THURSDAY, DECEMBER 22
SPORTS The NFL’s regular season is winding down, and the Redskins have an outside chance to grab a wildcard spot in the NFC. Show your team spirit at the Exchange’s Redskins Rally, with special guests Larry Michael (the Voice of the Washington Redskins), Rick “Doc” Walker (former tight end and current radio commentator), the Redskins Cheerleaders, and folks from ESPN 980. There will be free swag (coozies and Redskins gloves) plus a chance to win autographed gear and tickets to the Redskins/Giants game at FedEx Field on New Year’s Day—which will be the last home game of the season, even if the ’Skins do squeak into the playoffs. Free, 6:30 PM.
COMEDY Comic Tony Woods grew up in DC and made a name for himself as a member of Russell Simmons’s Def Comedy Jam on HBO and P. Diddy’s Bad Boys of Comedy. He’s also appeared on Last Comic Standing, Conan, and on an episode of Comedy Central Presents. He returns to DC to perform at the Improv on Thursday and Friday nights; Friday’s shows will be taped for an upcoming special. $20, 7:30 PM.
FOOD & DRINK Rustico Alexandria presents its 10th annual Festivus Celebration, a beer and food event highlighting the best of the season. There will be 20 seasonal beers on tap, including Hardywood’s Gingerbread Stout (regular and bourbon barrel aged), Three Notch’d’s Biggie S’mores (an imperial stout with graham crackers), the Bruery‘s 9 Ladies Dancing (a Belgian strong dark ale with ladyfingers), and Port City’s Tidings (a Belgian strong blond ale with honey and ginger). In addition to the beer, Rustico will have Seinfeld-themed snacks and small plates including Steinbrenner’s calzones, pastrami sliders, and fork-and-knife Snickers. Free to attend (food and beverage prices vary), 5 PM.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 23
MUSIC Handel’s Messiah is one of the most iconic musical compositions of the holiday season, and fans have an annual opportunity to sing the music from the audience alongside the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra and a 200-voice choir. The performance is part of the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage series but will be presented in the Concert Hall. Tickets will be distributed beginning at 4:30 PM in the Hall of Nations. Free, 6 PM.
SPORTS The Capitals are hosting the Tampa Bay Lightning at the Verizon Center, and to get in the holiday spirit, the team, CSN, and Elliot in the Morning are hosting a toy drive to benefit the Salvation Army. Donate a new, unwrapped toy at the F Street entrance and receive a poster of Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner. $62 and up, 7 PM.
SHOPPING The days before Christmas and Chanukah are numbered, so get your last-minute shopping in at two different events. Friday is the final day of the Downtown Holiday Market in Chinatown. It’s also the day of the Made in DC Pop-Up, hosted at the Hamiltonian Gallery on U Street. Both events will host a variety of local craftspeople and artisans. Downtown Holiday Market: Free, noon to 8 PM / Made In DC Pop-Up: Free, 11 AM to 4 PM.
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 24
TOUR The Mansion on O Street is a cluster of several conjoined row-houses, jam-packed with knick-knacks and art. Their Christmas Eve Breakfast Tour includes a continental breakfast and then a self-guided tour through the entire mansion looking for secret doors and exploring the rooms full of books, memorabilia, and signed guitars. This is also another shopping opportunity, as everything in the Mansion is for sale. $39, 10 AM.
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 25
HOLIDAYS Christmas Day is the first day of Chanukah this year, and Sunday is the lighting of the National Menorah on the Ellipse. The event also includes a concert featuring 8th Day Band and Grammy winner Miri Ben Ari. Free (but tickets/registration required), 3 PM.
MUSIC The Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage is always hopping on Christmas Day; this year marks the 18th-annual All-Star Christmas Day Jazz Jam. The group is led by vibraphonist Chuck Redd and also includes drummer Lenny Robinson, pianist Robert Redd, trumpeter Tom Williams, bassist James King, and vocalist Delores Williams. Free, 6 PM.
MONDAY, DECEMBER 26
SHOPPING Everything goes on sale on the day after Christmas, including the inventory of e-commerce company Rent the Runway, which typically allows clients to rent (not buy) its wares. But the company is kicking off a sample sale that runs until January 20 to offload its gently-used designer dresses and accessories. The sale, hosted a few blocks away from Rent the Runway’s Georgetown storefront, will feature prices up to 90% off of retail. 10 AM.
MUSIC In 2005, singer-songwriter Alice Despard sold her Arlington bar the Galaxy Hut to one of its longtime bartenders, Lary Hoffman. She still plays locally roughly once a year, and Monday’s show will be an EP release celebration for her latest recording, Mosaic. A few miles away at the Birchmere, country-folk singer/songwriter Hayes Carll performs with Grammy-nominated singer Allison Moorer. $5, 9 PM / $25, 7:30 PM.