Here's What It Means to Have an Upside-Down Christmas Tree

·4 min read


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Even if Christmas is your favorite, it can often seem like the holiday gets more over-the-top each year. Each new Christmas season, there's a latest, greatest decoration or activity, or a new toy that is a non-negotiable on kids' Christmas lists. Most times, these toys, decorations, and activities are popular because they're just that great. Sometimes, though, they can also be a little be confusing. Enter: The upside-down Christmas tree.

Much like a Halloween Christmas tree or a Thanksgiving Christmas tree, the upside-down Christmas tree is a creative way to use a Christmas tree as decoration in a non-traditional way. The idea is pretty straight forward; instead of placing your tree upright, you do the opposite. If you're wondering how that works from a gravity standpoint, rest assured: There are pre-made upside-down Christmas trees out there that are designed to stand upside-down securely. This fact alone will key you into just how popular the trend is becoming. But as it gains more popularity, we can't help but wonder how this unique idea came to be (if you're with us, keep reading to learn the fascinating history!).

The History of the Upside-Down Christmas Tree

Though no one seems to know for sure how this particular tradition entered mainstream Christmas decorations, there are a few theories. According to an article on The Spruce, the upside-down Christmas tree dates back to the eighth century, during which a famous saint hung a tree upside down as a way to represent the Holy Trinity. Therefore, it has religious significance.

Photo credit: Iryna Olivko - Getty Images
Photo credit: Iryna Olivko - Getty Images

As a Mental Floss article points out per the Polish Art Center, families in Poland would decorate the tip of a tree or a branch and hang it pointing down towards their table.

"Before the Christmas tree became widespread in Poland during the 20th century, it was the custom to decorate peasant cottages, especially in southern Poland, with a 'podniczka'. This was nothing more than the point of an evergreen suspended point-side-down from the rafters. Sometimes it was simply an evergreen branch. These were decorated with home-made ornaments, fashioned from straw, paper or Christmas wafers, as well as sweets, gingerbread hearts and marcypan figures. But a whole Christmas tree was never suspended from the ceiling," states the Polish Art Center.

There is also more practical, simple explanation for the upside-down tree both historically and today: It takes up less space.

The Current Upside-Down Christmas Tree Trend

No matter where the idea came from, inverted Christmas trees have been making a comeback for quite a while now, particularly in the last decade or so. In 2018, Ariana Grande even had one in her house. According to TMZ, she used it as a metaphor for life at the time. "Sometimes like is just upside down," she said.

As an article on The Pioneer Woman points out, the best part of having an upside-down Christmas tree is the fact that the tree takes up zero floor space. If you are trying to make room for guests in a small living space, or you just hate the amount of clutter that the bottom of a Christmas tree creates, then opting for an inverted tree could be a good choice.

You could even hang the tree above your couch, TV, or dining room table if you have rafters or anyway to string it up. Usually, though, the fake upside-down Christmas trees do require some sort of a stand, meaning there is a tiny area that wouldn't be completely clear.

Deciding If an Upside-Down Christmas Tree Is for You

If you're still scratching your head at why, exactly, anyone would want an upside-down Christmas tree, you're probably not alone. But just like the 12-foot Halloween skeletons that now are on every other street corner, upside-down Christmas trees might just be part of the standard holiday decor in year's to come. In other words, if you like it, embrace it! And if you don't, there will certainly be dozens of other Christmas decor trends to try!

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