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So your boyfriend/girlfriend/secret admirer invites you to escort him/her/it to the parents’/grandparents’/secret coven’s annual Christmas party/Hanukkah shindig/yuletide ritual killing. You are confused/bewildered/frightened about what to bring to the big event as a polite gift. Your options, of course, are many: wine, fruitcake, dagger. But your best bet—besides faking sick/faking your death/contacting the FBI—is to show up with beer, whether it’s a six-pack, a 12-pack, or a 40 (which also makes a handy weapon when you’re clawing your way to the blood-stained cellar door). Yes, indeed: Nothing says, “I’m perfect for your son”/”I want to marry your granddaughter”/”Please don’t kill me” like ice-cold suds. And don’t worry about whether it will complement the main course: Even if your hosts are serving turkey/latkes/most of your lower intestine, beer will be the perfect liquid accompaniment. Drink up at the Private Tasting of Holiday Beers at 6:30 p.m. at the Hard Times Cafe, 3028 Wilson Blvd., Arlington. $25. (703) 528-2233. (Sean Daly)