January 2, 2009

Oh Christmas Tree

Oh, Christmas tree-- how allergenic are thy branches.
I've been struggling with allergies since we moved to The Woods. It's karma, really. Before I had allergies, I used to think, "What's the big deal? Get over it."
One of my high school friends took Actifed every day. I don't know how she stayed awake through school because that stuff knocks me on my tushie. She was a very mellow person, though, now that I think of it. At the time I thought she was crazy.
As we all know, with age (and mold, apparently) comes wisdom. Today I took Benadryl for the first time ever.
My allergies have been mildly annoying since moving here, but once we brought home the tree they were heightened to a whole new level. Finally, this morning I woke up with my itchy nose and burning throat, and the tree got the boot.
According to Dr. Daniel More, whom I found online, I'm not the only one struggling with the tree:

"Think your allergies and asthma get worse once you bring that fresh pine tree indoors during the holidays? It may be more than just your imagination. People for years have suspected that along with that fresh pine scent, an indoor freshly-cut Christmas tree worsened allergy symptoms, but the reason wasn't completely clear. Possibilities included pollen, mold spores and strong odors emitted from the tree.
A recent study appears to shed light on the issue: The problem is likely due to mold allergy. Researchers in Connecticut found that after 2 weeks of being indoors, a live Christmas tree emitted significant amounts of mold spores into the air. In fact, the amount of mold spores found in a home with a Christmas tree was nearly 10 times the amount of mold normally found inside. People who suffer from mold allergies may want to limit the amount of time a Christmas tree is kept indoors (such as less than 2 weeks), or consider using an artificial tree."
Next year we may have to go with an artificial tree, which I swore I would never do. Oh how the mighty have fallen! Luckily, R's parents are ready to part with their fake tree.
Even more disturbing, though, was the realization that I don't know any of the words to "Oh Christmas Tree" beyond "how lovely are thy branches." In fact I don't think I can sing a single Christmas carol beyond the first verse and chorus. I guess that's something to which I can aspire in time for the next jolly season. Maybe if I learn all the words to all of the carols, it will make up for the lack of fresh pine scent in the house.


My Little Cuties said...

Oh but I love our fake tree! I can just buy a pine scented candle if I'm missing the fragrance

Anonymous said...

Or, you could cut some manzanita, it makes a beautiful Christmas Tree. Hmmm, does manzanita grow in the woods? Love, Mom