You might remember my failed mission to Odeleite, and the Christmas fair that wasn’t? Life sometimes has a way of compensating, doesn’t it? On Monday I took you walking in Parque de Lazer. The road there passes through the small village of Santa Rita, a little off the beaten track. As we passed by we were thrilled to see the villagers setting up stalls for a Christmas market. There wasn’t time to stop just then, but I was keen to see the festivities so we popped back later. Too late for the fair itself, but what a treat awaited us.
It was late afternoon and we had the place almost to ourselves. A couple of older ladies were chatting on the doorstep, and they smiled and waved when they saw us admiring the decorations. It felt like Christmas should. Simple, homemade ornaments, arranged with love. A modern tree sparkled beside an imaginative crib scene and, down the street, lights twinkled in the windows.
The light was fading as we wandered the back streets of the village, entranced by some of the pieces, amused by others. Much thought and care had gone into the creation of this small celebration of Christmas, and I was sure that the village children must have had fun helping with the decorating. The grown ups, too!
I especially liked the paintings, and wondered which talented artist had been responsible. The sense of whimsy made me smile. Cute faces etched on stone, and painted on wood. The shawled, anxious family against the chipped tiled wall. Ornate cherubs, divorced from reality. Tinselled ladders propped, willy nilly, against walls. I loved it all!
And so this is Christmas, I hope you have fun, The near and the dear one, The old and the young…. in the words of John Lennon.
Merry Christmas, one and all! Join me in Tavira next week, if you can find time. The lights are beautiful.