As with every Christmas that approaches, the media will attempt to send Americans into fits of paranoia regarding the health risks of the holiday season.
In some ways, this is expected. There truly is a whole lot of stress that comes along with this particular time of year. There are obvious financial realities to the season of giving, as well as some reality regarding the old movie trope of the Scrooge-like employer reneging on his Christmas bonus conversations. The gathering of extended family can itself lead to stress in families whose ill-will toward one another has yet to be fully sorted as well.
Then, of course, there’s the weather. Gray, dismal skies give way to increasingly prevalent talk of seasonal depression, not to mention the inordinate amount of time we’ll spend watching television commercials about the catching a cold or the flu.
Don’t get me wrong, the juice is certainly worth the squeeze when it comes to Christmas and spending time with your loved ones, but the health concerns are also very real.
To add to this mix of hysteria and reality, doctors are now warning Americans about the ill effects of one particular Christmas tradition in 2017: The adopting of a pine tree into our homes.
“A warning this holiday season about something that is called ‘Christmas Tree Syndrome’ where people get sick from being around the tree.
“A centerpiece of the season: the Christmas tree and the real ones are a beautiful tradition from nature.
“But real trees can trigger an allergic reaction with symptoms that can include: wheezing, coughs, congestion, sore eyes and potentially life-threatening asthma attacks.
“But the branches and trunk can often hold onto another microscopic problem.
“’What they’re allergic to is the mold that settles on the tree during its growing time and arguably sometimes when it’s waiting to be sold here on the lot,’ said Jimmy Coan, who’s a Christmas tree farmer.
“One study found the mold count from a live Christmas tree rose to five times the normal level two weeks after the tree was brought indoors.”
In order to prevent the mold from becoming a problem, experts suggest taking your tree out into the yard and giving it a quick “bath” with a hose.