Find the crystal ball that's nearest you right now, the one on your desk or shelf. Say the special words, wave your hands over the top, and gaze upon what will be happening in three or so weeks: You'll be searching out some festive cookies or cakes or host giftables, the kind that lend cheer to your table or the home you're visiting.
But the pre-Hanukkah, pre-Christmas rush is called a "rush" for a reason: Most people have far too much to do. Ponder, then, if you will, the early-in-December holiday markets, those pop-up parties that give people a gentle prod on the shoulder as if to say "square all those sweets purchases away now, before the rush commences."
Grand Central Market has one of the grandest of the bunch. After all, it is already a food emporium, on a lavish and lively scale, so adding in some seasonal-type tidbits of the munchiest sort is a snap.
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The 2016 dates are Saturday, Dec. 3 and Sunday, Dec. 4, and a bevy of "retail and culinary pop-ups" will dot the spacious Broadway landmark. The Los Angeles Country Store will be in the house, selling those oh-so-local items they're famous for, and a number of other gift-ready shops.
But the edible end of things'll make a show, so prepare to shop for potato knishes from Wexler's Deli, Bombo's iced sugar cookies, and fruit cakes from Valerie Confections.
Yes, fruit cakes. Don't you know they're delicious, and not just a punchline?
It's all free to browse, with free entertainment adding the tinsel and tunes. The California Feetwarmers bring their retro-flavored goodness to the vast space, but listen also for klezmer songs, steel drums, and traditional carols.
Has your crystal ball finished conveying its message from the future? Then best start stocking up on all of the snacky, ready-to-wrap stuff you'll be frantically searching for just ahead of the holidays (when you have 118 other things to accomplish).