Shelby Ridge, seniors get into holiday spirit

Tracey Jackson, center, helps Shelby Ridge resident Patricia Bradberry, right, decorate a plate during a holiday themed art class at the facility on Dec. 6. (Reporter Photo/Neal Wagner)

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

Shelby Ridge and Rehab Select resident Patricia Bradberry knew exactly what she was going to do with the holiday-themed plate she was painting at the facility on Dec. 6.

“I’m going to give this to my sister, because she is such an angel to me,” Bradberry said as she added color to the angel she had outlined on the red, metallic plate.

Throughout the morning, Bradberry and several other Shelby Ridge residents joined members of the Alabaster Senior Center as they took part in a Christmas-themed art class sponsored by the Shelby County Arts Council in the Shelby Ridge dining hall.

During the class, the seniors and Shelby Ridge residents used templates to outline a variety of images ranging from Christmas trees to candles on their red and green plates, and then used paint pens to complete the designs. Shelby Ridge made cheese and sparkling cider available to give the event a sophisticated touch.

“This is our version of Sips and Strokes,” Shelby Ridge employee Susan Clark said with a laugh.

Many said they were planning to give the finished plates to friends and family members, and some said they were using the plates to add holiday cheer to their rooms.

The event came during a month filled with holiday-themed celebrations at the center, said Shelby Ridge Activities Coordinator Timothy Murphy. In the days leading up to the art class, Montessori school students sang at the facility, and Shelby Ridge residents lit the large Christmas tree on display in the dining hall.

“It’s a blessing. It makes me so happy to see the smiles on their faces,” Murphy said. “When they were living outside here, they had a life with their family and friends. We want to make sure they enjoy the same thing in here.”

During the holiday season, Shelby Ridge employees also choose facility residents from an angel tree, and ensure the residents have gifts to open on Christmas.

“This is my job, but it really feels like home here,” Murphy said.