Upside Down Christmas Tree 2010/15

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Upside down Christmas tree - an unusual tree with history and meaning

The artificial upside down Christmas tree is an exciting innovation which has only been around a few years - but the idea of hanging trees upside down is far from new and goes back many centuries.

As far back as the Middle Ages people were hanging fir trees upside down to take on the Christian representation of the crucifixion and also to represent the Holy Trinity. It was believed that the shape of the tree in the upside down position resembled the shape of Jesus hanging on the cross. To this end it became known as God’s Tree.

History records the fact that back in the 7th century an English monk  named St Boniface travelled on a mission to Germany where he spread the word of God.  During his time in the German town of Thuringia, Boniface used the triangular shape of a fir tree to represent the Holy Trinity of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Some years later his converts started to view the fir tree as a holy relic and in the 12th century it became commonplace to hang a fir tree upside down as a symbol of Christianity.

Having a tree upside down in your home in those days insured anyone visiting knew that it was on display for religious reasons and not as a floral decoration.

It was centuries later before the idea emerged to display the fir tree in the right way up so that the tip was pointing to heaven.

The idea of the upside down tree as we know it today is said to have evolved as a result of shops and stores hanging trees from the ceiling or on a base so that more of their Christmas tree baubles and other decorations could be displayed at eye level, and also to free up more space on shop floor for other Christmas gifts to be presented.

Upside down Christmas trees are big business these days and more and more people are latching on to the benefits of having one in their home. They are available to buy in various sizes and mini upside down Xmas trees are perfect for using as a centrepiece on the table for Christmas dinner.

Modern upside down Christmas trees are usually mounted in a base on the floor but some people prefer the type which can be suspended from the ceiling.

Both of these methods of displaying an upside town tree leave plenty of space at the base of the tree for leaving Christmas presents, which is not the case with a normal tree - the wide base area on a standard real or artificial Christmas tree mean the gifts placed around it often take up a lot of floor space.

Baubles and other Christmas tree ornaments will also display much more effectively on an upside down tree and are less inclined to become entangled in the tree’s branches.


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ABOUT TURN:  A modern upside down Christmas tree which has a story dating back centuries.