Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Domestic Deconstruction

I wish I had the picture that accompanied this Toronto Star article last Thursday (Dec 1). Here's the headline:
Flipping Christmas
You can turn your tree on its head or cut it in half and bolt it to the wall

The picture showed an upside down Christmas tree. At first I thought how ugly is that? Then on careful consideration, I realized it had merit for practical reasons. In a house as small as ours, with most of the furniture items at ground level, this could actually raise the tree above all the domestic detritus, thereby making its full lower branches visible for all.

There's also less mischief that a dog, cat or small stubby fingers can get into with ornaments gracing the (now) upper branches. And the design and decor options are endless: the broad expanse of branches at the top mean that many more stars.

Apparently, you can also nail the tree -- split in half down the trunk first -- to the wall. Or you can dangle it from the ceiling -- dangerous in our house with its uncertain structural strength.

Then there's the merchandise angle -- according to the article, this upside down tree also leaves a much larger floor expanse to stack all those presents. This could be a bit of a problem at our house, since we're putting on a bit of the old Scrooge when it comes to toys and things.

But, was this also the latest in a wave of deconstructionism sweeping interior decor?

No, because what the new Christmas tree afficionados don't realize is that this upside down Christmas tree thing is NOT new! A Christianity Today article reports that: Legend has it that he 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 Tree, as they had previously revered the Oak. By the 12th century it was being hung, upside-down, from ceilings at Christmastime in Central Europe, as a symbol of Christianity.


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