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Upside-Down Christmas Trees
Status: Real
image Target.com is was selling an upside-down Christmas tree for $499.99. (Thanks to Travis for the link--which has now gone dead, therefore I removed it) I'm not religious, but my first thought when seeing it was that it would be a perfect holiday decoration for a family of Satanists, to accompany their upside-down crosses and crucified Santa. I know it's not a joke, or some mistake on Target's part, because Hammacher Schlemmer is selling the same thing for $100 more. I understand these things are supposed to be space-savers, but why not save space by buying a smaller tree? I guess I just don't see the point, or appeal, of an upside-down tree. And why are they so ridiculously expensive?
Categories: Religion
Posted by The Curator on Wed Nov 09, 2005
Comments (84)
The ad says: "Celebrate the age-old European tradition of upside-down Christmas trees".

Huh? Exactly what European tradition would that be? Maybe this IS traditional for Satanists, Alex.
Posted by Big Gary in Antarctica  in  Dallas, Texas  on  Wed Nov 09, 2005  at  07:30 PM
I was always under the impression that the Christmas Tree was a Pagan tradition, and really had nothing whatsoever to do with Christianity. I have no idea how it ended up as a Christmas symbol - they didn't have too many Douglas Firs in Palestine two thousand years ago.
Posted by Alastair Bird  on  Wed Nov 09, 2005  at  08:27 PM
This has got to be a joke. Disgruntled employee perhaps?
Posted by Craig  on  Wed Nov 09, 2005  at  10:36 PM
Upside down trees were popular with cat owners and people with small children. They are usually hung from the ceiling. That way neither little rug rats could upset the tree.
Posted by Mo  in  Earth, Mostly Harmless  on  Wed Nov 09, 2005  at  11:06 PM
Maybe they're so expensive because they're actually being imported from Australia. . .
Posted by Accipiter  on  Wed Nov 09, 2005  at  11:38 PM
Yeah they were talking about these on the Colbert Report last night on Comedy Central.
Posted by Dan  on  Thu Nov 10, 2005  at  12:29 AM
NPR had a story on this today - http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5006258
Posted by The Hermit  on  Thu Nov 10, 2005  at  02:04 AM
An upside-down tree would be perfect in this room:

http://www.livejournal.com/users/zestyping/97476.html
Posted by The Curator  in  San Diego  on  Thu Nov 10, 2005  at  02:37 AM
OK, how long before a right-wing Christian group says that upside-down Christmas trees are a Satanic thing? Or, conversely, before someone pretends to be a right-wing Christian group that says upside-down Christmas trees are a Satanic thing?

Come on, you KNOW that making that claim would get you on the TV news shows!
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Thu Nov 10, 2005  at  04:58 AM
We seen those on the news the otherday.....what a waste of money...
Posted by X  in  McKinney, TX  on  Thu Nov 10, 2005  at  10:15 AM
Like I said, the satanic implication was the first thing that occurred to me when I saw it. Not that it bothers me. I just thought it was curious, and I was surprised it hadn't occurred to other people. Because isn't that supposed to be like a secret satanic code: turning religious artifacts upside down so that they face down towards hell? In all the horror movies everything gets turned upside down whenever the devil is around.
Posted by The Curator  in  San Diego  on  Thu Nov 10, 2005  at  11:22 AM
And Cranky, I think that you'd be the perfect person to pretend to be a right-wing Christian who thinks upside-down Christmas trees are a satanic thing.
Posted by The Curator  in  San Diego  on  Thu Nov 10, 2005  at  11:27 AM
Christmas trees have nothing at all to do with Christianity (and therefore Satanism). It's a purely pagan (which ironically IS a Christian word meaning 'country dweller' and refers to *anyone* who isn't a Christian - Buddhists are pagans for example) thing.

It represents new life and fertility (it's evergreen) in at a time of the year when most life is resting.

