Fir Real: Free Christmas Trees from IKEA Japan
IKEA Japan's "Free Tree" deal is an economical way for store shoppers to celebrate the season with a real Christmas tree. What's more, by returning the tree after the holidays you help ease the burden on local landfills and municipal waste collectors.
Here's how it works: buy your tree at any Japanese IKEA store after November 19 and you'll get a receipt for the 1,990 yen (about $20) purchase. Take your tree home and deck it out with your usual festive ornaments, Christmas lights and whatnot. Hook it up to your electric eel tank if you're so inclined.
Next, bring the de-ornamented tree back to the store between January 5 and 18 and get your receipt stamped. Now you've got a coupon worth 1,990 yen to spend on store items!
If you've ever woken up to the unmistakable, piney scent of a real tree, you'll never want to go back to buying cheap artificial Christmas trees again. While not "free" in the purest sense of the word, you do end up with a bunch of IKEA goods you might've bought anyway, and you enjoyed a real, old-fashioned Christmas tree at no extra charge.
IKEA Canada is running a similar promotion this year but with one notable difference... though you get a $20 coupon when you buy a $20 Balsam Fir tree (not as fluffy as the classic Fraser Fir), your coupon only gets you $20 off a total store purchase totaling $75 or more. IKEA at least donates some portion of their tree sales to Tree Canada, which is somewhat soothing.
J A P A N O R A M A