If there’s one thing Susan and Steve Esco know for sure, it’s that you can never tell what a reindeer might do, especially around Christmas time. “We inherited a pair of old-fashioned light-up reindeer,” Susan Esco says, “and it’s the craziest thing – they move around! Those reindeer will not stay where we put them. They’ve ‘stolen’ our Suburban, they’ve climbed our trees and sometimes we find them up on the roof. Neighborhood kids think they’re fantastic, and even leave them little thank-you notes or gifts.” Esco’s husband Steve has long been suspected of being the culprit behind the reindeer games, but if it’s him, he’ll never confess, lest he dispel their neighborhood mystique.
Sweet shenanigans such as these set the tone for the Christmas décor, and indeed the whole season, at the Escos’ Quail Creek home. “For us, it’s very Christ-centered. We’re very joyful, with arms wide open, full of love and generosity, because He is why we celebrate,” she says. And celebrate they do.
Steve and Susan met as students at TCU. They married in 1984, and moved to Oklahoma City, where Steve’s family owned Joe Esco Tire Co. for many years. The couple and their daughter Kylie, now 29 and working in the film industry in Brooklyn, have lived in multiple Oklahoma City neighborhoods, including The Village, Belle Isle, Crown Heights and now Quail Creek.
During their Crown Heights years, Susan and her Bunko group exchanged Christmas décor gifts – which, when added to what Susan had already amassed herself, plus what she’s inherited from her beloved mother-in-law, amounted to an astounding volume of Christmas decorations. Most of her collection is vintage, and she credits her Crown Heights buddy Nancy Waller with finding much of it for her.
“I have more than 100 nativities,” she says. “And Nancy has given me such wonderful things. She really lit my fire as far as vintage Christmas. She knows how to choose the perfect items.” Susan herself is no slouch in the vintage décor department, and she also creates one-of-a-kind wreaths and trees from jewelry, which she often gifts to her friends.
Holiday traditions at the Esco home include a Christmas Eve meal featuring oyster bisque, which Steve’s family has always done, followed by the opening of one gift each. On Christmas morning, stockings are opened first, followed by a family lunch, followed by opening the rest of the gifts.
For the Esco family, the holiday season is about fun, friends, faith and family. With a few sequins sprinkled on top.