INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A year that left many scratching their heads is ending with a holiday decorating craze that’s turning tradition on its head.
Trendsetters have done a 180 on something too gravitationally challenged to stand anything but upright on its own: Christmas trees.
Upside-down Christmas trees have been widely declared the trend du jour, popping up (or down?) at venues including the Westfield Centre in San Francisco and the Hotel Del Coronado near San Diego.
The top-heavy head turners have gone viral on Twitter, attracting both praise and ridicule.
“Is this a Stranger Things joke that I’m missing?” one user Tweeted about Target’s nearly $1,000 artificial option.
Various colors and sizes are also available at other major retailers including Walmart, Home Depot, JCPenney and Amazon.
Amid the national fascination with the precariously balanced evergreens, Hoosiers revealed they’ve been familiar with upside-down Christmas trees for decades.
An icicle-decorated version was a longtime favorite for years at the Christmas Tree House in Kokomo. Meanwhile, Indiana wholesalers have been displaying inverted models for “at least fifteen years” at local showrooms, according to Deborah Watt, owner of Watts Christmas Tree Farm and Sparkle Shop in Zionsville.
“It was certainly surprising,” she said of the first time she spotted one. “You stop and you think, ‘What on earth?'”
The recent surge in popularity could be because of the design’s surprising practicality, she explained.
“Once you look at it, it kind of makes sense,” Watt told 24-Hour News 8. “It takes up less room than an [upright] Christmas tree. It’s great for smaller spaces.”
Jimmy Gore, whose family has owned and operated Gore’s Christmas Trees in Indianapolis since the 1950s, recommended taking extensive safety precautions should you choose to flip and hang a live tree instead of purchasing an artificial model with an attached stand.
“I would probably have some sort of cable system in the ceiling,” he said.
Gore encouraged all holiday shoppers to embrace creativity and “give their trees personality.”
“I’m not opposed to the upside-down trees at all,” he said. “It makes the tree pop. It kind of almost looks like a chandelier.”
However, several customers at his Christmas tree farm shared far less positive reviews of the unique aesthetic.
“There are a lot of crazy people out there,” said Matt Eberle, as he picked out an upright, bottom-heavy Canaan fir largely indistinguishable from the others around it. “I’m probably not going to put a Christmas tree on the ceiling. It’s insane.”