Christmas tree allergies and Christmas gifts…

Tis the season for live  Christmas trees.  While I totally understand that everyone wants a live tree or live ever green for Christmas…please keep in mind that some people (like me and my family) are ALLERGIC to live evergreen.  Actually, it isn’t an allergy so much as a super sensitivity to the mold that grows on them.  I can’t even go to a Christmas Tree farm without getting sick (made that mistake ONE time).

When you take a live tree and put it in a closed environment, like your house in the winter, it just makes the sensitivity that much worse.  The longer you have the tree in your house, the worse it gets as well.  Some people have allergy symptoms, some are like me and have flu symptoms.  Some may only have a bad headache (I get that too).

Please be considerate of these people!  I have had people accuse me of being snobbish, antisocial, rude, and even a liar because I couldn’t come to their house at Christmas because of the tree.  Sorry, but I choose to be WELL over the holiday season you can come to MY house!  I do have an issue with my ILs.  They will not give up their real tree – actually the whole damn family has real trees – however I have to severely limit the time spent in these houses when I go and make sure to spend it in a room far away from the tree if possible.  I go to the ILs later at night so I am only exposed for a few hours at most on Christmas eve and Christmas Day and just deal with it on New Year’s eve (they don’t put their tree in the house until Christmas eve but were nice enough to get an air cleaner when they remember to turn it on).  I told them I will let them have their tree as long as my kids don’t suffer from it.

There was a study done not long ago that found that the mold levels rise in houses that have live Christmas trees.  While most houses have some mold spores in them, when you introduce a Christmas tree the levels rise exponentially.

For the first three days, counts remained at 800 spores per cubic meter of air, then began escalating, rising to a maximum of 5,000 spores per cubic meter by day 14, when the tree was taken down.

normal indoor air has a mold level of 500-700 spores per cubic meter; anything higher indicates a source of mold growth inside the building.

Emphasis mine.

So, please PLEASE be considerate of anyone that seems to get ill around the holidays and those that say they are allergic to Christmas trees.  If you aren’t going to give up your tree at the very LEAST get a very good air cleaner!  If you, yourself seem to get sick around the holidays or have a sensitivity to mold, think about an artificial tree.  It’s better to preserve your health than worry about a tradition!

Now, for the second part of my post…

After reading a ton of “worst Christmas gifts ever” (just like all the other “worst gifts ever articles”, I have come to the conclusion that most people are petty and selfish and have forgotten that it isn’t the gift, it is the thought that counts.

If someone makes something home made for you, especially if you already know it is their hobby to do such things, be grateful for it…even if it is tacky or useless.  They didn’t have to make you a damn thing, they didn’t have to buy you a damn thing, they didn’t have to give you ANYTHING.  If you are an adult age chances are you have everything you need or want or things you need or want are crazy expensive and are impractacle for most people to buy your for Christmas.  Be grateful you were thought of…I never got even a CALL from my mom on Christmas after I turned 18.

Now, this isn’t to say that people should be giving you stuff like cheap shampoo (my sister had an IL that only gave out dollar store shampoo/soap/deodorant for Christmas to everyone) or half melted candles or other things that are just in bad taste (I heard a story of a woman getting her DIL maternity clothes as a way of telling her to hurry up with the grandkids…and she wasn’t even pregnant!!).  I feel that if all you can afford is something like cheap shampoo from the dollar store or a half used candle or some such, then don’t spend the money at all.  If you are so mean that you would give these things then don’t get anything at all.  You are missing the point of gift giving.

If you get a gift you don’t like, even if it is a half burned candle, suck it up, smile, say thank you and throw it away when you get home.  Stop complaining about it.  Get over it.  Move on.



Filed under Christmas, Environment, Family, Holidays, Illness, Life

9 responses to “Christmas tree allergies and Christmas gifts…

  1. Differant allergy but I don’t have to actually eat shrimp to have a reaction to it. I just have to be near where it is being cooked or eaten.

  2. grassyknoll

    I’m deathly allergic to Xmas trees, too. Many people don’t believe me or think that “a few evergreen branches” in a display won’t make me sick. People act like I’m trying to ruin their enjoyment of Xmas. I get very, very sick from it, and start wheezing in about an hour.

    I can’t wait for Xmas to be over every year….

  3. Then there are the people like me who can’t be around cedar/evergreen trees even outside without having problems.

  4. Do you guys know there are a lot of blogs/website that are saying there is no such thing?! I actually wrote a comment on one the other day letting them know just how I felt about them calling people like us liars…

  5. I’m another one with allergies, so we have to have a fake tree – especially now as I can’t take any anti-allergy medicine due to breast feeding…

  6. We got our tree about 6 days ago. I started getting this awful headache about 2.5 days ago and feeling chilled and stiff, like with the flu. I thought to myself, my mom who is so sensitive to trees, maybe I am too. Then I googled it and found this. I think this may be it! No spinal tab and head ct required this year, just eliminate the tree I think!

  7. Janet

    I used to get sick every year at Christmas time with sinusitis, then, bronchitis. After seeing a new doctor, I came to find out that I was allergic to my Christmas tree. Since then, I use an artificial tree and haven’t been sick since. I think it was actually the mold on the tree that I was allergic to that made me sick. Poinsettias also are bad for me because of the mold in the potting soil.

  8. Les,

    Actually it is a very common allergy.


    My grandparent’s church had huge evergreen’s out front. Since the church was a country church with no AC I would have problems in the summer when the windows were open if I sat toward the back. Oh, I linked to a page that has a picture of the church.

    When I was teaching, one of my co-workers had a a student give her a half eaten box of candy.

    [LOL, well s/he enjoyed the candy and felt like she would enjoy the rest. 😉 ]

  9. Les

    I had never heard of people being allergic to Christmas tress before. Not that it matters as I’ve preferred fake trees since I was kid for the simple reason that I can put it up when I want and leave it up for as long as I want. When I first moved into my apartment in Canton a few years back I put my artificial tree up and, because I had a job that involved a lot of travel, it ended up staying up all year.

    My then fiance, now wife, made me promise I’d never do that again. I didn’t exactly make that promise, but I did say I’d resist the urge as much as is humanly possible.

    [LOL That’s funny…but true. I like my fake tree because I can put it up right after Thanksgiving and take it down after New Year and have plenty of time enjoying it.

    My dad had a real tree a few times after he divorced my mom…I always got sick as a dog and my mom made him get a fake one…now the ILs have real trees and like I said above as long as the kids don’t get sick I will deal with it, but if they ever get sick it’s the trees or us. A lot of people haven’t heard of this allergy before so I always try to write about it around this time of year.]