In years past, we’ve made do with fresh-cut cedar trees, which have the benefit of being pretty much free because they are pretty much weeds, and no self-respecting farmer wants them in his field, where they tend to grow wild if you’re not bush-hogging every year. Cedars smell great, but they are prickly and often weird-shaped, and dry out quickly. Not to mention that you cannot hang even moderately heavy ornaments on them.
The year after I mentioned that I would rather be stabbed in the eyeball with a shrimp fork than clean up buckets of fallen cedar needles ever again, The CEO brought home a white pine. It was nice. We had one or two of those, and I didn’t mind them – they don’t have much smell, and the branches are weak and gappy, but overall they have a nice shape and can handle most of our ornaments, and the needles are soft. One year we had a Fraser Fir, and that was lovely too. It smelled good, it had soft springy needles and sturdy branches, and was a thoroughly nice tree.
Last year he brought home a Canaan Fir instead of a Fraser. We all liked it: pretty shape, soft needles, sturdy branches, a bit fuller than a Fraser… very nice. Very nice.
Last year I had what I thought was a cold all throughout Christmas. No biggie, right? It’s cold-and-flu season. Germs are floating around. I sneezed and coughed and blew my nose a lot, but it wasn’t that big a deal. Ehhhhh, I had a cold.
This year, The CEO brought home another Canaan Fir. It’s gorgeous. Not as tall as last year’s, but still really pretty: full, graceful, soft.
Within 30 minutes of this beautiful tree being in the house, I started to sneeze. My eyes watered. My nose got stuffed up. Less than 24 hours after the tree had been set up, I had a full-blown stuffy nose and tight chest, all the hallmarks of a classic allergy attack.
Listen, I am allergic to pretty much everything. As a kid, I had that patch test thing done – you know, where they mark your back up into a grid, scratch you in each section and introduce a known allergen to see what causes a rash in that area, in order to identify the things you’re allergic to. Oddly, I am only mildly allergic to pet dander, but I am very allergic to: tomatoes, chocolate, pollens, dust, dust mites, molds, numerous trees, and every kind of cultivated grass except bluegrass.
(Yeah. Grass. I vividly remember going outside one summer evening when I was about five, running across the backyard to tell my dad goodnight. He had just finished mowing the grass. When I got back in the house, my bare feet were covered in welts.)
When I leave the house, I feel better. When I come home, I’m miserable again. I think that’s a pretty clear indication.
So it appears to be that the cause of all my misery is my Christmas tree. Which stinks, because it really is pretty, and I hate to make the kids undecorate it and take it outside or something, but I am having difficulty with teh whole breathing thing. Not to mention the whole smelling thing. Please bear with me.
In the second place, I’m so far behind on Scent Diary that I’m just going to have to forego posting two whole weeks of fragrance data and self-absorbed commentary. Sorry ’bout that. Bad Mals, Bad Bad Mals! There will be one next week… unless the gremlins do actually eat my head.
(It could happen. I swear, I hear them skittering around in the walls at night.)
Is that not awesome?? I KNOOWW!!!!