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How To Avoid Problems With Allergies At Christmas

Feb 20, 2008
Christmas songs, decorations in the stores, cold weather, and commercials for all the Christmas toys are the first things that we notice as the holiday approaches. Then we start to notice all the scents of the holidays, from evergreen Christmas trees, decorations made with cinnamon, oranges, and mint. Excitement fills our hearts and minds and anticipation charges the very air that we breathe. That is when our breathing allergies start, from coughing and being stuffy to having a full blown asthma attack.

Making plans for the holidays usually includes making lists for people who receive gifts, planning dinners and family events, writing notes and cards to those we send Christmas cards and starting to choose decorations for the home. It isn't very long until we start to actually collect the things that we need for the holidays, like recipe ingredients and mood setting candles. Something that many people don't take into consideration is that many allergies lurk around us during the holidays. People with food allergies must be careful not to ingest cookies and smacks that contain peanut products.

While we are busy making all of our plans, we need to remember that many things can be bothersome or even dangerous if they are not addressed. A simple act of decorating your Christmas tree can bring so much pain, if you are allergic to pine oil, which can actually cause welting and rashes where the needles puncture and scrape the skin. The only thing that you can do if you have a pine oil allergy is to get an artificial tree, rather than a real one. The good thing is that there are so many beautiful types to choose from and some even are pre-lit so you don't have to add strings of lights.

Some of the best preparations are baking Christmas goodies. Everyone enjoys baked goods during the holidays and there is nothing quite the same as homemade cookies and candies. If you have any kind of food allergies, however, then certain adjustments must be made. Milk products are used in pies and puddings and lactose intolerance is a serious problem, so you must find alternatives. Peanuts and nut products are used in cookies, brownies and candies, and again you must find alternatives. Gluten is found in many bread products and must be avoided if you have stomach problems.

Breathing allergies can be worsened by having real evergreen decorations inside, as well as burning candles. It is acceptable to have silk, artificial flowers to decorate stairs and windows, and even vases. There are some very real looking poinsettias and holly branches that are great to substitute in vases, wreaths and other decorating places. Burning candles has 2 simple solutions. You can either buy soy candles, which are more expensive than regular candles but burn cleaner. The other possibility is to buy electric candles that look like they have real candle flames but actually are battery powered or electric.

Touching, tasting or smelling any item that you are allergic to can really mess up a perfect holiday, so make sure that you look for alternatives to your specific allergy. Artificial products are great substitutes for trees, evergreen decorations, and even candles. What you can eat is not so easily corrected, but can be done by spending some time researching alternatives to peanuts, milk or gluten. The main thing to understand is that you are not alone with your allergies. Many others have dealt with food allergies and skin allergies but were successful in finding substitutions and were still able to have a wonderful holiday. Make any necessary adjustments to your normal way of doing things and you will not have any problems with your allergies.
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