As for an upside-down Santa Clause? That would something a Pepsi drinker might worship. The 'traditional' red suited, white bearded santa was originally invented by the Coca Cola company as part of an advertising campaign.
Posted by Richard@Home  in  Sheffield, UK  on  Thu Nov 10, 2005  at  11:38 AM
Are you sugesting that an upsidedown Christmas tree is representing death?????
Posted by X  in  McKinney, TX  on  Thu Nov 10, 2005  at  03:03 PM
Alex said:

"And Cranky, I think that you'd be the perfect person to pretend to be a right-wing Christian who thinks upside-down Christmas trees are a satanic thing."

Yes, that has crossed my mind, Alex. Especially since my last name is Pagani (Italian for the plural of "pagan").
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Fri Nov 11, 2005  at  05:05 AM
"The 'traditional' red suited, white bearded santa was originally invented by the Coca Cola company as part of an advertising campaign."
Posted by Richard@Home

*buzzer sounds* incorrect!
Posted by Chuck  in  Rhode Island  on  Fri Nov 11, 2005  at  12:47 PM
The tree was traditionally recognized as a pagan ritual. I believe the Germans initiated the upside down tree as a sign of Christianity. That was back in the 12th century I think and as crazy as that may sound today I'm sure the more recent fad will be seen as equally by future celebrators.
Posted by B Lewis  in  Wash. DC  on  Fri Nov 11, 2005  at  01:19 PM
I happen to have one of the upside down trees and it is always the conversation piece at the holidays. I am able to display my collection of blown glass ornaments (~600), each hangs freely and is easily seen.
A number of friends have since purchased one of these trees because it's not only unique but the ornaments don't get lost in the branches like on a "regular" tree.
Don't knock it til you've tried it.
Posted by Susan  in  Denver  on  Fri Nov 11, 2005  at  01:31 PM
*unplugs the buzzer*

from: http://users.rcn.com/tlclcms/santa.htm

"Believe it or not, the Coca-Cola company also contributed to the modern Santa Claus. Beginning in 1931 and for 35 years, Coke ran advertisements that featured a human-size Santa (not elf-size) drinking Coke. These ads contributed much to the modern image of Santa Claus (and the drinking of coke!)."
Posted by Richard@Home  in  Sheffield, UK  on  Fri Nov 11, 2005  at  01:31 PM
Richard@Home's original comment

"The 'traditional' red suited, white bearded santa was originally invented by the Coca Cola company as part of an advertising campaign."


Richard@Home's revised comment

"Believe it or not, the Coca-Cola company also contributed to the modern Santa Claus. Beginning in 1931 and for 35 years, Coke ran advertisements that featured a human-size Santa (not elf-size) drinking Coke. These ads contributed much to the modern image of Santa Claus (and the drinking of coke!)."


uhhh, Richard, your first comment says Coca Cola inventedThe 'traditional' red suited, white bearded santa.

Your second comment more accurately states "These ads contributed much to the modern image of Santa Claus"

I dont dispute the contribution Cocal Cola made, I do dispute your original comment that they inventedthe traditional Claus

http://www.snopes.com/cokelore/santa.asp

*plugs buzzer back in*
Posted by Chuck  in  Rhode Island  on  Fri Nov 11, 2005  at  01:48 PM
AS a cherubic, jolly, fat old man. Prior to Coke's campaign, Santa had been seen in the famous red and white suit, just not looking like he'd spent all summer at the Golden Corral buffet
Posted by Dave  in  here and there  on  Fri Nov 11, 2005  at  03:35 PM
This whole thing reminds me of the rumor/urban legend that was current around the time Super Glue hit the market the pranksters had rearranged some famous person's house (or their school principal's office, etc.) by gluing all the furniture to the ceiling, so the whole room was completely upside-down. My own teen-aged experiments with Super Glue, however, convinced me that it's not really quite that strong or quite that fast-bonding.
Posted by Big Gary in Ouagadougou  in  Dallas, Texas  on  Fri Nov 11, 2005  at  07:58 PM
Coca-Cola certainly did use pictures of Santa Claus in its ads (and probably still does), but the drink company did not invent either the Santa Claus legend or the image of him as a fat man with a white beard and a red suit. Both had been around for about 100 years before the cola ads appeared.
Thomas Nast, the 19th century New York cartoonist who established the elephant and the donkey (guess which party he belonged to?) as symbols of the Republican and Democratic parties, is usually also credited with greatly popularizing the image of Santa as a jolly, round, bearded man with a white beard and a fur suit.

