The Upside Down Christmas Tree Essay

The Upside Down Christmas Tree Essay

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Christmas is filled with traditions, from gifts wrapped under the tree to mistletoe hung in doorways; there is a story behind most of our Christmas traditions. For centuries the Christmas tree has become eponymous as symbol of Christmas throughout the world. In the majority of households that display a Christmas tree each year the majority will be displayed upright, as it would be found in nature. But have you ever considered displaying your Christmas tree upside down? According to the history books there was a time when this was how a Christmas tree would be displayed. In our time, some might consider this strange idea as sacrilegious. In actuality, that could not be further from the truth as at one time it was considered a symbol of Christianity.
The story of the upside-down Christmas tree, a combination of history and legend, began with an English Benedictine monk named St. Boniface. In the 7th century St. Boniface travelled to Thuringia, Germany to preach the Gospel. Prior to Christmas, St. Boniface came upon a group of pagans intent on performing a sacrifice at the foot of a large oak tree. The worship of trees was common among pagans at that time. This sacrificial rite angered the missionary and he attempted to dissuade them from committing the act. During this altercation, St. Boniface is said to have cut down an oak tree that was intended to be used in a sacrifice to the god, Odin. According to legend, the pagans, in awe of the swift destruction of the oak, then asked him what they should do instead to celebrate Christmas. Noting a small fir tree amongst the debris of the fallen oak, St. Boniface asked each of them to take a fir tree home with them. He turned a fir tree upside down and used its triangular sha...


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...stand much in the way a traditional tree is. While easier to set up, these trees do not necessarily give the desired effect. Another option is to suspend it from the ceiling using hooks. When choosing the latter option it is important to attach the tree securely with hooks that can easily hold its weight plus decorations. In neglecting to do this the homeowner is sure to end up with the tree returning to its usual place on the floor, likely surrounded by broken ornaments and lights.
While the concept of the upside-down Christmas tree has credibility as a historical symbol of Christmas it has yet to make an impact as a contemporary holiday decoration. Many consider the idea of displaying a tree in such a way as “strange” or “odd”. While both of these descriptions may be true, homeowners are sure to be remembered for the year they had an upside-down Christmas tree.

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