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My Christmas Tree Dilemma Solved

I have finally mastered the Christmas Tree Dilemma.

You know what I mean, right? You folks with asthma know what I mean. Every year that tree has to go up. Like, you HAVE to do it. You WANT to do it. And you do it! You set it up. And one way or another it triggers your asthma.

The problem with a real tree

One year I bought a real tree. Like, no big deal right? I go to a gas station. I pick up a real tree. It’s all bundled nice. I go to pick it up. I toss it in the back of the van.

And then my skin breaks out in hives. Like, it’s not even asthma. I Googled pine tree allergies. Would you believe that pine tree allergies are rare.1

But that’s what I have: a pine tree allergy of all things. Like, I touch a pine tree and I break out in hives.

The problem with a fake tree

So, the next year I get a fake tree. The first year I set one up there was no big deal. You package it up at the end of the season. You put in into a box. You put the box in the basement.

Fast forward one year. You find the box. You bring it upstairs. You open it. You get out all the tree parts. Like, there’s lots of them. There’s a new part for every branch. You have to spend quite a bit of time putting all the pieces together.

So, you set up the tree.. And, in the process, your chest starts to feel tight. Before you even have it all the way up, you feel short of breath.

Voila! The Christmas tree dilemma.

For the next five years, I had someone else do it. I had my son put it up. I had my wife put it up. Either way, the tree got put up. Each time, I feel guilty that I’m unable to do it. But, at least I can breathe.

This year: Christmas Tree Dilemma Solved!

How did I do it? Well, it was a mere coincidence. We needed a new tree. I went to the store with my kids. We went to buy a fake Christmas tree. To my amazement, all the trees were pre-lit. Like, there wasn’t one tree that wasn’t pre-lit.

And I got brave. I decided to put it up myself. I reluctantly open the box. I pull out all the parts. But, wait! There are only three parts. Like, that’s it? Three parts? Yep! I just pulled the cap off the three bottoms. I set the base up. I spread out the branches. Then I set the middle part into the bottom part. And I spread out the branches. And I set the upper part over the middle part. And I spread out the branches.

Like, it took me all of five minutes to set the whole thing up. No asthma. Not even chest tightness. Not one sniffle. Not a sneeze to be heard.

Christmas tree dilemma solved.

These new trees are nice. They already have lights on them. And they come in three easy-to-put-together parts. I wonder if the people who came up with this idea were aware of the Christmas tree dilemma. Are they aware that they solved this dilemma? Neat! And I thank them. It certainly made my day, hence this post. So, a nice early Christmas Present to me.

Have you ever experienced the asthma Christmas tree dilemma? Let us know in the comments below.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

  1. "Pine Tree Allergy," American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology,", accessed 11/24/18


  • Shellzoo
    10 months ago

    Also this article gives me visions of Clark Griswold wrestling that enormous Christmas tree in the movie. Putting up a tree can be quite a bit of work!

  • John Bottrell, RRT moderator author
    10 months ago

    Love that movie. In fact, I think I’ll watch it tonight. Thanks for sharing your experience. Love the stories. Merry Christmas. John. Site Moderator.

  • Shellzoo
    10 months ago

    I have a $10 6 foot tree that I purchased at a discount store. It goes up quick with little effort on my part and one string of lights does the job and is easy to wind around the tree. It is just enough tree for me. I used to do the live trees but was left pretty breathless getting it from the car to house and then set up and decorated. Don’t know if I can blame asthma or not but, I understand the work of a live tree. Then one year after taking down my heavy live tree and dragging it into the woods behind my house and being left with multiple needles stuck in my legs I decided no more. A fake tree is a beautiful tree and I can enjoy photos on Facebook of live trees that other people have. I do get live wreaths to put outside my house for that fresh cut pine experience but out of all my allergies, Pine does not bother me. I tried a pre-lit tree one year but the lights kept going out in bunches. Enjoy the holidays with your family and your Christmas tree!

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