gave to me, a cartridge for my new Wii. OK, admittedly, that has nothing to do with Monmouth, but it’s not like there are many partridges roaming campus. Come to think of it, Big Red, it’s going to be too hard for all of these to rhyme with the items from the popular Christmas carol, so let’s start again.

On the first day of Christmas, Big Red gave to me, a great gift idea. Actually, this one comes from biology professor Ken Cramer, who encouraged the campus community to consider the gift of a loan to a small entrepreneur in a developing country via Kiva ( Kiva’s founder, Matt Flannery, spoke at the college a few years ago thanks to a connection with MC trustee Jerry Marxman ’56. “Don’t buy a family some fish – loan them money to buy fishing equipment,” suggests Cramer.

On the second day of Christmas, Big Red gave to me, two weeks at College For Kids. Monmouth College will host its annual summer enrichment program for children in grades 2-8 from June 11-22. The cost to send a child to CFK is $150. This makes a great gift for grandchildren!

On the third day of Christmas, Big Red gave to me, three Crimson Masque theatre tickets. Most of the college’s cultural events are free, but there is a minimal charge to attend theatre productions. The remaining schedule for this academic year’s theatre season includes “The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later” (March 1-4); “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” (April 26-29); and “The Zoo Story” (May 2-3).

On the fourth day of Christmas, Big Red gave to me, four Briarpatch mysteries. Author William Urban, who also happens to be MC’s Lee Morgan Professor of History and International Studies, says his murder mystery series will eventually reach seven books. Currently, there are four in print (a fifth one has been completed), and they are available at the Monmouth College Bookstore or through

On the fifth day of Christmas, Big Red gave to me, five Fighting Scots photos. Local photographer Scott Spitzer attends many Monmouth sporting events, and he always comes away with some outstanding images. His photos can be purchased through Captured Moments, located at Haase Embroidery at 1420 N. Main St.

On the sixth day of Christmas, Big Red gave to me, six days at the All-Sports Camp. For $460, a child aged 7-14 can spend Sunday through Friday on campus, learning more about three of their favorite sports as well as Christian values such as mercy, perseverance and loyalty. Created nearly 30 years ago by 1965 Monmouth graduate Bob Tucker and his wife, Judy Hodges Tucker ’65, the All-Sports Camp has been a fixture at Monmouth since 2005. It will be offered from July 15-20 and from July 22-27. The cost for a day camper is $290.

On the seventh day of Christmas, Big Red gave to me, seven more gift ideas. Big Red has the inside scoop on what’s happening on campus, and he has suggested seven ways that a gift to Monmouth College – large or small – can be put to good use. Your donation to the college can be used for scholarships, off-campus trips, faculty development, the fine arts (so we can keep those pipers a-piping), athletics (through the new Fighting Scot Society), student organizations and, if you’re feeling especially generous, the Center for Science and Business.

On the eighth day of Christmas, Big Red gave to me, eight Monmouth College postcards. A variety of vintage MC memorabilia, from Ravelings yearbooks to old sheet music, is always available at auction on eBay.

On the ninth day of Christmas, Big Red gave to me, nine more MC-authored books. Professor Urban is also a scholar on Baltic history, and “Medieval Mercenaries: The Business of War” is among his latest works. Other authors from MC’s history department include Stacy Cordery (“Alice: Alice Roosevelt Longworth, from White House Princess to Washington Power Broker”) and Simon Cordery (“Mother Jones: Raising Cain and Consciousness”). Speaking of history, “A Thousands Hearts’ Devotion: A History of Monmouth College” was co-authored by Jeff Rankin, MC’s director of college communications, and makes a tremendous coffee table book. Three other non-fiction selections are “Allerton Bywater,” an autobiography by president emeritus Bruce Haywood; “Wonder and Other Life Skills” by former chaplain Kathleen Fannin; and “The Education of a Teacher: Including Dirty Books and Pointed Looks,” by communication lecturer Susan Van Kirk. Choices from the world of fiction would include “Dr. Sally’s Voodoo Man” by English professor Mary Bruce and “Danny and Da Mob” by 1958 graduate John Niblock.

On the 10th day of Christmas, Big Red gave to me, 10 ounces of Scots Roast coffee. And that’s not all. The $15 gift pack, currently available in the Monmouth College Bookstore, also includes a bar of Ghirardelli peppermint bark, two biscotti and a 16-ounce holiday mug.

On the 11th day of Christmas, Big Red gave to me, 11 Scots a-playing. This one won’t cost you a dime. Just share the following link, which the college used to promote quarterback Alex Tanney in his bid for the prestigious Gagliardi Trophy.

On the 12th day of Christmas, Big Red gave to me, a dozen MC pens. Available for sale in the Monmouth College Bookstore, these great stocking stuffer gifts were created by MC staff member Gordon Kircher. The store is chock full of great ideas, including a classy diploma frame, which would be a great option for an MC senior.

Big Red was worried that this story wouldn’t be ready in time to be sent out 12 days prior to Christmas, but did you know that the 12 days of Christmas actually start on Christmas day (or, in some traditions, the day following Christmas)? So relax, take your time, and if these gifts aren’t in your loved ones’ hands by Dec. 25, it’s OK. Your shopping deadline is actually Jan. 6.