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by Aisling Swift

Naples, FL — Shoppers flocked to downtown Naples, the malls and a Bonita Springs flea market Saturday for the last weekend of shopping before Christmas.

Shortly before noon Saturday, shoppers meandered along Fifth Avenue South’s sidewalks, sipping Starbucks coffee, while others shopped and dozens sat outside Fifth Avenue Coffee Co., reading newspapers and talking.

At Wind in the Willows-Beth Boutique, Jeff Raffel of Delaware stood outside the fitting rooms as his wife, Joanne, tried on top after top, modeling each for him.

They’ve come to Naples at Christmas time for the past three years and were staying for three days at the Inn on Fifth, where the lobby was decorated with dozens of twinkling Christmas trees and poinsettias, miniature Christmas carolers, a Santa and elves. They pick up gifts for Christmas, but like to shop for unusual items for birthdays.

“We’ve been looking for grandkids, our kids, my wife and even myself,” Raffel said of their Christmas shopping. “And she has a big birthday coming up.”

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