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O Christmas tree, you’re worth a cool $2 million

It’s a Christmas tree fit for a king — King Midas, that is. Made from 26 pounds of pure gold, the dazzling 8-foot tree on display at the ultra-pricey Ginza Tanaka jewelry store in Tokyo has some complaining that it corrupts the true meaning of the holiday.
/ Source: TODAY contributor

It’s a Christmas tree fit for a king — King Midas, that is.

An 8-foot-tall dazzler of a tree, festooned with 60 heart shapes and 100 ribbons all made of pure gold, made its $2 million debut last week at the ultra-pricey Ginza Tanaka jewelry store in Tokyo.

The tree certainly has Japan dreaming of a gold Christmas — citizens are lining up to take snapshots of it in the storefront window of Tanaka’s in Tokyo’s tony Ginza district. But it also some people crying foul that it corrupts the true meaning of the season.

Seeking to top the $850,000 “Gold Christmas” tree it created in 2006, Tanaka teamed up with floral arrangement artist Shogo Kariyazaki to create an even more opulent tree. Using more than 26 pounds of pure gold, 15 craftsmen spent four months fashioning the tree to its brilliant sheen.

The value of the gold used in the tree comes to $750,000, but the store’s marketing manager, Naoto Mizuki, told London’s Daily Mail newspaper that “considering the time it took to make, the designer and the hard work put into it, we can assume that the cost of this tree would be approximately ($2 million).”

The solid gold tree is not for sale, but it seems to be doing a great job at its intended purpose of drawing people to the store. One window-shopping housewife, Kisoko Sakabe, told the Daily Mail: “When you’re looking at the tree, it really jumps out at you.”

The tree now vies to be listed as the most expensive Christmas tree ever created. But it’s also drawn some negative feedback from people who say it’s another example of yuletide overkill.

For 85 years, Neiman Marcus has offered one-of-a-kind holiday gifts in its yearly Christmas Book. This year the 2011 edition continues the tradition with extravagant gift possibilities for up to $1 million.

“Sure, that money could have gone to something trivial like feeding and clothing the needy, but no, a solid gold Christmas tree is much more important,” Mark Berman sniffed on the Opposing Views website.

Others, writing on the Daily Mail website, were no more generous: “I think when the Three Wise Men delivered Gold, Incense and Myrrh….this abomination would not have been top of their list as gift!” poster filmex wrote.

Added another poster, Roger Hampton: “I wonder what Jesus would think of this?”