Topsy-turvy tree

Published 1:28 pm Friday, December 24, 2010

Topsy-turvy, twisted, top-down Christmas tree.

James Goetz is enjoying his 11-feet-tall, 7-feet-wide, upside-down Christmas tree with friends and family today.

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Goetz, a retired carpenter, likes to adorn his home with unique décor and conversation pieces. But the Christmas tree hanging by the trunk from the ceiling is by far the most unusual of his holiday decorations.

It took James Goetz three days, a tall ladder and the assistance of a neighbor to assemble and decorate his treasure, which he got the idea for from an upside-down tree in a store.

The tree is located in the foyer just inside the front door, fastened with screws to an iron table that serves as the base for this monstrosity.

Upside-down tree: James Goetz’s tree sits upside-down in the foyer by the front door.

“When I first saw the tree, I saw it and said, ‘Where will I put it?’” Goetz said, looking up to admire his tree. “When it’s on a table, anyone can walk under it.”

An upside-down tree makes for a great conversation piece for a party, Goetz said. He would know, as he throws an annual Christmas party for friends and neighbors.

For the last three years, his guests have been able to enjoy not only the unique statues and ornate pieces in his home, but also his unique Christmas trees.

“What good is having something if you can’t share it with people?” Goetz said.

One of Goetz’s favorite parts of his Christmas tradition is decorating the giant tree.

“[The ornaments] have got to hit you,” he said. “It’s part of the tree.”

Goetz begins shopping for ornaments in July, when they are on sale in Christmas stores. He also finds ornaments at yard sales and thrift stores.

“You’ve just got to hunt them down,” he said.

Goetz decorates his upside-down tree from the trunk down with approximately 1,500 ornaments, but this number increases every year as he purchases more ornaments. He puts the larger items near the ceiling and works his way toward the floor.

Goetz said the process is more involved than decorating a smaller, traditional tree, as he can only safely hold one ornament at a time while steadying himself on the ladder.

“The hardest part was getting the gifts on the chandelier,” Goetz said.

Goetz says that one advantage to having an upside-down tree is that the ornaments are more visible.

“You enjoy the ornaments more,” he said. “They hang down instead of being buried in the tree.”

Goetz purchased his tree from the Christmas Store on Main Street in Smithfield. He advises anyone who wants to purchase an upside-down tree to talk to Jim at the Christmas Store. “Who wouldn’t want to have one in their home?” Goetz asks.