Remembering Christmas and Christmas Trees Past This is December and in a couple of weeks it will be Christmas Eve and the rest of the work-week will be shot. Christmas trees will be up in homes across America to brighten spirits and please children and grown-ups alike. As a young couple recently starting out together, I remember our first Christmas and our first Christmas tree. We were in Rankin, Texas and I was working for Halliburton Oil Well Cementing Company in their Frac Department. I was guaranteed sixty hours a week but seldom worked a short week of only sixty hours. My normal workweek was eighty to ninety hours per week. Halliburton didn't pay much but they allowed us to work more hours. It’s what you do when you’re young. Holidays meant little in those days in the oil patch. If it was your day to work Christmas was just another day. I was off but on call. Everybody not working was on call, meaning if there was work to be done, somebody got hurt or there was an emergency, you were subject to be called out. We normally drove the sixty-eight miles to Odessa to shop for groceries but we didn’t have a tree. We lived in a two room doodlebug shack but the lady in my life was a queen and being alone most of the time, she was resourceful. She built a Christmas tree out of tumbleweeds. I thought it looked magnificent. Since that time, we have tried many trees, we have had large trees, small trees, artificial trees, and even an aluminum Christmas tree. One Christmas my wife built and decorated a Christmas tree out of shells. Another time I couldn't get a tree to stand upright in the tree base. It kept falling over. I finally nailed it to our hardwood floor. The last trees we had were small coffee table sized trees. Then we stopped having trees at all. My roommate has always decorated the house even though we didn’t have a tree. The past three years there has been no decoration, no tree, as though Christmas had been cancelled. But thinking back over my Christmases past and the Christmas trees that have adorned our home, that tumbleweed tree stands out in memory and it is my all time favorite. Long ago we quit giving gifts except for the children. We no doubt will have Christmas dinner with my daughter in law who favors pasta for all occasions. Personally I don’t care what we eat. Pasta is fine or a chili dog with Fritos. In my mind Christmas is for kids. My daughter is coming and my immediate family will be together. I wish I still had a picture of that tumbleweed tree. I’d blow it up and give it in a place of prominence in my home.