Christmas Tradition Continues At Opa’S

The Tradition of the Upside Down Christmas Tree

Version One

From Germany to Poland, it was displayed point down.

The ancient German custom was to hang a Spuce tree from the ceiling in a central position with the top most part of a spruce tree, upside down, and they decorated doorways and walls with separate boughs of the same tree. The Trees weredecorated with food, gold-painted spruce cones, fruits, nuts and sweets in shimmering wrappings. Beginning the day after Christmas these delicacies could be eaten by children and carolers.

As the great migration to America took place at the turn of the 20th Century, many of the new American neighbors of these immigrants from Europe were traumatized when they visited the homes of their new neighbors from the Old World. They had their Christmas tree going in the wrong direction!

It is thought that the term “Doing something the German way” originated from the display of these trees.

Version Two

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 he did, a fir tree sprang up on the spot. Legend also says that Boniface used the triangular shape of the Fir Tree to describe the Holy Trinity of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The converted people began to revere the Fir tree as God’s Trinity Tree, as they had previously revered the Oak. By the 12th century it was being hung, upside-down, from ceilings at Christmastime in Eastern Europe, as a symbol of Christianity and God the Son becoming man.

Maybe we have all been putting our Christmas trees up the wrong way for all our lives.

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