Maybe you're not coming down with a cold or the flu.  It could be your Christmas tree that's making you feel congested, sneezy, and itchy, but there is something you can do about it.    

We've heard that real trees can carry molds that trigger allergic reactions in some people, and that makes sense.  Plantlife can cause all sorts of issues while it's out in there in the wilderness, and purposely bringing it inside and putting it right under our noses is bound to cause some adverse effects too, for those that are allergic.

Now, they're saying fake trees can cause problems too.  It's called "Christmas Tree Syndrome", and it refers to how people are affected by the mold found on trees and ornaments that have been sitting in the attic all year.  Garages and attics are prime breeding grounds for mold and dust mites, and those can cause things like congestion, rhinitis (runny nose), watery eyes, and sneezing  It can even cause flare-ups of dermatitis or eczema.

The best thing to do to avoid allergic reactions is to wipe everything down and dust it all off before putting it up.  Easier said than done.  If you have kids that like to tear open the box of ornaments and grab-and-go toward the tree, good luck with that.  I'm in that boat with you, and there's no time for wiping.

Surely we can endure the sneezes for a month, right?  It's sort of comforting in a way, knowing we're not coming down with the flu, and we can blame the old garland from last year for that lovely rhinitis.

All of this makes you look a little differently at the decorations at the office too.  It looks nice, but that tree may be causing some sick days.

Okay, now back to the happy thoughts. It's the most wonderful time of the year!  Decorations are pretty and we're going to have them around us no matter what.  All of the garland, lights, handmade ornaments from 2004, and Kleenex.  Lots and lots of Kleenex.