Local children craft and paint Christmas ornaments

Marlee Cash carefully placed the tip of her paint brush onto the glass ball in her hand, concentrating as she added more green dots of paint onto it's red background.

The 6-year-old painted her silver Christmas tree ornament red with a black stripe then proceeded to added green, blue and yellow dots, saying she chose those particular colors because they were Christmas colors. She added orange dots as an afterthought.

"I'm going to call mine a Christmas disco ball," said Madison "Madi" Purcell, 11, as she carefully added a red dot in the center of each clear bead she had just glued onto her ornament.

Alisa Boswell: Portales News-Tribune

Kinsey Bilberry, 11, left, and Julissa Ramirez, 10, paint Christmas tree ornaments Wednesday evening at the Portales Recreation Center. Bilberry painted a snowman on her ornament while Ramirez painted hers to look like a present. Both girls said they love Christmas and art.

Cash and Purcek were among more than a dozen children piled into the craft room Wednesday afternoon at the Portales Recreation Center to decorate Christmas ornaments, which are to be place on the Mayor's Christmas Tree on Monday evening at city hall.

This year is the first time the children from the city's recreation center have been asked to decorate the tree at its annual blessing ceremony.

"It's fun 'cause you get to go like this," said 10-year-old Rylie Purcell as she flicked her paint brush to create splashes of paint on her ornament.

She and 11-year-old Raigan Beggs had chosen the more messy artistic style as they both flung a variety of light and dark colors onto their glass balls.

"Art is like it's expressing feelings," Purcell said as the conversation turned to serious shop talk. "Sometimes when you're mad, you can use red and splash it on."

"And sometimes you can do blue if you're sad for tear drop," added Lexi Maguire, 10. "I like art because it makes me feel calm."

All the girls at the table agreed the activity was made especially fun by the fact that they love Christmas and art.

Alisa Boswell: Portales News-Tribune

More than a dozen children painted Christmas tree ornaments Wednesday afternoon at the Portales Recreation Center, which will be hung on the Mayor's Christmas Tree in city hall on Monday. This is the first year the city asked the recreation center to provide the ornaments for the tree.

"I like Christmas because you get to celebrate with your family and the ones you love most," Purcell said.

"And there's presents and cookies and cinnamon rolls," added Evangeline Swain, 6. "My grandma's a great cinnamon roll maker."

"And eggnog and milk and cookies," Maguire chimed in. "They're all good."

Recreation center director Jodi Kibbe said all of the children had done excellent jobs on their ornaments but some went full blown creative with ornaments varying from Purcell and Beggs' splashing style to others painted with snowmen and Santa Claus.

"I was excited when the city asked us to do this. We do arts and crafts once a week," Kibbe said. "And the kids have something they cannot only put on the mayor's tree but can take home as a keepsake."

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