Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Upside down Christmas tree


Honestly, what is the deal with these upside-down Christmas trees I'm seeing everywhere? More room for presents? A way to differentiate oneself from the neighbours? I suppose I can't argue against them on the basis of being contrary to nature - your basic Christmas tree does that already - but really: an upside-down tree. I know someone's going to tell me that it's a throwback to a 12th century European tradition, but so were the Crusades. Let's not get carried away.

I prefer to think of my tree in less commercial terms (even if it does end up covered in gobs of spray-painted macaroni ornaments):
For centuries, evergreens have played an important role in Winter celebrations. Carried into homes and adorned with apples and other fruits, they were set up as symbolic idols. Such decorations were intended as food offerings to the tree and may be where the modern custom of placing gifts beneath the Christmas tree originated. According to some sources, the Christmas tree is actually a throwback to "Yggdrasil," the Great Tree of Life mentioned in Norse mythology.

Many pagan festivals used trees to honor their gods and spirits. In Northern Europe the Vikings considered the evergreen as symbol and a reminder that the darkness and cold of Winter would end and the green of Spring would return. (Emphasis mine.)
But to each their own. If you must, you can buy your upside-down tree here.

2 Comments:

Blogger Ginny said...

We did it just to be different. Had no idea the tradition had any history. However, I do not recommend it, hanging a real one takes some engineering as my story tells.
Stick to the artificial ones, so much easier.
As for putting more presents underneath - who the heck has the money for presents with the economy they way it is? It's all going to the gas company here!

8:53 PM  
Blogger andrea said...

What a story, Ginny. Hope 2006 brings better times.

12:33 PM  

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