It feels a little like Christmas Spirit has abandoned me a little this year. Everyone is rushing around like headless chickens decorating their houses inside and out and wrapping up their presents. Seriously, I have started to wonder if Christmas had been moved to early December this year as every where I go, the decorations are up, presents are all sitting there nicely wrapped and I want to crawl into the corner and down a glass or two of mulled wine.
So this weekend, I finally bit the bullet and started to hustle and bustle through the endless corridors of the online stores and yesterday, I even went and bought a Christmas tree. When I told the children, I expected shouts of glee and celebratory hugs but all I got was a grimace and a moan. Why? Because I have bought a fake. A 6ft lovely looking artificial woodland pine. It looked fine and dandy to me in the shop and it’s not too wide, so it will fit in the small space we have left from all the toys we have already. But the children are Christmas tree snobs it would seem and they are not happy.
We have had real trees since they were born and every year one of us would take the children to a local seller and the children would take it in turns to choose the festive offering for that year. I suppose it has been a tradition, so maybe that’s why they are so cross. The problem is that last year, the tree quite literally made most of us ill.
It was really bizarre. We had had the tree for a few days and it was sat there looking pretty and twinkling merrily, when L, A and I all started to feel ill. We were all chesty and had really itchy eyes. It was only when I tweeted jokingly that I thought maybe I was allergic to the Christmas tree when someone tweeted me a link to a newspaper article on the very topic. Apparently, it is possible to be allergic to your Christmas tree.
There is ongoing research into ‘Christmas Tree Syndrome’ which can cause a range of symptoms from a runny nose, breathing difficulties and in some cases more severe symptoms. Apparently, this is caused by the mold spores that live naturally on the trees outdoors and then multiply when the trees are brought inside and subjected to the warmth of the average house.
After we had discovered this, A became really poorly and had breathing problems and her eyes were really sore and swollen. We took her to the doctors and asked the doctor about the possibility of it having been caused by our Christmas tree. She said that it was a possibility and that there was growing evidence to show that real trees could cause a reaction in some people.
That was enough for me. We kept it until Christmas day and then took it straight out of the house. I loved having a real tree as much as the children, however, it will be artificial from now on in this house as our health is more important. Looking on the bright side, at least I won’t still be picking pine needles out of the carpet next July.