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Scenes of the Season Bloom Around El Cerrito Plaza

Wreaths, banners, Christmas trees, Santa, a red sleigh full of poinsettias, and the Salvation Army – all can be seen in these photos from the environs of El Cerrito Plaza Saturday. Please feel welcome to add your holiday photos to this article's ga

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.

Do you have photos of holiday scenes or decorations to share with fellow Patch readers? Just click the green "Upload Photos and Videos" button below the accompanying photo section.

Kathy A. December 09, 2012 at 08:44 PM
Those boys sold me a wreath last week at Safeway! Working hard. In the spirit of shopping locally, I'd like to recommend Ichiban-Kan for wonderful stocking stuffers and gifts; and right next door is Yaoya-San, a terrific Japanese grocery. (Both at Moeser and San Pablo, in the center with Baskin Robbins.) An empty space in that center has some nice old furniture on display, for reasonable prices; might be just the thing your someone needs. At the Plaza, The Junket has delicious imported treats -- perfect for a gift basket and to round out a special meal; yummy deli, too. Plaza Jewelers, nearby, has a lovely selection, including art glass necklaces. Jenny K's, on Stockton, is great for gifts, and has just expanded! Don't miss the Arlington Pharmacy -- beautiful cards, unusual artsy gifts, and a post office, plus the pharmacy. The Villages Shops and Galleries, on San Pablo near Stockton, is featuring a number of artists. Giovanni's Market, at Liberty and Potrero, has loads of produce, Italian foods, unique handmade food items, and also some nice gift selections. Going slightly out of town (to Solano Ave. in Albany, just west of Key Route/Ashbury +BART), Albany Arts Gallery is a long-time favorite -- artist owned; beautiful things.
Charles Burress (Editor) December 09, 2012 at 11:01 PM
Kathy, thanks for adding all the good recommendations for distinctive gifts from local merchants and artists.
Kathy A. December 10, 2012 at 12:14 AM
Hope others add comments on places they like! I started out with Ichiban-Kan, which I really love, and couldn't stop. We are not doing an overblown holiday, but there are some great local alternatives.

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