The newest Christmas phenomenon of hanging Christmas trees upside-down is actually centuries old. People didn’t just start hanging Christmas trees from the ceiling because it looked cool—though it does! Upside-down Christmas trees have a long and meaningful history that stretches back centuries. In this guide, we’ll explore that history and provide you with some inspiration for buying, hanging, and decorating your own upside-down Christmas tree.
The History of Upside-Down Christmas Trees
Believe it or not, upside-down Christmas trees were not invented when Ariana Grande shocked the internet with her Instagram post of a ceiling tree. They stretch far past their current incarnation as hot pink artificial numbers and automated spinning trees, back to the 7th-century when a Benedictine monk named Boniface accidentally invented them.
The story goes, Boniface was walking through the woods when he stumbled upon pagans worshipping an oak tree. Not being a fan of paganism, he cut the tree down.
In its place grew a fir. Feeling determined, he cut the fir, turned it upside-down, and used its triangular shape to teach the pagans about the Holy Trinity.
Whether the lesson took is unknown, but the idea of an upside-down tree stuck-around. In the 12th century in Poland, a tradition began called podłazniczek, which involved people decorating a spruce hanging from the ceiling with gold-painted pinecones, ribbons, shiny paper, and other odd items.
In the 19th century, poor families in Europe commonly hung their trees from the rafters to save space. Although it was a sign of poverty, the striking, beautiful trees were later adopted by wealthier individuals.
What is the Meaning of Upside Down Christmas Trees?
Because of their long history, and the innate symbolism of Christmas trees, upside-down Christmas trees carry a lot of meaning.
They can represent the Holy Trinity, as they initially did when Boniface held a fir upside down to teach pagans about Christianity. They can also be symbolic of Jesus being crucified since they have a similar shape.
If you are Polish, they can be representative of your heritage. If that’s is the symbolism you take from upside-down Christmas trees, consider decorating your tree in a way that is similar to how they decorated trees for podłazniczek.
While grounded in religion and history, upside-down Christmas trees can simultaneously be symbolic of taking your own spin on a tradition by literally turning it on its head. Individuals who take this symbolic approach to upside-down Christmas trees may put other fun spins on it, decorating it with bright colors, fun ornaments, and unusual lights.
Benefits of Upside-Down Christmas Trees
The obvious benefit of upside-down Christmas trees is their unusual, striking look. They are the definition of eye-catching, when you walk into a room with an upside-down tree you can’t help but say, “Wow.” They are also functionally beneficial, helping individuals in compact spaces save room. In doing so, they free up floor space for more presents.
Not being near the floor can protect ornaments from furry friends who may run into them and knock them over. You do have to take more care when hanging your ornaments, but they will be at eye level so you will be more capable of admiring them.
The only downside is that, because they are upside-down, you do have to find a safe way to hang upside-down Christmas trees, which definitely takes some extra set-up effort.
How to Hang Your Tree
Depending on what tree you are hanging, if it comes with a built-in stand, and what hanging method you want to use, hanging an upside-down tree can be easy or hard. No matter what, make sure that the tree you hang is lightweight. Because of this, it’s best to use artificial trees, although not impossible to hang a live tree. Below are some methods for hanging your upside-down Christmas tree with different levels of difficulty.
Buy One With a Built-in Stand
Some upside-down Christmas trees come with built-in stands which means there is no hanging required! Buy one with a sturdy, metal stand, and be sure to measure your ceiling height before doing so. Once you have bought it, simply assemble your tree, secure it in its stand, and make sure it’s balanced.
The upside of these kinds of trees is that you know they are meant to be upside-down so you don’t have to worry about them being too heavy or not suited for that positioning. They are also the easiest upside-down Christmas trees to set-up.
The downside is that they don’t look quite as shocking as trees that are actually hung from the ceiling. However, some people prefer the look of them suspended just above the ground in a stand, it’s really about your personal preference.
Use a Hook
Choose your tree, and measure how far from the ceiling you want to suspend it. You are going to need a lightweight, full tree. Loop hanging wire around your tree’s trunk and branches or drill a small hole in the tree’s trunk to hang it from.
Install a heavy-duty screw into the ceiling and secure the hanging wire around it. Hang your tree from the hook, depending on how big it is it may need more reinforcements. Decorate your tree with care and then admire your new hanging tree!
If you are looking to install some lighting above your tree, check out this video:
You can also buy battery-powered lights if you want a simpler solution.
Install Some Rafters
If you are hanging your tree in a compact space, you can also easily install some rafters to suspend it and its stand from.
The video below explores this method for hanging your tree, explaining how to do so using brackets and some boards!
Upside-Down Christmas Tree Decorating Ideas
Now that you have a stunning tree suspended from your ceiling, what do you do with it? How do you make it even more striking?
Below are some unique upside-down Christmas tree decorating ideas to help you make the most of your unusual tree.
Guarantee a white Christmas by decorating your All-White Christmas Tree with white, silver, and clear decorations. Hang fake snowflakes and icicles from it, use bright, white lights, and accent it with silver ornaments.
