The Fork's Gift Guide
Last year at Chez Les Fourchette during Christmas, we sold our hair to buy our partner a Kitchen Aid standing mixer. It was only later that we discovered that they'd sold all their baking ingredients to buy us beautiful combs, but seeing as how it's the thought that counts, we had a hair-less, bake-free holiday in peace. And so it went that this year, we got to thinking about how it feels good to gift at people. So we've scoured the wide world of food-related items to come up with a super-cool gift guide:

A Fancy-Ass Box of Pears and Stuff
Say you've got a boss or otherwise not-so-close-to-you human who needs a-gifting but you're stumped. Lucky for you, you can't go wrong with a fancy-ass box of pears and stuff. At just $39.99, this Harry & David number comes with the aforementioned pears AND the aforementioned stuff (like nuts and stuff). Pretty cheap, all things considered.

A Doodad That Opens Jars for the Lazy and/or Weak of Hand Strength 
The Fork's mom literally called us to come over once because she couldn't get into a jar of jam she'd made earlier in the year. After we had a long talk about what the term "emergency" means, we still couldn't get in there. If only we'd had this electric jar opener! It's $36.99, so not exactly cheap for what it is, but when you think of the time and energy you'll save from not straining your hands and wrists, you can't afford not to buy it!

12—Yeah 12—of Those Choco-Oranges That Kind of Resemble Real Oranges
You can NEVER EVER EVER go wrong with one of those choco-oranges from Terry's (which is owned by this company with a website featuring a woman GOING TO TOWN on some good-looking choco), so 12 of them is a good bet. Twelve Days of Christmas, one choco-orange per day. It'll run you just over $40, but you'll probably get access to collateral choco-oranges, so…

A Gun That Blasts Out Cookie Shapes Because Hand-Shaping is for Losers
Oh, sorry … have you been shaping cookies by hand like some kind of loser? Right on. So … you didn't know about the Kuhn Rikon cookie press from Williams Sonoma? It's a gun with all kinds of attachments that help you shoot out cookie shapes like little trees or candy canes or snowflakes. It's $29.99, but face it—your cookie game could use some updating.

A Seemingly Pricey But Ultimately Worth It Indoor Electronic Smart Garden
At $199.95, this represents the most expensive gift on our list, but with Click and Grow's Smart Garden 9, your giftee will be growing herbs and stuff without ever having to go outside! In today's fast-paced, workaday world with all the political strife at home and abroad, can you blame someone for wanting fresh, self-growing veggies that propagate in the convenience of their own homes? Nope.

This Big List of Holiday Shit from Good Housekeeping
If all else fails, you can, like, make snacks or cookies and wrap them in mason jars or with twine or any other number of Etsy-esque hipster ideas. Thanks, Good Housekeeping!

A Gift Certificate to This Awesome Jewish Kitchen Stuff Site For Your Non-Christmas Pals
We've only just learned of Judaica Gifts, but we're onboard—particularly with the latke and Shabbat servers. Our Jewish friends have long lamented the way the world closes down for X-Mas, so be a friend and gift it up!

So what do you plan on gifting to your foodie friends? Write us and let us know what you'd like to give (or get) this year!

All that talk of cookie shooters got us thinking, and this super-cut is rich!

¡COOL/WEIRD CHRISTMAS TRADITION ALERT—GLOBAL EDITION!

In Sweden, they erect the Gävle Goat each year, a massive goat meant to ring in the season but that is cursed to repeated cases of vandalism! This thing's been burned, crashed, torn apart and otherwise destroyed like clockwork again and again. Weird!

In Austria and other European countries, they're all about Krampus, the horned demon who straight-up eats kids who are jerks throughout the year. You've heard of Elf on the Shelf, now try Unholy Monster of the Night.

In Norway, revelers spend their Christmas season hiding their brooms. Why? Because evil spirits and witches apparently roam the night this time of year, and since witches love brooms, the citizens would rather just avoid a grand theft broom altogether.

In Venezuela, the more pious celebrators head to mass for Christmas—on rollerblades. Nothing like a little late-December shredding o' the gnar to brighten spirits, right? It's reportedly about communities, tying strings to the toes of children and totally pulling off that backside 180 no-fakie flip-a-roonie-doonie.

In Japan, they do all kinds of fun things for Christmas, but the anime car show is probably the jewel of the set, at least according to Coca-Cola.

