By Safia Boustique

With the winter holiday season approaching, there are several things to look forward to: Christmas, Hanukkah, and the Annual Honors Holiday Party, held on December 5 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

This party is held at the Powell University House, the former University president’s house, and is a gathering of Honors students to celebrate the end of the Fall semester as well as the holiday season. Performances by the Honors Ensemble and Honor Chords, an a cappella group that started last year, will also take place at the party, said Melissa Johnson, an Honors advisor and the organizer of the event.

The party is one of the most popular annual events, not only for the atmosphere and the performances, but also because of the food, Johnson said.

“I enjoy catching up with students outside of the office,” she said. “But, I really love seeing students get excited about ‘real’ food.’”

Though the menu hasn’t been set for this year’s party, students should expect food from Cacciatore Catering, the Powell University House’s exclusive caterer and the same catering service as last year’s Holiday Party.

While there is no monetary cost for attending this event, to be admitted students must donate at least two cans of food for the Bread of Mighty Food Bank in Gainesville. This organization is a private, non-profit organization with a goal of providing food to the hungry.

Dress is festive and open to interpretation. Johnson said students have interpreted this differently in the past, choosing to dress up, wear ugly holiday sweaters or anything to show off their holiday spirit.

Due to limited space in the venue, Honors students must reserve a ticket in advance because there are very limited spots. Registration opened Monday. Dr. Johnson said students who reserve a spot and do not attend will have to pay a no-show fee of $25.

Rhea Chowdhury, a UF microbiology freshman, reserved a spot for the party and said she looks forward to the food and to celebrating the holiday season the new friends she has made in Honors.

“I’m excited to celebrate my first holiday season at the Gator Nation,” she said.