What’s up with upside down Christmas trees?

Believe it or not, the upside down Christmas tree is becoming a December decor staple—and it has a long history.


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When one of our writers was looking online to buy a fake Christmas tree recently, she was surprised to see an upside down Christmas tree on the Argos website. It launched our whole team into a discussion on whether the trend was hot or not—only to discover that it’s not actually a trend at all.

While Argos’ customer service rep Lauren was correct about their current popularity, upside down Christmas trees actually have a long history. Like, really long. Like back to the 12th century. Supposedly, an English Benedictine monk went to Germany and used the triangle shape of the tree to reference the Holy Trinity, and then people began hanging the trees from their ceiling and decking them out with candles. It was probably easier to attach the trees’ stump to the ceiling than somehow mount it to the floor and have it stick up straight. Plastic tree stands were hard to come by in the 12th century.

Conversely, some people think upside down Christmas trees are actually sacrilegious, since the top should point upward “toward god.” If you like the upside down vibe, though, as Eleanor discovered at Argos they’re “very much a common thing these days.” Upside Christmas trees actually fit easier into smaller rooms, since the bulk is up at the top and furniture can be placed closer to the bottom. They also may not be as easy for your cat to climb (but cats are clever, so don’t hold me to this).

Buy them in the UK from Argos:

upside down christmas tree meaning 2

Buy them in the US from the Home Depot:

upside down christmas tree meaning 1

With these stands, setting up an upside down Christmas tree is exactly the same as setting up a right-side up Christmas tree. Most of them come pre-lit, and thanks to the wire branches, securing ornaments and decorations to them is simple. If you want to hang an actual fresh-cut tree from your ceiling, though, you’re on your own.

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1 Comment
  1. Michael says

    Actually the up side down Christmas tree goes back to when they would hang pine bows near the ceiling to use the heat from the fire place to make the pine small from the bows spread through out the hall making it smells better. You have to remember washing as we know it w a not a common practice die to how hard it was to get hot water. So the bows were used to offset the stench of so many folks Jamed into so confining a place

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