A Topsy-Turvy Christmas

The latest in Christmas trees by be the start of a new craze — or it may just drive Santa crazy.

A Chicago man has come up an item that could turn the holiday on its head: pre-lit fake firs that are upside-down, resting on what is usually the point at the top.

Melinda Murphy

to check out the new trees and spoke with the inventor, Dan Loughman.

"What we found," he explained, "is that retailers needed a way to sell ornaments while keeping the floor space open."

But the upside-down trees are catching on with consumers, and the warehouse is sold out.

The trees "are supposed to be the other way," Loughman said, "but, again, the consumer drives the demand. If the consumer wants it upside down, we'll provide it to them upside-down."

To see just how popular the trees might become, Murphy and her producer assembled one on Chicago's Michigan Avenue.

"I think it's a great idea," one passerby told her.

"You could put more gifts under the tree. … I'd get one, if I weren't Jewish," he laughed.

Another woman remarked: "I think it looks nicer than the other one. It's like something unique."

Most folks who walked by voiced an opinion, Murphy said.

"It'd leave more room for my wife to give me bigger gifts," one man joked.

His buddy disagreed, saying: "I think I'd probably stick to the traditional Christmas tree. That's what I'm used to. That symbolizes Christmas, doesn't it?"

"And this?" asked Murphy.

The man just stood there, saying nothing. Sometimes, Murphy remarked, silence says it all.

Some liked it, some didn't, Murphy says. But everyone seemed to wonder: what do you do with the star that usually goes on top?

One man suggested putting it in the middle of the tree and remarked, "Looks good, don't you think?"

Another just put it at what would ordinarily be the base, at the point at the "top," which is the bottom in these trees.

If you think of yourself as a trendsetter and really want one, you may be able to find them at a local store.

The price? About the same as any other pre-lit Christmas tree.

For more information, check out Roman, Inc. or Hammacher Schlemmer.