Hi, everyone, it's me, Debbie Downer again! I'm here to tell you that with the sparkle and joy of the Christmas holidays come allergens. Allergies often spike over the holiday season, since we're trapped inside with our allergens. As if the cold and snow this time of year wasn't depressing enough, we can't even get an allergy reprieve! But it's ok, I'm not just a bearer of bad news. I'm here with some tips for keeping your allergies at bay over the Christmas season:
Real trees are gorgeous, that's true. But they're also covered in dust, mold and who-knows-what-else from being outside. Many are pre-cut before you buy them and have actually already started to decompose, breeding even more allergens. An artificial tree is a better option for those with allergies. But be sure to give the tree a wash before setting it up in your living space. Chances are, it's got a decent coating of dust on it from being stored since last Christmas.
Christmas balls, people. Come on, now. This is a family blog. Those pretty ornaments are dirty, yo! Buy cans of condensed air (the kind you use to spray out keyboards and electronics), and spray off your ornaments outside before decorating with them. Depending on how and where your decorations have been stored, they could also be covered in allergens.
I bet you didn't know that poinsettias are dangerous to those with latex allergies, did you? Well, it's true. They can not only poison your pets, they can cause rashes and wheezing in those with latex allergies. And let's face it, nobody really likes them anyhow.
Ok, maybe not your smell, but the scents in your home. It's tempting to light a scented candle or use air fresheners during this season because of all the entertaining happening, but those smells can trigger allergic or asthmatic responses. If you really need to overpower the stink of your kids' hockey bag or your husband's sneakers, try putting a pot of water with cinnamon sticks and cloves on the stove to simmer a bit.
When you're hosting a festive dinner, be sure you ask guests about food allergies and sensitivities. Nothing brings down a dinner party quite like an anaphylactic reaction.
Because we spend so much of our time indoors in winter, it's important to make sure that the recycled air you're breathing is healthy, so be sure to read these other tips for surviving winter allergies, too.
Oh, and Happy Holidays!