Dec 16, 2013

Drawing inspiration from a recent survey by Claritin which reports that allergies are heavily prevalent during the holiday period (and not just during the warmer months, as many folk might perhaps presume) Colin and Justin offer their tips to reduce the associated problems.  Their guide will help you enjoy an allergy-friendly holiday season… where the only tears in your eyes will be from the lovely family times ahead.  Frustrating as it sounds, allergies can potentially spoil all the festive fun.  If, that is, you don’t think about eradication.  So take heed...
Real Christmas Trees
Genuine trees can be a haven for dust and pollen – add in allergies to tree sap, and real problems can lie in store. 

Spruce Tree: Fresh New SpruceThe Duo's Tree Top Tips 
  • Bag an allergy-friendly tree - dodge pine as the pollen can be a major allergy trigger.  Fir and spruce are better, with the Leyland Cypress - a sterile hybrid -  a good choice as it doesn't produce pollen.
  • Shake it up!  Some tree farms have mechanical shakers to remove dead needles as well as some of the dust and mold.
  • Bathing beauty -  before bringing the tree indoors, spray with water and dry overnight in the garage.  Use Nature Clean veggie soak to remove pesticides that have been sprayed on the tree – another major irritant.
Faking It
  • Keep it clean – if your tree has been stashed in the garage then it’s probably it’s full of dust and even mold.  Give it a good wash (just like a real tree) and dry before bringing indoors.
  • Gassy? Choose a polyethylene tree with less PVC content and you’ll cut down on gasses and be kinder to your home and the environment.  Home Depot stocks this type of product.
  • Eco friendly – seek out tree ‘alternatives’.  Choose from metal framed shapes, card board trees like the one below from Cascades.  Also, you could opt for driftwood stacks (Homesense have some great options) to make a style statement.
Recycled Cardboard Christmas Trees - Moderno
Cardboard Tree from Cascades
Tips for Christmas Decorations

  • Dust off your baubles – these, if they've been lying around, may be coated in grime or mold.  If possible, unwrap outside to avoid spreading dust inside. Wipe off with a soft cloth before hanging.  At the end of the season, wrap in fresh paper, rather than re-using old paper.
  • Clean your wreaths - Vacuum or dust with a soft cloth.  Use a vacuum with a Hepa filter, like the Dyson Animal, and keep dust in the cleaner, rather than in the air.

  • Dodge scented candles - these can cause stuffy noses and irritated lungs. If you crave a little atmosphere, try unscented beeswax candles.
  • Buy local - visit Christmas fairs and invest in small independent makers who can tell you all about manufacturing and provenance. 
  • Green card – showcase Christmas cards in a holder like this one below from Umbra and use it for the rest of the year to show family photos!  Keeping cards off surfaces allows you to reach and remove dust...
Crowd Card/Photo display by Umbra
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