Portales gets brighter

The days may get shorter in December, but Portales hasn't seen brighter nights.

Local community members take pride in lighting the town, driven by the Christmas spirit to decorate their homes.

Thousands of lights, an array of colors and lovable Christmas characters occupy the homes and yards of many Portales residents who decorate their homes influenced by what's unique to them.

Here are a few residents on the inspiration behind their homes and Christmas spirit:

  • Rudy and Carmen Ornelas of Portales take pride in motorcycle culture.

"We have a motorcycle bike club so we put Santa on a bike," said Rudy Ornelas, a truck driver.

The rest of the house was decorated with bright lights, the touch of pink added by Carmen Ornelas.

Benna Sayyed: CMI staff photo

A view of Mickey Morgan's Christmas light display at 1516 South Abilene.

They enjoyed the few days before Christmas Friday evening around a fire with loved ones. Their Christmas traditions carry the same theme as their decorations.

"We ride if it doesn't snow," Carmen Ornelas said. "That's our family tradition."

  • Chuck Herrington of Portales hung lights to make his daughters Alexa and Averi happy.

"Averi is 3, so she is really into it," Herrington said.

"She just loves Mickey Mouse so I put him out there. Alexa is 17 so she does not believe in Santa Claus but she likes the lights."

Herrington said his light display is the prettiest it has ever been. His display includes a blow-up Santa Claus and Mickey Mouse, moving luminous reindeer and hundreds of LED multicolored lights. The edge of his roof is lined with large blue lights that resemble icicles. He said he invested about $300 in his lights and decorations but it was well worth it.

  • Mickey Morgan of Portales said friends and neighbors once joked about airplanes landing on the roof of his childhood home because of the bright lights everywhere during Christmas.

Morgan learned about colorful light displays from his mother and never dropped the tradition. He prefers to add animals to his display.

A portion of Morgan's light display is a group of blue lights formed to resemble a river flowing into a pond. There are luminous swans and star fish in the pond.

"We try to add a new piece each year," Morgan said.

"This year we added a peacock."

  • Butch Martin of Portales said he simply likes a lot of lights during Christmas.

His display includes luminous trees and a reindeer, Santa Claus in his sleigh, hundreds of multicolored lights and blue lights, and a large luminous star on top of his house.

"It takes me and my son Larry about a day and a half to set up the lights, but it's nice to have people, especially kids, enjoy them."

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