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Author Topic: Upside-Down Christmas Trees  (Read 1000 times)

VoxClamantis

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Upside-Down Christmas Trees
« on: December 16, 2005, 08:24:AM »

Um, okay. From the U.K.'s Telegraph:


 


US tree craze stands Christmas on its head
By Nicholas Wapshott in New York
(Filed: 20/11/2005)

 
 
 
New Yorkers are dreaming of a topsy-turvy Christmas. The latest craze to hit the city is to decorate homes with upside-down Christmas trees.
 
Shops and mail-order firms are finding that the plastic inverted spruces, which come fully wired with fairy lights and all the tinsel trimmings, are a sell-out in a city where floor space is always at a premium. "We have three on display and they are in enormous demand," said Cynthia Sayed, the manager of the Heart to Heart florist on Third Avenue, Brooklyn.
 
"We have ones that hang upside-down from the ceiling, ones that stand upside-down in a specially reinforced stand and a wall-mounted one, too. Plug them in and off you go. They are very popular."
 
The wholesale supplier of the Chinese-made trees, Roman Inc, of Addison, Illinois, has temporarily run out of stock even though Christmas is still almost five weeks away. An announcement on the company's website, below a picture of its "Upside-Down Pre-Lit Christmas Tree", declares: "Due to the popularity of this item, we are unexpectedly sold out."
 
Yet topsy-turvy trees do not come cheap. The three standard sizes, going up to 7ft, cost between $257 (£150) and $500.
 
Up-market vendors such as Hammacher Schlemmer are selling the top-of-the-range fir tree for $600, with packing and postage extra.
 
Roman declares the upside-down tree "evokes a 12th century Central European tradition of hanging a tree from the ceiling at Christmas" and that it "is inverted to ensure a smaller footprint" for less-spacious areas, and allowing more room for the "accumulation of presents" underneath.
 
The company said: "Originally designed for specialty stores to display delicate ornaments using a minimum of floor space, the unusual tapering shape allows the tree to stand in places that do not accommodate a traditional holiday tree, such as between two armchairs or in a corner.
 
"The inverted shape makes it easier to see ornaments, which hang away from the dense needles and do not get lost in the foliage."
 
The historical explanation, however, does not ring true to Sheryl Karas, the author of The Solstice Evergreen: The History, Folklore and Origins of the Christmas Tree, who has become so inundated with queries about the meaning of an upside-down Christmas tree since the craze began that she has stopped taking calls, referring people instead to her internet weblog.
 
"The original meaning had to do with eternal life," she writes. "The tree symbolically points to Heaven so that inverting the tree could be seen as sinister if one thought about it too much.
 
"But the honest truth is that the practice of hanging a Christmas Tree from the ceiling has practical benefits - it saves space, it keeps it safe from running children and pets and as a chandelier it could be made to look very beautiful and festive."


VoxClamantis

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Upside-Down Christmas Trees
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2005, 08:27:AM »

Another article on this, from USA Today:

 

 

Fake trees turn Christmas on its head

Has your holiday imbibing gotten out of control so soon?
 
  

Maybe that Christmas tree you saw really is upside down. Upside-down trees are, well, turning the upcoming holiday on its head.

Hammacher Schlemmer can't even keep its $599.95 pre-lit model in stock. It's already sold out.

"We increased the amount we ordered from last year, but ended up selling all of them already," says Joe Jamrosz of Hammacher Schlemmer.

Not to be left behind, Target has three such upside-down trees ($299.99-$499.99) on its website, touting their best attribute: "Leaves more room on the floor for gifts!"

Similar trees are also available at ChristmasTreeForMe.com in the 5-to-7½-foot range ($280-$504).

The artificial trees are hung from the wall or ceiling, or come with a weighted base to provide extra stability to prevent tipping and leaning.

Sheryl Karas, author of The Solstice Evergreen: The History, Folklore and Origins of the Christmas Tree, isn't quite sure what's going on with the resurgence of upside-down trees, a 12th-century tradition in Central Europe.

"But it's the question I get more often than any other on my website," says the Santa Cruz, Calif., author (sherylkaras.com).

Karas believes it's purely a decorative thing this time around, a way to better display ornaments so they don't get lost in the foliage. She doesn't want to put a damper on the holidays, but she suspects "there's something sinister, almost bad, about it."

Because the shape of the tree is symbolic (pointing to heaven), "if they thought about it, they wouldn't turn it upside down," she says.

But enough playing Scrooge. It's the holiday season.

"Many of the people have been using them as their second tree. A novelty," Jamrosz says. "They also find the bigger gifts don't fit under a traditional tree."

Hanging a tree from the ceiling also ensures a smaller footprint for less-spacious areas. You can put it between two closely placed chairs, for instance.

But not everyone is head over heels about the trend. Tree Classics Inc. of Lake Barrington, Ill., claims to be the top seller of artificial Christmas trees on the Internet — up 30% this year alone — but not a one of them is upside down.

"That tree makes no sense to me whatsoever," says Tree Classics president Leon Gamze, who sells 59 styles of upright trees. "I just look at them and laugh." But would he ever join the upside-down trend?

"Never. Wouldn't even consider it."

Probably a good thing. He'll never have to ponder whether to put a star at the top, or bottom, of such a thing.


Sophia

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Upside-Down Christmas Trees
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2005, 10:49:AM »

Quote
Roman declares the upside-down tree "evokes a 12th century Central European tradition of hanging a tree from the ceiling at Christmas"

 

HUH?!?

 

Quote

and that it "is inverted to ensure a smaller footprint" for less-spacious areas, and allowing more room for the "accumulation of presents" underneath.

 

If you have such a small space to begin with, maybe you shouldn't be adding to it with an "accumulation of presents."  This is sick.

 

Quote
"The original meaning had to do with eternal life," she writes. "The tree symbolically points to Heaven so that inverting the tree could be seen as sinister if one thought about it too much.

 

No.  You don't have to think about it too much to figure that one out. 


Spooky7272

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Upside-Down Christmas Trees
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2005, 11:06:AM »

It looks like a green tornado.