Santa Rita – the most joyful village!

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.

77 thoughts on “Santa Rita – the most joyful village!

  1. Pingback: Nativity in miniature – Epiphany | Still Restlessjo

  2. Jo, this is an absolutely delightful looking village, and the Christmas decorations are wonderful. With all the OTT colors and Christmas lights these days it’s easy to forget how effective and evocative simple, handmade decorations can be. Of course, I’ve always been partial to the clean, whitewashed walls and terracotta tile-look of Portugal and Spain. I envy your walk through this pleasant little village. All the best for a happy and healthy 2022. ~James

    Like

  3. Pingback: Jo’s Monday walk : Tavira at Christmas | Still Restlessjo

  4. Pingback: Laguna – Boomer Couple Travel Journal

  5. Charming and whimsical are perfect to describe this jewel of a place, Jo! The simplicity is infused with the artists’ spirits for sure. Absolutely lovely and left me smiling this Sunday! Enjoy a wonderful and peaceful Christmas and New Year, Jo!

    Like

    • Thanks so much, Terri! I’m doing fine until someone fills me full of angst about all the things that could go wrong with our UK visit this week. So much more serene here, but who knows if it will last? Happy to have a bit of escapism, Portuguese style. Thanks, darlin!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. And so this IS Christmas Jo! I absolutely loved the entire town and its simple, homemade decoration clearly created with love. I’ve seen very few things that made me feel such warmth and admiration as this perfect little place. Thanks so much for posting it – you’ve made my day!

    Like

    • Welcome to my world, Tina! One of the most endearing things about this country is how this kind of unexpected happening pops up. The whole village embraces it, and when we went back a couple of days later we managed to find the community centre with its display of miniature nativity scenes. And two smiling assistants, every bit as delighted as we were.

      Like

  7. Jo, it does seem a lot of thought and creativity went into this festive display
    And love how you led us to the John Lennon lyrics – the song is still playing my mind as I type this 🎡🎢

    Like

  8. Pingback: hello! from the North Pole – Touring My Backyard

  9. It’s so easy to miss your posts as I don’t get the email notifications like I did with your previous blog, so I’m glad I found this one as there’s so much to like. Impossible to choose a favourite but my top 5 are the first one, the Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus painting, the painted stone, the colourful one behind the grille and the shawled family against the blue tiled wall – I think those are particularly cute πŸ™‚ It’s nice to see the village so well decorated, the people there have done themselves proud. πŸ™‚

    Like

    • I don’t make it easy, Eunice – I’m sorry! My posts are Mondays but I often post on a Thursday if it’s not a walk and there’s a lot going on. I absolutely love this village and am delighted to be able to share it. Glad you caught up with me. I will be back next Monday and that will be it till after Christmas. Hope you have something nice planned πŸŽ…β˜ƒοΈπŸŽ„πŸ’•

      Like

  10. Indeed, this is Christmas! How fabulous that the while village makes an effort to dress up and the town and celebrate together in this way. Such creativity!
    I love that you were treated to this walk, and that you are sharing it with us.

    Like

  11. Yet another beautiful Portuguese village πŸ™‚ I love all the Christmas decorations captured in your wonderful photos and the joy they bring along. Thanks for sharing and have a lovely evening πŸ™‚ Aiva

    Like

    • It’s beautiful, Gilda! Funnily enough we drove through again this morning on our way to a different walk. Returning your greetings, hon! Hope you have a lovely Christmas, however you celebrate.

      Like

  12. What a brilliant find and I’m so glad you’ve shared this with us. I love the Nativity scenes and I noticed that most of them showed Joseph & Mary in a properly oriental style. I hope you did go back and see the things you missed and I look forward to your next post. Meantime, I’ve got my fingers crossed that your travel plans aren’t disrupted.

    Like

    • I am getting desperate thinking about it, Mari. A few friends go home tomorrow and I’m starting to wish I was among them. πŸ™„πŸ’—
      We did manage to go and see the miniature nativity scenes this morning so I expect they might be a New Year treat πŸŽ…πŸŒ²β˜ƒοΈπŸ’—

      Liked by 1 person

  13. What a lovely treatπŸ™‚ I love all these home made decorations, such a sweet creativityπŸŽ…πŸŒ² I do like to decorate our home, with little things, for example, this year I painted the little squashes we’ve had from Thanksgiving, and hung them in the tree outsideπŸ™‚ Hopefully the strong winds we are having these days will not tear them down. Merry Christmas Jo, to you and to your dear ones!
    Christie

    Like

  14. Simple is most definitely better. I see an elf managed to sneak his way into the scene! These decorations wouldn’t last long here I’m afraid. Far too windy! Only a week to go before you leave, I guess you are keeping an eye on the travel news. Let’s hope Portugal doesn’t follow France’s example and ban all but essential travel.

    Like

  15. This was a massive treat, for us as well as you. The gold frames are such a good idea and especially effective on a windowless wall. I like the ladder too – in fact I like it all. The faces of Mary and Joseph on the stone made me smile. They seemed to show something of the anxiety of first time parents in a very unusual situation – “what have we here?”

    Like

    • Thanks, Susan. One of the things we love about Portugal is the delight they take in the simple but meaningful things in life. So often we come upon them as a surprise, like this one, and we wander round with big grins on our faces. Glad you like them too. Merry Christmas, hon!

      Like

    • It’s lovely, isn’t it? And we’ll probably go back. Apparently there’s a display of miniature presepios- nativity scenes – in the school hall and we missed them πŸŽ…πŸŒ²β˜ƒοΈπŸ’—

      Like

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s