Upside down Christmas trees are an unusual way to celebrate the holiday! While many people think of upside down Christmas trees as being a weird way to decorate, it is actually based on a centuries old tradition. For the modern family who are laid back, active, and open minded about new ideas and new ways to look at things, upside down Christmas trees may be just the thing to spice up a family Christmas get together.

History of upside down Christmas trees

The origins of the upside down Christmas tree go all the way back to 12th century Europe. It is believed that fir trees were suspended upside down because the outline closely resembled a triangle which is symbolic of the blessed Trinity - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. There are various theories about why the practice was discontinued and evolved into the traditional tree display that we know today. Some people believe the upside down triangle may have been viewed as sacrilegious since the tip of the triangle should point heaven ward. Others have cited a more straightforward notion - complexities of decoration. As families began to use more candles and ornaments, perhaps upside down Christmas trees proved to be prone to fire and accidents. The reasons are lost to the ages and it has only been in recent years that the displaying of upside down Christmas trees has emerged as a hot trend.

Benefits of upside down Christmas trees

The ability to suspend a tree in a non-traditional manner does have its advantages. Besides the power to cause jaw dropping amongst your friends, neighbors and relatives, the space saving advantages can be significant. Many people in small homes or urban apartments lack the ability to display a large tree. Rearranging and storing furniture may not be a possibility. The use of an upside down Christmas tree means more floor space for presents and furnishings. Most of the inverted trees on the marketplace today are lightweight and artificial. They can easily be suspended from ceiling beams or hooks or even chandeliers. Some come with optional weighted stands so that they can be rested on the ground, but still displayed upside down. Many homeowners like the extra floor space and this also may help keep ornaments out of the hands of small children or pets.

upside down christmas tree by Hammacher SchlemmerRetailers re-introduced upside down Christmas trees a few years ago as a better way to sell and display ornaments to the general public. Stores like Target used these as displays and quickly realized that many people desired the ability to better display ornaments in their own home, too. In 2005, Target offered an upside down Christmas tree for around $400 and was once of the few big-box mainstream retailers to do so. Target boasted of the tree's capacity for storing presents underneath and this bit of commercialization seemed to do the trick. The trees were very popular. Upside down Christmas trees become a hot item in not only traditional brick and mortar shops but also for online retailers like Hammacher Schlemmer who offered a 7-foot, pre-lit version for around $600! Even with this hefty price tag, the company had a hard time keeping up with demand.

For those who march to the beat of a different Little Drummer Boy, aluminum Christmas trees or upside down Christmas trees may be just the things to express some individuality during a holiday firmly entrenched in timeworn tradition. Many families and businesses utilize both a traditional tree and an upside down tree to achieve a balanced effect. Upside down Christmas trees remain a hit in bars and pubs (occasionally decorated with pink elephants). The marketing of these trees as ways to capitalize on floor space probably will not convince a crowd in the current economic climate. For this reason, upside down Christmas trees may have to be bought on the secondary market for the holiday season. With a bit of dedication and luck, an interested person should be able to land an artificial tree. Real trees can of course be used as well. Whatever is decided, the non-traditional look of upside down Christmas trees can cause the homeowner to expect some funny looks and lots of questions from anyone who views this decorating oddity!

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