Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Upside Down, Boy, You Turn Me Inside Out

What do you think of upside down Christmas trees?
My great friend Sabina recently sent me this photo and the note below:

Hi Valorie, This is the Christmas tree I did for Monica last weekend as a surprise for when they came home. She has a 6 month old kitten who is a FIEND, so we made jokes about hanging the tree from the ceiling out of reach. Monica had joked about a white tree (flocked!) so that's what she got (not flocked but only $10 at RiteAid and nice). I wrapped a square pole in Christmas paper to hang it from. The ribbon was from Costco ($8) and I used her ornaments. It's so cute, I hope you can open these pictures. BTW, as soon as I opened the box Elliot, aka the Fiend, was messing with the tree... he's so predictable, but he can't reach it now. Ha ha ha! XO-Sabina
I love the way Sabina used the paper wrapped piece of wood perched on across the top of the window casements. It seems much easier than using brackets or hooks. And her tree is very cute!
Sabina is a great depository of all things New Orleans. She knows everything about the city she loves (and misses) so much. She once told me that it is a custom in New Orleans to reverse your Christmas tree (after Christmas) and leave it up through Carnival until Mardi Gras.
Hanging fir trees upside down goes back to the Middle Ages, when Europeans did it to represent the Trinity, the top being the Father, and the two sides the Son and Holy Ghost. But now, Christmas trees are shaped with the tip pointing to heaven, and some think an upside-down Christmas tree is disrespectful or sacrilegious.
The trees were recently introduced to retailers for in-store displays, so more ornaments could be displayed at eye level to the buying public. And they left more floor space to hold extra stock of decorations.
But the upside-down Christmas trees have caught on, and are being sold to the public as a novelty piece. Target.com has a version that sells for $399 and comes pre-lit. Hammacher Schlemmer’s website has not been able to stay in stock.
Upside-down Christmas trees are either hung from a bracket on the ceiling like a chandelier, or mounted tip-down on the wall, or some even come with a tree stand supporting the tip of the tree.
I like the way Sabina solved the problem of hanging her tree. No nails or screws, no brackets, no stress!
While you may not go for this idea in a big way, you might see a few of the benefits. If you have little children, you can keep most of the ornaments away from little hands. Cats and dogs won’t be racing around and knocking decorations off the base of your upside-down Christmas tree. And just think how many more packages you’ll be able to pile under the tree!

13 comments:

Sabina said...

Wow! Great post Valorie, I love all the research you did. We are enjoying it and so far the fiend hasn't taken a flying leap at it yet.
XO-Sabina

An Aesthete's Lament said...

Dear God, NO!

annechovie said...

You know, I have seen a lot of these in the stores this year...interesting change, for sure, but I think I like the traditional better. Great post!Thanks for your sweet comment!

Patricia Gray said...

Well I learned something new. Firstly I have never seen an upside down Xmas tree, and secondly I didn't know that it dated back to the middle ages.....great post!!!

Beaux Mondes Designs said...

LOL I used to love that song. I prefer the traditional tree, however, I have seen some terrific flipped trees such as one this year at my local Z-Gallerie. I also love the third tree from the top in the traditional setting. It totally works. Thanks for educating us on the history of upside trees.

ArchitectDesign said...

Not a fan - I've seen these but...no thanks. On a side note though, i LOVE this song and coincidentally just heard it today while at lunch!

Blushing hostess said...

I have never considered such a thing. But I don't one. The whole thing is complicated enough just sitting on the floor! Hope you're well, Vamp!

A home far away said...

Hi, I think I´m way t traditional to turn my Christmas tree upside down:-

Hugs Gunilla in Singapore

Renee Finberg said...

as always....creative & clever !!

hug xx

dolcechic said...

Wow, this is actually the first I've seen of an upside down Christmas tree! It would be perfect for people with pets!!!

Julia @ Hooked on Houses said...

Oh, my gosh, I've never seen upside-down trees before! I'm fascinated by these! And I was really interested to read that they go back to the Middle Ages, when they represented the Trinity. Loved this post, Valorie. Even if I'd never do it in my home, I love seeing other people being so creative! :-)

hello gorgeous said...

Yikes.

perfect bound said...

this is way beyond my scope of understanding. Really? Upside down. Oh my.