A Patch stroll in the neighborhood of El Cerrito Plaza Saturday found the holiday season in high gear.
From the front windows of Pastime Ace Hardware, a beaming Santa with arms outstretched smiled on Cub Scouts Christopher Chan and Ben Veitch, both 9, selling wreaths on the sidewalk, just as they had done the year before.
Overhead, the streetlight poles along San Pablo Avenue were festooned with the city's red and blue "Celebrate the Holidays!" banners featuring stars and candles.
A red sleigh full of poinsettias played doorman at Trader Joe's, while ranks of Christmas trees lined the front of Lucky supermarket, where a Salvation Army bell-ringer also added a familiar tinkle to the scene.
A middle-aged woman with a large shopping bag and determined gait called out to a couple seated on a bench in front of Barnes & Noble, "Don't you know you're supposed to be shopping?!"
"We already did," the man replied.
"Oh, okay," said the passing shopper, apparently mollified.
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