Colin McAllister & Justin Ryan
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) Niche columnists 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 your festive fun. If, that is, you don’t think about their eradication. So take heed!
Real Christmas Trees
Real trees can be a haven for dust and pollen – add in allergies to tree sap and real problems can lie in store.
Our 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 http://www.naturecleanliving.com/fruit_veggie_wash_concentrate to remove pesticides that have been sprayed on the tree – another major irritant.
- 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: http://boutique.cascades.com/ca/en/catalog/christmas-trees/moderno/#3 or even driftwood stacks (Homesense have some great options) to make a style statement.
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: http://www.umbra.com/ustore/product/crowd-photo-display.store and then use it for the rest of the year to show family photos!
For more information about how to handle allergies indoors and out (and thereby improve your fun in the run up to – and during – the Christmas holidays) visit www.claritin.ca
To read Colin & Justin’s holiday column in NICHE magazine – Glitz, Glamour & Gloss: Our Recipe for Perfect Holiday Design – click here for the online digital edition