Christmas trees are usually described as having begun in Germany in the early-modern period. Martin Luther, the founder of the Protestant Reformation, is frequently credited with starting this custom. Venerating certain trees was part of the practice of ancient Celts and other pre-Chrisitan societies in Europe, but I'm not aware of any evidence that those "pagans" used to decorate those trees in the manner of Christmas trees, or even that they cut trees to set them up inside their homes as anything at all similar to Christmas trees.
Posted by Big Gary in Excelsis Deo  in  Dallas, Texas  on  Fri Nov 11, 2005  at  08:11 PM
I think the Up-Side Down Christmas tree is the coolest thing I've seen. I guess from looking at the prices we will have to hope it flops so we can afford one
Posted by kim miller  in  alexandria va  on  Sun Nov 13, 2005  at  10:47 AM
During the 7th century, a monk from Devonshire spent time there preaching the word of God. Like any good instructor, he used props. The story goes that he used the triangular shape of the Fir tree to describe the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit that makes up the Holy Trinity. By the 12th century, the Fir tree was being hung upside down from ceilings in Central Europe as a symbol of christianity at Christmas time.
Christmas Trees are neither significant pagan nor biblical symbols. But various Christian traditions have evolved that use the evergreen and its decorations to symbolize and teach the wonderful truths of Advent - God sending His Son to bring eternal life to a fallen world. Though abused by popular culture, Christmas Trees may still point to that true Light of the World.
Posted by Angi  in  Missouri  on  Sun Nov 13, 2005  at  06:21 PM
The link goes to Target's error page and a search from that page led only to an out-of-stock children's book.
Posted by OGRastamon  in  Clinton, MO  on  Sun Nov 13, 2005  at  10:26 PM
Some actual information for all of you

The Legend of the Origin of the Christmas Tree

Legend says that England's St. Boniface, who travelled to Germany to teach in the 7th Century A.D., was furious when he saw pagans revering an oak tree. He hacked it down, but when a fir tree sprang up on the spot, he decided to use the tree's triangular shape to describe the Trinity.

By the 12th Century, Central Europeans were hanging fir trees - upside down - from ceilings at Christmas.

Credit for the tradition of the decorated tree - right side up - generally goes to 16th century German theologian Martin Luther (1483-1546), who was inspired one Christmas Eve when he saw snow-dusted evergreen branches shimmering in the moonlight. Luther went home and set up a small fir tree for his children and adorned it with candles.
Posted by Robert R Arvai  on  Mon Nov 14, 2005  at  01:38 AM
Wow, I have never seen a group of people make themselves look less intelligent in such a short time. If you would bother to even Google it, you would know that the upside-down Christmas tree originated in Germany and lasted for over two centuries. It was started as a symbol of Christianity as it more closely resembled a cross. You people are why I oppose organized religion.
Posted by Intelegence  in  Reality  on  Mon Nov 14, 2005  at  09:52 AM
congrats Intelegence (sic) I have never seen one person expose their own ignorance in such a short time LOL
Posted by Chuck  in  Rhode Island  on  Mon Nov 14, 2005  at  11:36 AM
rolleyes

...Yep, just another device of someone tryin' to get more money from consumers, and detract even more from the true spirit of Christmas; revival of an "old" pagan tradition. .....Ecclesiastes 1: 9,10.....there is nothing new under the sun.....
...from that picture above, it looks more like a tornado than a tree. Don't we already have enough of those? Are people just so bored that they sit around and think of ways to turn things upside-down? If they'd read the Bible, they wouldn't get bored! (and wherever "Christmas trees" originally came from, it's clear that God has used them for His own purposes!) He can take anything and do with it whatever He wants to! The ones who try to turn everything "upside-down" surely must know they're only feebly attempting to defy the One who makes everything RIGHT, in the end!
Posted by brenda durham  in  USA  on  Tue Nov 15, 2005  at  10:25 AM
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