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Christmas is big for Mestas family


hen J. Leigh Loveless came to Fort Lewis College from Colorado Springs 20 years ago, she never dreamed she would marry into and be totally embraced by a large, local family. Her husband, Joey Mestas, is one of the eight children of Roger and Dolores Mestas, who were both born and raised here. “As much of the family as possible celebrates everything together,” said J. Leigh. Christmas is one of the biggest celebrations, with four generations congregating at Joey’s sister’s house. The close-knit family always congregated at Roger and Dolores’ house until she passed away in 1992. Their eldest daughter, Iva Esquibel took over the tradition. Grandpa Roger, his seven remaining children and their spouses, along with 17 grandchildren ranging in age from 38 years to 9 months, and one great-grandchild all gather at Iva’s house near Park Elementary after Mass at Sacred Heart Church on Christmas Eve. Grazing on heavy hors d’oeuvres, they mingle and chat until Grandpa Roger, now 76, pulls out his guitar. The talented family members sing, and young female grandchildren show off moves they’ve learned in dance classes. Eventually, the karaoke machine gets pulled out, and they sing holiday favorites. Family members wander in and out of singing to go into other rooms to tell stories, jokes and share fond memories of other Christmas holidays, remembering family members no longer with them. “We love creating new memories together, and it’s always special when there is a new baby in the family,” said J. Leigh. On Christmas morning, the individual families celebrate in their own homes by opening presents, followed by visiting the in-laws. “At the end of the day, we all end up back at Iva’s house, and continue where we left off the night before,” J. Leigh said. “Iva always makes sure everybody is fed.” – Malia Durbano H

Durango Living/Holiday GIFT GUIDE • Thursday, December 6, 2012 • 13

Durango Living Holiday Edition 2012  
Durango Living Holiday Edition 2012  

Adding holiday cheer in Durango Colorado