The winter whirl.

Thursday, Dec. 1

Opening night of the 16th Washington Jewish Film Festival: An Exhibition of International Cinema features a screening of the French-Israeli film "Live and Become" at the D.C. Jewish Community Center, followed by a reception in the center's Q Street lobby. Special guest: actor Sirak Sabahat. Tickets: $20. Call 202-777-3248 or visit

Hotel Rouge and Bar Rouge are hosts of "Red Hot Relief," a cocktail party with auction to benefit the National AIDS Fund. Suggested donation: $10. Specialty martinis at $5 each also benefit the fund. Call 202-939-6421.

The American Patriot Award Gala by the National Defense University Foundation at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center honors Sens. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) and Ted Stevens (R-Alaska). Tickets: $1,000. Call 703-556-4861 or visit

The Georgetown Festival of Trees, a cocktail event and tree lighting that includes an auction, is at the Four Seasons Hotel and benefits the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at the Children's National Medical Center. Tickets: $100; $250 for a family of four (children under 18). Call 301-565-8533 or 202-543-8631.

Friday, Dec. 2

"A Sparkling Nordic Night," the Washington Revels' fourth annual gala in support of educational programs, is at the Finnish Embassy. The gala is held in connection with the group's Christmas Revels ("Journey to the Northlands") at Lisner Auditorium Dec. 9-11 and Dec. 16-18. Gala tickets: $250. Call 202-723-7528 or visit

"A Taste of Scotland," part of the Campagna Center's 35th annual Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend, features a tasting of rare Scotches at the center, which helps children and families in need. Tickets: $55, $75 and $90. Call 703-549-0111 or visit

A benefit preview party for the 36th and last Audubon Holiday Fair is at Woodend mansion in Chevy Chase, headquarters of the Audubon Naturalist Society of the Central Atlantic States. The fair (Dec. 3-4) features nature art and crafts. Tickets: $35 ($45 at the door). Tickets for children ages 12 and under: $10; tickets for children ages 2 and under: free. Call 301-652-9188, Ext. 25.

An art and wine reception at the Grenadian Embassy will benefit Friends of Grenada, a fund for hurricane victims there. Tickets: $29. Call 703-404-8429 or visit

The 21st annual "Night of Trees" auction gala, a benefit for the D.C. Special Olympics, is at the Omni Shoreham Hotel. Guests can bid on decorated trees, travel packages, artwork and more. Music by Express. Tickets: $125. Call 202-408-2640.

Hall & Oates are featured performers at the Children's Charities Foundation's 11th annual BasketBall gala, "Private Eyes," at the Grand Hyatt Washington. Tickets: $500 (includes one admission to all three games of the BB&T Classic college basketball tournament Dec. 5 at MCI Center). Call 410-448-0700.

Sunday, Dec. 4

The Anacostia Economic Development Corporation Scholarship Foundation's annual brunch at L'Enfant Plaza Hotel supports college scholarships for students at Anacostia and Ballou high schools. Tickets: $100. Call 703-534-4600, Ext. 214.

Wednesday, Dec. 7

"ARTrageous!," the Smithsonian American Art Museum's annual gala and silent auction, is at the Renwick Gallery. Tickets: $100 to $2,500. Call 202-275-2312 or visit

Thursday, Dec. 8

The Global Rights International Human Rights Day Dinner at the Capital Hilton features Flavia Agnes of India, Epsy Campbell Barr of Costa Rica and Binta Mansaray of Sierra Leone in a program moderated by Zain Verjee of CNN International. Music by Sunny Sumter and the Washington Performing Arts Society's Men and Women of the Gospel Choir. Tickets: $250. Call 202-822-4600 or visit

The 20th annual Montgomery County Executive's Ball, benefiting arts and humanities grants in Montgomery County, is at the Bethesda North Marriott. Honorees are Tensia Fonseca of the Maryland Youth Ballet, David Eisner of the Institute of Musical Traditions, the Howard and Geraldine Polinger Family Foundation, Peter A. Jablow of the Levine School of Music and John O. Mose. Tickets: $100 ($125 at the door). Call 301-565-3805.

The National Capital Area Chapter of American ORT hosts a tribute dinner honoring Lyn and Barry Chasen at the Hyatt Regency Bethesda. Proceeds will provide scholarships for ORT students in need of counseling, clothing, food vouchers or other financial support. American ORT supports a global network of schools and training programs. Tickets: $250. Call 301-951-9070.

