Stocking stuffers, brilliant hostess gifts, or the antidote to uncomfort- able silences and pot-stirring relatives who won’t stop talking politics during your holiday gatherings? All of the above! Keep these cheerful conversation starters nearby to stave off comfort and joy killers. Thinking & Drinking’s ($10) a deck full of amusing questions and indie brewery shout outs. This one doesn’t require drinking or beer knowledge, but you may want to pull the “Top or Bottom?” card if you want to avoid uncomfortable queries from your Gran, or not … This pretty Tabletopics ($25) box is brimming with enough cocktail questions, booze trivia, and drink recipes to keep the evening rolling all night long. Best Beers by Steve Beaumont & Tim Webb • $15 “The world is full of beers. You can’t possibly drink them all. So why waste your time on the mediocre?” Who could argue with that? And in a world with so much beer, Stephen Beaumont and Tim Webbs’ pocket guide of 2,000 beers (broken down by coun- try) just made navigating through all of those suds a whole lot easier. Keep a copy of Best Beers on you and you’ll never drink a bad beer again, at home or abroad. Meehan’s Bartender Manual by Jim Meehan • $40 This is the book that will be on every pro’s and drinks nerd’s list this year. Jim Meehan’s tome isn’t just a manu- al for mixing drinks—although it does include 100 cocktail recipes, the way Meehan makes them—it’s essentially a how-to to be the best damn bar professional or bar own- er that you can be. From hospitality to menu planning to stocking a bar, who better to learn from than this legend?