If Christmas has you feeling topsy-turvy, consider flipping your fir.
Upside-down Christmas trees are a hot holiday trend, with retailers such as Home Depot, Target, Walmart, Wayfair and more selling inverted trees. Prices range from around $100 to close to $1,000, with many online sites noting a limited supply.
You can scroll through pages of these bewildering balsams on Pinterest or on Instagram via #upsidedownChristmastree. The Twitterverse is pondering the phenomenon. (General consensus: “This is bonkers.”)
The idea isn’t new; The Home Depot has said it’s sold an upside-down tree for the last four years. But the idea caught on this year, perhaps due to our current “up is down, down is up” kind of vibe.
A upside-down Christmas tree may hang from a bracket on the ceiling like a chandelier, set upside-down on a stand, or be mounted on a wall for stability, as floral designer Marsha Hunt of Edina demonstrated in a 2007 Star Tribune story about holiday decor.
Contacted this week, Hunt said the idea back then “was more of a mini-trend in professional circles,” she said. “It didn’t quite catch fire, but lo and behold, here it is again.”
She’s put hers up every year since then with different ornaments, but has not yet had clients ask for an upside-down pine. “I think the trend is still working its way back to the Midwest.”
The trees have even inspired a “Stranger Things” reference. A storyline on the popular Netflix science fiction drama involves the Upside Down, an alternate dimension that’s parallel to the human world, but “much darker, colder and obscured by an omnipresent fog,” says the “Stranger Things” Wiki.
(Coming on the heels of the local frenzy over one of its characters wearing a Science Museum of Minnesota hoodie, might be best to keep an eye on the Holidazzle decor.)
Hanging fir trees upside-down actually is an idea dating back to the Middle Ages, where it was common among many Slavic groups such as Poles, Slovaks, and Ukrainians. They hung a fir tree from ceilings at Christmas as a symbol of Christianity and because it resembled the shape of Christ being crucified, according to The Spruce, a home lifestyle website.
Somewhere along the line, trees were set right-side-up, leading some to regard the current trend as sacrilegious, as when a recent segment on Fox & Friends linked them to the so-called war on Christmas.
Designer Hunt speculated that one reason for this season’s interest may be that Eastern European countries are developing more free markets post-Russia and are exporting their heritage.
Will the trend have staying power? Who knows?
Fans of the stupefying spruce say that ornaments are better displayed because they don’t get lost in the boughs. Also, the greater floor space leaves more room for presents.
Hmmm, we may have found our answer.