Are you allergic to your Christmas tree?

You've found that perfect fir hiding in the lot of freshly cut trees. You've spent hours untangling those twinkling lights. So why all of a sudden are your eyes watering, your nose is stuffy and a rash is on your skin? Can your Christmas tree be to blame? The answer is yes! Mold is the biggest problem with live Christmas trees. Often, trees are cut in advance and kept in humid environments, which promotes spore growth. But, don't give up the idea of a live Christmas tree just yet. Simply, slip on gloves and wear long sleeves when handling your fresh tree. Before bringing your tree inside, give it a good shake or blast it with a leaf blower and then spray it down with a garden hose to help remove some of the pollen and mold. Try sitting the stump in a bucket of lukewarm water and diluted bleach (1 part bleach to 20 parts water) and let the tree dry for a few days on a covered porch or in a garage.

Maybe you're thinking that your artificial tree may be the way to go this holiday season. Remember, they could harbor dust and mold from their time in storage, also triggering allergies. Give your tree a good wipe down before decorating with lights and ornaments.

For the majority of the year, all of your lights, ornaments and holiday decorations have been stored away, collecting dust and maybe developing mold. To help avoid the symphony of sneezing, coughing and nose blowing, wipe off each item thoroughly. Whether you choose a real or artificial Christmas tree this year, just remember to take the precautions above and enjoy this wonderful time of the year!