Pat Shingleton: Tree Up, Tree Down
Our unseasonably warm weather won't deter families from heading to the country today to cut a tree. Limited space finds some folks hanging a Christmas tree upside down which could compromise needed water. This practice originated in the 700's. The Little Blue Book for Advent and the Christmas Season notes that St. Boniface, an eighth century English monk, started this tradition as he furthered Christianity to Germany and France. Faced with deep-rooted idolatry, Boniface discovered residents worshipping a giant oak tree and chopped it down. In its place a tiny evergreen sprouted. He used its triangular shape to explain the Holy Trinity and the fir tree was then known as the Trinity Tree. Hung upside down, it then became a Christmas symbol.