Side Note: An extremely Dutch reader of The Fork tells us that our stocking history from last week's Fork is bunk. We regret the error and are investigating the true history as we speak.

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FEAST OF THE 7 FISHES UPDATE!

If you were following the saga of the Feast of the 7 Fishes, we now know that Arroyo Vino will welcome guest chef James Campbell Caruso to do said feast, but there's one small catch—it's tonight, Thursday Dec. 13. We're really sorry about the short notice. You can learn more on their site.
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Also
It's been a fairly quiet week on the local front, but we think it's because restaurants and the townsfolk are gearing up for the holiday with their special menus and the like. The Fork asks that you give us a break on this sparse local section because first off, you try doing a food newsletter every week full of the same trademarked heart and humor and, second, because we don't wanna shoehorn a bunch of nonsense in here just for the sake of having it. Rest assured, though, we're gonna keep our ears to the ground and come back harder than ever next time!

More Tidbits
-The users of reservation-making website OpenTable all got together (virtually, we assume) to name their 100 Best Restaurants for 2018. You probably won't be surprised to learn that the vast majority are in places like New York City and San Francisco and Dallas, but there are a few surprises in there as well. If you're lucky enough to travel and dine well, this list will probably help you immensely.

-Over on the Food&Wine website, find a really cool piece about two chefs—one Israeli, one from Palestine—who get into the holiday spirit.

-Eater.com, meanwhile, has chosen to punish us all with "The 12 Days of Guy Fieri." So bust out that oversized button-up with the flames on it, spike up them frosted tips, swallow hard and prepare for the worst.

-Across the world wide web, you'll currently find countless pieces identifying the upcoming food trends for 2019, and some of the things we've found are notable. For example, did you know tahini desserts are the new peanut butter desserts? Or the orange wine is a thing? We also hear fast food joints will try to get in on the food delivery craze (side note, we hear Pizza Centro is now on Uber Eats), sea snacks will make landfall, moringa will take matcha's place as the energizing beverage of choice and, for our own part, we're pretty hopeful that other parts of the country will learn what the hell chile is all about.

-We also hear the Disgusting Food Museum (a real thing) is playing around with a pop-up in Los Angeles and might just send the show on the road to other exciting locales. Just think about it, residents of exciting towns like Skokie, Illinois; Hoboken, New Jersey; and Shaker Heights, Ohio! THINK ABOUT IT!

-Hear us now and believe us for always—those little tins of Stroopwafels are INCREDIBLE! Here's a link from Amazon, but you can also just go over to Trader Joe's and get them yourself right now, which you should. Do it. Do it now.

Finally
Our most treasured memory from this time of year is how, when we were but a Forklet, our family would gather to get super drunk and make ornaments from magazine clippings and pipe cleaners and stuff. It’s a fun tradition, and it’s cool because you don’t have to store boxes of old-timey ornaments. We do have one that was made in part from the ash fallout of Mount St. Helen’s that sits, never used, someplace special, but we also like making goofy ones with our family. It’s been a few years now that we think of it, but we may just kick it off again this year. If so, we’ll put together a little gallery of our favorites for a future Fork.
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A Totally Scientific Breakdown of The Fork’s Correspondence Number of Letters Receieved
38
*And you like us—you REALLY like us!

Most Helpful Tip of the Week (edited slightly for length)
“I don’t know about that, Fork.”
*Us, neither.

Actually Helpful Tip 
“My favorite Christmas movie is Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol. Hard to find, but oh so trippy.
*Thanks for the tip, Fork-Fan Tess—and as a show of Christmas reciprocity, we went out and found you an eBay link to the DVD of this very movie … click here, and it can be yours forever!
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In the print edition of this week’s SFR, learn more about local pet food store Marty’s Meals and its new location.

"But, The Fork—we can't eat pet food," you may be whining.

Au contraire, dear readers—this stuff is human-grade! But still, you might not want to eat it. All the same, pets who eat well live much longer, and SFR is all about helping you AND your fuzzy friends. We, too, have a cat or two roaming around the house … so we got you.

On the forkth day of Christmas our true love gave to us a whole mess of those Trader Joe's Stroopwafels,
The Fork

PS: Wondering how many family members and loved ones deserve the best Christmas gifts? Let's ask 1990s Gary Oldman

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