Christmas trees: Would you buy an upside down one?

Christmas trees turned upside down were widely introduced several decades ago as a marketing gimmick. Now, upside down christmas trees have caught on because they save space and keep delicate decorations out of the way of children and pets.

David Goldman/AP/File
Shipley Smith is chased by his brother around a Christmas tree after posing for their family holiday card at Cobb County's Cumberland Mall last month in Atlanta. Upside down Christmas trees are again gaining popularity because they save space and keep delicate decorations out of reach of children and pets.

"O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree, Your Branches Hang Above Us" is how the song would have gone if the upside down Christmas tree had been invented in 19th century Germany instead of 1950s America.

That's right, we said upside down Christmas tree. While the inverted holiday decor was widely introduced several decades ago as a marketing gimmick so that customers could view Christmas decor without the tree itself taking up too much floor space, we mostly became aware of its existence last week when we found a sale on the trees at Home Depot. And apparently, the upside down trend has caught on because it saves space and keeps delicate decorations out of the way of children and pets.

That's all well and good we suppose, but how does one approach the display of an upside down tree? As it turns out, you can actually hang it from the ceiling, assuming you select a style that doesn't have a base built in at the bottom (which is technically the top of the tree, but we digress); this Kurt Adler 5-foot tree ($113.39 with pickup, a low by $1), for example, can sit on the floor, while this Vickerman 42" tree ($151.53 with $5.99 s&h, a low by $72) must be secured to the ceiling. Styles like the latter usually come with equipment to anchor the tree, but even if yours doesn't include such tools, you can brace it to the ceiling yourself. It goes without saying that fastening an entire tree to the ceiling is definitely a 2-person job.

Traditionally, a star or angel is placed at the top of the tree, but in this case, it would probably get lost up there amongst all the bushy branches. In the example above, the owners still fastened it to the tip, but we suggest just using star-shaped LED lights to string around the tree instead so you can still pay homage to tradition and make your tree "shine out brightly" at the same time. We also like the idea of decorating with items that dangle, but make sure you don't hang anything sharp at eye-level — an ill-placed icicle could be catastrophic.

Readers, what do you think? Would you ever buy and use an upside down Christmas tree? Do you have experience with this quirky holiday decor? If so, how have you decorated it? Take our poll. 

Paula Kerrigan is an assistant editor for, where this article first appeared:

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