Thursday, September 14, 2006

Inverted Christmas Trees:Inverting Tradition or Mere Consumerism

Christmas trees are generally triangular .Is this a law that needs to be strictly followed? Perhaps not. Christmas trees are no longer just a symbol of Christianity but a “product” in the era of todays consumerism. So, now we can put up trees whenever they are available in the market and can hang them in an upside down position.

People have already started liking the topsy-turvy Christmas trees. These kind of trees are popularly known as “inverted trees”. They were in high demand during the last Christmas shopping season. The trend started in 2003. Holiday shoppers like these new inverted trees as they can see the ornaments better because they don't get hidden behind the branches.

It would be wrong to claim this trend a modern one. Puritans are quite furious with whatever is going on to secularize Christmas. The argument is – the tip of the Christmas tree should point towards the Heaven but in this case it is pointing towards Hell. Hence, the upside down position is sacrilegious. The liberals give out a powerful counter argument on this issue. Why the same trend was not considered sacrilegious in 7th century? Yes, here we have a big question mark. A monk from Devonshire traveled to Germany with a triangular shaped fir tree to spread the message of The Holy Trinity of God, the Father, the Son and Holy Spirit. Almost in every houses the trees were hanged upside down from the ceiling as a sign of Christianity for the next five centuries.

The Middle age trend faded away under the the influence of conservatism. But one should not forget that present is always a reflection of the past. The inverted trees are generally artificial ones. The question is then why it is becoming so popular?

Shopping Stores are happy as the inverted trees take a little space and so they can be well accommodated in departmental stores. Moreover they are free from fire hazards. The customers are also going for artificial inverted trees as they can be used for years and are definitely less expensive. In modern days when one cannot devote much time and energy on nurturing the Christmas trees. Even children get the scope of decorating them with bigger gifts and ornaments which generally do not go well with natural trees. As the lower portion of the inverted Christmas tree is spacious, so the gifts can be well displayed.

They are popularly called “holiday trees” in U.S. and Canada to give the essence of winter holiday season without any religious connotation. The conservatists have attacked the men of “war on Christmas” on this score. Common folks are not sure whether inverted trees are sacrilegious or not. In order to avoid the controversy many of them are buying the inverted Christmas trees along with the so called traditional ones as the second option. All these prove Christmas tree is no longer a religious icon but a consumer product which has been modified to suit the temperament of modern life style.

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