Here’s the Meaning Behind the Upside-Down Christmas Tree Trend

Hearing about upside down Christmas trees had me wondering if the people into this trend are taking their fandom of Stranger Things to new levels. Not the case.

It’s a design that’s sweeping the nation. People are hanging trees upside down in what some consider to be a violation of Christmas tree terms. Blasphemy even. Challenging gravity and tradition, the trees are being mounted from ceilings all over the world.

To cater to the craze, major retailers like Target, Home Depot, and Walmart have gotten in on the merchandise action. They can also be ordered online, and prices range from $170 to $1,000. From the looks of it, it seems a delicate balancing act may be needed to hang fragile ornaments from their limbs.

That’s not necessarily true. Some people tout this style as a way to keep ornaments out of reach from kids and pets. Others appreciate it for its beauty, space-saving ability, or uniqueness. But the upside down tree is hardly anything new.

With roots reaching back to old Europe, the upside-down tree was once part of many traditions. During the Middle Ages, they were hung from the ceiling in a central part of the home and decorated.

An old legend speaks of how a saint wanted to end a pagan custom that involved reverence for the oak tree. He had one cut down, reversed it in direction so it was upside down, and taught people that the triangle represented the holy trinity.

Pagans who converted to Christianity later continued the practice, believing that the shape of the tree symbolized Christ’s crucifixion. Today, it is still popular in some parts of Eastern Europe.

In the modernized Western world, you’ll see these trees mounted as huge displays in hotel lobbies, shopping centers, or other businesses. It’s gained a lot of traction in terms of becoming holiday décor in many homes around the world this year. Just ask social media.

So much so that people of the web (including you) are weighing in, and it’s being covered in the news. People hate the idea. Some love it. Some are very confused. Others are indifferent. And many, like me, are just waiting for Netflix to deliver a punchline.

Take a look for yourself by clicking on the video below. You can get an idea of what they look like and how much people are spending on these unique decorations. If you’re convinced you’d like to try one yourself, make sure to get a sturdy bracket or other mounting apparatus that can bear its weight.

Right-side-up or upside-down, the ornaments and lights are still beautiful. No matter which direction you turn it, you can find space to stockpile all the gifts that you want without much fuss.

What right-side uppers really want to know is: how do you get a topsy-turvy tree down without damaging anyone or anything? Inquiring minds want to know!

Do you have an opinion on this upside-down trend? Were you aware of its history? Would you hang your Christmas tree this way?


The Spruce