An Upside-Down Christmas

The first time I ever heard of an upside-down Christmas tree was about 10 years ago when my aunt was trying to figure out how to fit more presents under her tree. Those branches become a full stop to presents being stacked, and all the presents spill out onto the floor. And so her idea to get one the hip flipped Christmas trees was purely practical. While flipping a Christmas tree seems so weird today, tradition tells us it has been going on for a while. The history is a bit murky, but it may date as far back as the 12th century.

According to fir trees were not flipped for practicality. They were flipped for their visual symbolism. The story goes that St. Boniface flipped a spruce on its head and hung it from the rafters because the triangle shape reminded him of the Trinity and the cross, but that tale is probably apocryphal. It seems by the 13th century, the Polish were hanging treetops from their ceilings over the dinner table. While It may have gone silent for centuries, it appears that the upside down Christmas tree has its origins long ago.

I can think of another reason you might hang your Christmas tree upside down: To symbolize the upside-down nature of the very first Christmas. No one could have guessed how the night Jesus was born would have gone. It probably subverted every expectation that the Jewish people had for the coming of the Messiah. And that was precisely the point.

Tomorrow we take a look at the birth of Christ Jesus and how God was working on that first upside down Christmas night. Join us at our regular 10:30 AM time and Merry Christmas!

Join us for worship!
10:30 AM
Curley K-8
493 Centre St.
Jamaica Plain 02130