A new trend in Christmas decor has been popping up everywhere these past few holiday seasons: Inverted Christmas tree.
The inverted-cap twist on Christmas decorations has taken holiday decorating by storm the past few years—from shopping malls and living rooms to hotel ballrooms and corporate reception areas. (In 2017, designer Karl Lagerfeld erected a 16-foot-tall inverted tree in the lobby of London’s iconic Claridge’s Hotel.)
The upside-down Christmas tree has been a huge part of the holiday aesthetic displayed by social media influencers and interior designers in recent years, and many artificial tree manufacturers now sell upside-down evergreens as part of their Christmas tree displays. But where did this upward trend begin? And what’s the point of putting your Christmas tree on its triangular top? Is there a special meaning behind it?
If you are asking yourself these questions about what upside down Christmas trees represent, you are in the right place! We will answer all your questions about the meaning behind the upside down Christmas tree here!
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Related: The Origin of Christmas Trees
What is an inverted Christmas tree?
The traditional Christmas tree is usually in the shape of a pyramid. An upside-down Christmas tree takes that greenery and flips it so that the wide base is at the top, and the narrow point of the tree—where the top of the tree usually sits—is at the bottom.
What is the history and significance of the inverted Christmas tree?
Theologians believe that the practice of hanging a Christmas tree upside down dates back to the 1970s and an English monk named Saint Boniface. As legend has it, Boniface was spreading the word of Christianity in Germany when he saw a group of pagans worshiping an oak tree. In a fit of rage, Boniface cut down the tree, and spruce trees grew in its place. Boniface then cut down the fir and turned it upside down and used the triangular shape to explain the concept of the Holy Trinity to the worshipers.
Is it offensive to have an upside down Christmas tree?
It depends who you ask. Some religious groups believe that the top of the Christmas tree is pointing to the sky to remind us that God and Jesus are high up, watching over us. To these people, hanging a Christmas tree upside down is disrespectful, but going back to the story of Saint Boniface, his upside-down tree became known as the Trinity Tree, so there is a religious meaning behind the heart of the Christmas tree.
Related topics: The meanings behind Christmas symbols
How do you display a Christmas tree upside down?
Since more and more retail outlets are now selling these popular holiday decorations, you can purchase an already upside-down artificial tree to install in your home. Some are already pre-lit, so you don’t have to worry about trying to place twinkle lights on the tree, and the artificial greenery comes with a special stand to support the inverted shape.
Another option is to hang the Christmas tree upside down from the ceiling as if you were a chandelier. You can do this with a real tree or an artificial one. But before you start this DIY project, make sure your home’s structure can support the weight of hanging the tree from the ceiling. You also need to consider whether hanging the tree like a chandelier will damage the plaster, baseboards, or other material that makes up the ceiling (after all, you don’t want your Christmas decor to become a hazard in your home!).
Related topics: How to pour on the Christmas tree
What are the benefits of an upside down Christmas tree in your home?
Besides giving Santa precious floor space to leave gifts, there are some good reasons to consider swapping out a traditional tree for its upside-down cousin this Christmas. If you have young children at home, most of the ornaments will be on the upper branches of the tree, which means there are fewer ornaments at ground level for little hands to grab…and possibly break.
Another advantage of having an upside-down tree is the space it saves, especially if you live in a smaller house or apartment. And for people like Twitter user Ed Fergy, the tree is safe from his cat when it’s suspended from the ceiling!
How to decorate an inverted Christmas tree?
Very cautious! When you flip the Christmas tree on its top, gravity will work against you after all! Try not to overload the tree with heavier ornaments, as there is a greater chance of them slipping than with a traditional Christmas tree. However, the upside down tree will beautifully display whatever ornament you use to decorate it. Because of the way the branches will fall when the tree is tipped over on top, the ornament will hang freely between the needles, rather than how it sits or sits atop the branches on a traditional tree.
What do you put on top of an upside down Christmas tree?
Obviously, a traditional tree top won’t work on an upside-down Christmas tree because the triangular tip is at the bottom and the wide base is at the top. So instead of putting a star or an angel on top… er, that would be it base… For a tree, you can get creative and make use of the wider area. For example, you can gently wrap a blanket over the base, and put Christmas stuffed animals on top. You can gift-wrap the empty boxes and use them to decorate the top of your tree, or use a cute oversized bow. The possibilities are endless!
Not sure if an upside down Christmas tree is for you? How about a pink Christmas tree?
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