The Williams Sisters Tour at MCI Center features an exhibition match between Venus and Serena Williams, and entertainment by saxophonist Mike Phillips and other artists. The event benefits Ronald McDonald House Charities. Tickets: $20-$150. Call 703-573-SEAT or visit

Friday, Dec. 9

The Smithsonian Young Benefactors' 16th annual "Jolly Holiday" and silent auction event is at the Smithsonian Castle. Tickets: $45 ($35 for Young Benefactors members); tickets at the door, if available, are $10 extra. Call 202-357-3030.

The Washington Ballet's "Nutty or Nice" Opening Night Bash for "The Nutcracker" offers a performance of the ballet at the Warner Theatre followed by a party at the Willard Inter-Continental Hotel. Tickets: $275. Call 202-362-3606, Ext. 125.

The 11th annual Art, Music & Medicine Gala, featuring a private viewing of the Washington Craft Show, is at the Washington Convention Center and benefits the Washington Cancer Institute's artist-in-residence program and similar programs at the Smith Farm Center for the Healing Arts. Tickets start at $150 ($100 for guests 40 and younger). Call 202-877-6558.

The NEA Foundation's 11th annual Salute to Excellence in Education Gala is at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel. Tickets start at $250. Call 202-822-7840 or visit

Saturday, Dec. 10

The Friends of Oye Palaver Hut and the Global Healthcare Public Foundation are hosts of a benefit evening for the R U + Campaign at Market 5 Gallery at Eastern Market. Funds raised will assist in testing people for HIV/AIDS and training health-care workers in Benin, Cameroon, Nigeria and Togo. Tickets: $20 ($25 at the door). Tickets for children 12 years and under: $10. Call 202-773-5446.

The Starlight Ball of the Women's Auxiliary of the Hebrew Home of Greater Washington, benefiting the home, is at the Ritz-Carlton Washington. Tickets per couple start at $400 for first-time attendees or those under 40, and at $600 for those who have previously attended the ball or are 40 or older. Call 301-770-8351 or visit

"Now This!," the Friends of the National Zoo's Children's Holiday Celebration at the zoo, features improvisational musical children's theater. Performances are at 1 and 2:30 p.m. Admission is free; guests are encouraged to bring a gift for a needy child. Donations of pet food or blankets for distribution to animal shelters are also welcome. Call 202-633-3026 or visit

Sunday, Dec. 11

The Hospitality and Information Service of Washington, which provides educational, informational and recreational opportunities to official representatives of foreign governments living here, is host of a Viennese Ball at Meridian House. Tickets: $85. An RSVP by Dec. 6 is requested. (THIS also offers a series of dance lessons taught by Herbert and Carol Traxler in the weeks preceding the event.) Call 703-528-0487 or visit

The Washington Ballet's "Nutcracker Tea Party" at the Willard Inter-Continental Hotel follows a matinee performance of the ballet at the Warner Theatre. Tickets: $175 for adults, $12 for children (includes admission to the performance). Call 202-362-3606, Ext. 125.

"An Enchanting Evening in Exotic Brazil," the Choral Arts Society's 25th annual holiday benefit and auction, is at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. Tickets start at $475 and include complimentary admission to any one of three Christmas music concerts Dec. 17 and 23 at the Kennedy Center and Dec. 18 at the Music Center at Strathmore. Call 202-244-3669, Ext. 15.

Monday, Dec. 12

The closing night of the 16th Washington Jewish Film Festival: An Exhibition of International Cinema features the premiere of "Fateless" at the D.C. Jewish Community Center, followed by a dessert reception. Special guest: veteran producer Andras Hamori. Tickets: $20. Call 202-777-3248 or visit

Saturday, Dec. 17

Operation Smile's holiday fundraiser at the Torpedo Factory Art Center in Alexandria honors the city's mayor, Bill Euille, and Nobayeni Dladla, Health Minister, Embassy of South Africa. Proceeds from the event provide free surgery to children suffering from cleft lip, cleft palate and other facial deformities. Tickets: $75. Call 202-686-5244 or visit

Saturday, Dec. 24

The Society of Young Jewish Professionals hosts the 19th annual Matzo Ball for singles 21 and older at Lulu's Mardi Gras. Partial proceeds from the ball benefit the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. Tickets: $25. Call 888-633-5326 or visit

Venus, left, and Serena Williams, shown at the U.S. Open in September, will present an exhibition match Dec. 8 at MCI Center to benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities. Musical entertainment will also be featured.Daryl Hall, left, and John Oates will perform Dec. 2 at the Grand Hyatt Washington as part of the Children's Charities Foundation BasketBall gala.