If you want to make a statement with your holiday decor and shock your friends and family this holiday season, consider displaying your Christmas tree upside down.
As wacky as that may sound, the precedent for inverted Christmas trees goes back centuries, and the original upside-down tree was imbued with religious meaning. Depending on the size of your living room, an upside-down Christmas tree can also save quite a bit of space over a traditional Christmas tree.
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Upside-down Christmas tree meaning
It may seem like a new trend or modern fad in terms of Christmas traditions, but the trend of the inverted Christmas tree is believed to have originated in Europe sometime in the Middle Ages when the Benedictine monk Boniface hung a fir tree upside down. It is said that Saint Boniface, who has since been canonized, used the resulting triangular shape to explain the concept of the Holy Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
It later became common for a European family without much floor space in their home to hang a Christmas tree from the rafters during the Christmas season. As construction trends changed and exposed rafters became less common, the upside-down Christmas tree trend dissipated. However, it made a comeback in recent years, with even Claridge's Hotel in London displaying an upside-down Christmas tree in the lobby.
Inverted Christmas tree considerations
You could, in theory, hang any artificial Christmas tree from the ceiling like a chandelier by creating a hole in the trunk and threading wire through it. However, the easier and safer bet is to purchase an inverted tree that comes with a tree stand meant to hold the tree upside down on the floor without the need to hang it from the ceiling.
Inverted Christmas trees come in the same range of colors that you expect from traditional trees. There are also pre-lit upside-down Christmas trees on the market if you want to cut some corners.
In addition to being a bold statement, an upside-down Christmas tree also has the added perk of clearing up floor space for the Christmas gifts that go underneath the tree. This setup might appeal to city dwellers who live in small apartments or households with children and pets.
Decorating upside-down Christmas trees
You can decorate an upside-down Christmas tree just like you would a traditional tree with any kind of lights and ornaments that strike your fancy. Because the tip of an inverted Christmas tree is facing down, there is plenty of room for a larger or bolder tree topper than you might normally use, so feel free to experiment.
While your creativity is the only limit when decorating an upside-down Christmas tree, the rules of gravity still apply, so it is best to stick to lightweight Christmas ornaments to avoid weighing down the branches. For this reason, ribbons and tinsel are great options for decorating upside-down Christmas trees. It is also a good idea to invest in shatterproof ornaments so that you don't end up with a mess if any ornaments end up falling off the tree.