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Three festive events for the holidays

Celebrate the holidays with President Sullivan, gingerbread houses and fellow Hoos

<p>Over the next few weeks, the University and Charlottesville&nbsp;establishments are hosting festive events to get students and community members in the holiday spirit.</p>

Over the next few weeks, the University and Charlottesville establishments are hosting festive events to get students and community members in the holiday spirit.

With Thanksgiving officially past, it is safe to say the holiday season is in full swing. The University and local Charlottesville establishments are hosting several events to put us in the holiday spirit. Highlighted below are three must-attends during the next few weeks on Grounds.

1. President Sullivan’s Holiday Open House

Get in the holiday mood with University President Teresa Sullivan. Put on by the U.Va. Office of Major Events, all students, faculty and staff are welcome to President Sullivan’s annual Holiday Open House Tuesday, Dec. 1 from 4 to 6 p.m. The open house will be held at Carr’s Hill, and offers a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the holidays over music, food and gingerbread man decorating. Joining in a holiday sing-a-long around the piano and warming up by the fireplace are highly encouraged.

“Seeing a diverse group of individuals — faculty members, staff, students and even President Sullivan (she has a beautiful voice!) — standing around the piano singing holiday tunes together is, without a doubt, my most favorite moment of this event,” Stacy Smith of the Office of the President said.

2. University Program Council’s Happy HOOlidays

What could be better than a free showing of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” to kick off your holiday movie-watching binge? On Friday, Dec. 4 at 11 p.m., a screening of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” will take place in Newcomb Theatre. At 10 p.m., University Program Council will provide hot chocolate, Starbucks coffee and and Grinch cupcakes from Pearl’s Bake Shoppe to put your taste buds in the holiday spirit too.

“This year I can't wait to see what Pearl's final cupcake design looks like!” UPC Cinematheque director Bree Dodd, a fourth-year College student said.

Since the event is co-sponsored by Third Year Council, there will be additional holiday treats for third-years: popcorn, free Mason jars and giveaways including gift cards and TYC merchandise.

3. Holiday on the Hill

For those who enjoy drinking warm alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages with a beautiful backdrop, Holiday on the Hill is a great event to ring in the holidays. The second annual Holiday on the Hill will be hosted by Carter Mountain Orchard Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 12th and 13th. The main activity includes gingerbread house making and decorating for $25 per person, and on each day there will be four time slots at to do so at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

“I did one last year and it was a blast,” Cynthia Chiles, Carter Mountain Orchard owner, said. Chiles recommends registering in advance to ensure that participants have a spot at the gingerbread making table, but they do take walk-ins if there is any space available.

This event provides a low-key alternative to get into the holiday spirit.

“We love to see people come in and realize that it’s not as hectic here like it is at the mall or the big box stores, it’s a nice atmosphere here, with music playing, and we have hot cider,” Chiles said.