It might sound weird, but one of the foods that most signals Christmastime for me isn't shortbread cookies or candy canes or holiday ham, but a sweet orange fruit. Small, seedless mandarins, most prominently sold by the Halos and Cuties brands, pop up in stores around November and stick around for a few months. Peeling away the thin skin on the tiny fruit and releasing a burst of citrus scent always reminds me of Christmas morning, and the inevitable snacking between present-opening. The small oranges are sold in large bags of a couple dozen, but this year, the Halos brand has released a two-pack. It's 99 cents for two of the small oranges, which make great on-the-go snacks for the day you tire of eating nothing but cookies.
Michelle Stark, Times food editor