Vickerman Pre-Lit Upside Down Tree, White
7.5 feet. Dura-lit Lights utilizes microchips in each socket so bulbs stay lit even when some bulbs are broken or missing. 1293 PVC tips. Includes metal stand.
What would stand out more than a tree hanging from the ceiling? A tree hanging from the ceiling covered in a fluorescent rainbow of colors, of course.
Group different colored ornaments together in stripes, string rainbow lights on your tree, and to really take it over the top, use a Colorful Christmas Tree as your base.
Best Choice Products 7ft Artificial Colorful Rainbow Full Fir Christmas Tree
7-foot artificial tree is guaranteed to be an immediate eye-catcher in any setting, made with a colorful swirl design unlike any tree you've seen!
Bow down to the majesty of a tree covered in bows! Use any artificial tree as your base and tie bows, big and small, to its branches. Choose one color as a theme, or have bows in every color and pattern to make this tree extra festive and fun. A giant bow as a tree topper will tie the whole look together.
48-Piece Rose Gold Bows
Are you looking for something that will add color to your wedding or add a festive atmosphere to your decor? These 5.5-inch rose goldChristmas bows are suitable choice to bring a shimmering touch of color to your Christmas decor.
Silver Icicle Tree
Suspend silver from your ceiling with this beautiful, elegant silver tree idea! Using a bright silver tree as your base, drape tinsel, and silver beads off of it. This will create an icy effect that makes it look like silver snow is melting off your tree. Add lights, some silver ornaments, and even cut some silver spirals to really heighten the effect.
National Tree 6 Foot Silver Tinsel Tree with Metal Stand
This tinsel tree brings a whole new dimension to your seasonal decorating scheme. Slim and sleek, this tinsel tree with matching stand is perfect for display in corners or areas with limited floor space. Set up is quick and easy allowing you to enjoy a decorative piece that will shine and sparkle.
Under The Tree
Go under the sea with your upside-down Christmas tree by adding beachy and oceanic decorations. Use a deep-blue tree as your base. Drape green tinsel off it that looks like seaweed, use a starfish as your tree topper, and add sparkly fish ornaments to finish it off.
National Tree 6 Foot Tree, Blue Tinsel
A new take on the vintage aluminum Christmas tree. With 520 blue branch tips, this decorative tree is sure to add a pop of sparkle to your home, indoor or covered outdoor locations.
What is a Christmas tree without presents? An excellent addition to any mind-bending upside-down tree is some presents glued to the ceiling. This funny accessory will amuse guests, and you can color-coordinate the fake presents with your tree.
Where to Buy Upside-Down Christmas Trees
Now that you know you absolutely want an upside-down Christmas tree, where can you find one? You can buy an artificial tree that was intended to be an upside-down tree, or take an artificial tree and make it into an upside-down one. Below are some excellent options to consider.
Vickerman is one of the leading brands that produces upside-down Christmas trees. They have tons of options, from bare to flocked, from deep green to yellowish-green, all with stands included.
An awesome Vickerman option is this ceiling-touching version with extra space at the “footprint” for decor. This massive tree is great for big homes with high ceilings. It is a gorgeous green color, has 1,293 branch tips, and 4-piece easy assembly.
Vickerman 75-inch Upside Down Artificial Christmas Tree with 650 Warm White LED Lights
7.5' x 95 upside down tree features 2051 PVC tips and 650 warm white Italian LED lights, making this festive tree the perfect addition to any room.
Northlight specializes in Christmas and seasonal decor, but where they really shine is in their artificial upside-down Christmas trees. Their trees walk a fine line between being quality but also affordable, and have upside-down stands included.
An excellent Northlight option is this 5.5-foot prelit tree. This standard tree is the perfect size for most homes, is easy to assemble, and comes with a tree stand included. If you are looking for easy set-up, and a basic tree, Northlight is a great brand to check out.
Northlight 5.5' x 38 Pre-Lit Upside Down Spruce Artificial Christmas Tree
Aside from just looking unique and being an instant focal point and conversation piece, this tree ensures a smaller footprint, allowing more room for gifts underneath The tapered shape allows it to be placed in spots that usually wouldn't accommodate a traditional holiday tree such as between two arm chairs or in small spaces
While National Tree Company doesn’t sell Christmas trees that are explicitly made for upside-down use, they do make some of the best artificial trees you can buy. You can easily convert their trees into an upside-down one by using the hanging methods I previously mentioned.
National tree company has every type of tree you could possibly want, but my personal favorite is the 6-Foot Artificial Tree With Pre-strung White Lights. It’s the perfect size for most homes, comes with prestrung lights, and is a quality, full-bodied tree.
National Tree Company Pre-lit Artificial Christmas Tree
Our pre-lit artificial branches look ultra-realistic and lifelike. With 1,430 individually crafted branch tips, this full bodied tree is as charming as the real thing.
I hope I’ve helped you get the hang of upside-down trees! These unique trees have an incredible history, meaningful symbolism, and a striking look that makes them anything but forgettable. When shopping for your tree, keep in mind my buying tips, hanging method instructions, and decoration ideas.
If you found this guide helpful be sure to share it and comment below with any upside-down tree questions!