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How to decorate for the holidays without triggering asthma

I know some of you have already started your decorating.  I'm not quite there yet, though dd2 did set up a mini (artificial) tree in her room.

Are any of these things triggering your asthma? 

  • trees
  • dusty ornaments
  • household air freshener items (I know there are some holiday scents out there)

How do you manage your asthma while making your house festive?

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Comments 15

  • Shea

    Here is a recipe for making your own nature scent freshener:

    4oz distilled water

    1 tbsp rubbing alcohol or grain alcohol

    1 tsp of each essential oil, I recomment antibacterial and antifungal oils like thyme, eucalyptus, sage, tea tree oil, and pine essential oils (helps prevent pnemonia). 

    Put on a spray bottle and mist into the air. 

    (from Herbal Remedies for Dummies by Christopher Hobbs)

  • K8sMom2002

    Shea, I'm definitely going to try this! Sometimes I think it's not the actual scent that causes my troubles, but something in commercial fragrances. It explains why I can smell the heavenly scent of a rose and it doesn't bother me, but when someone dunks herself in rose-scented perfume, my lungs feel as though they've been snatched out and stomped on.

    What's your favorite holiday scent?

  • Kathy P

    What is probably going to get me is the actually housecleaning before I can even start decorating! My living room has been neglected for a while now (don't judge!) I need to clear out my crafting/photography stuff and do a deep cleaning before we start dragging a tree in there. I really need to tackle that and hope I feel well enough this weekend. I'm still struggling with feeling cruddy from whatever started this back in September! I do have N95 masks that I bought and am going to try those for cleaning.

    My ornaments are in plastic totes and live in my office closet. So, not a huge issue for musty/dusty storage. We don't have a basement (something about earthquakes…) and the attic is not really designed for accessible storage either. So a few years ago, I converted my office closet into storage with shelves. I keep a lot of my craft stuff in various sized plastic totes and it really helps.

  • K8sMom2002

    Ditto here … The first Sunday in December is when I usually put up my tree, and I'm dreading it! I'm so bah-hum buggy this year, I'd settle for a hologram of a Christmas tree.  

    And I really hate to put a tree up in a less than magazine-clean house, and my house is in serious need of a cleaning.

  • Kathy P

    I don't know when we'll actually get a tree. Dh left today for a trip and won't be back til next Sat. I guess we could get it next Sunday. The tree stand is somewhere up in the garage rafters. Not where I can get to it. If I could, I'd consider that T and I could do it. The tree lots get picked over quickly around here.A doesn't get home til the 22nd, so we'll wait on the ornaments til she's home. I can put the lights on beforehand.

  • K8sMom2002

    Did NOT get the tree up this weekend. Bleh. Did not get the house cleaned up … Will get it done sometime … 

  • Jen

    No tree here yet either.  We have an artificial tree.  It was never a super fancy one to begin with, but it's seen better days.  We may invest in a new one.  I'm tempted to wait til Christmas day or the day after to see if we can get a good deal online.  Then again, dh is my online price shopper, so maybe he'll find something.

  • K8sMom2002

    Well, DD has just finished putting up our tree — it's an artificial one, too, Jen, one of those lovely pre-lit trees that will go from white lights to colored depending on your taste or your mood.

    She volunteered to do it because she wants to go to a basketball game with her friends tomorrow night — and because she's sparing my twitchy lungs. She's even vacuuming up all the dust!

    We didn't realize that we were down to our last vacuum cleaner bag (we have a Sears vacuum that takes the HEPA bags), and it's almost full. I'll need to get one.

  • Anne P

    DH just started putting lights up on the outside of the house yesterday and will finish decorating this weekend.

    I'm going to clean the house this weekend, so we can decorate inside the house this week.  I want the house clean for Christmas pictures and just because it feels better to live in a clean house.

    My life has been super hectic the past few months, so my house has been neglected.

  • K8sMom2002

    You're in good company, Anne! My tree is up, and the decorations are all around the living room. All I need to do now is get a wreath for the front door — oh, and remember to take it down after the holidays. One year I forgot and left it up WAAAY after New Year's!

  • Kathy P

    Well you are all ahead if me! I still need to clean my photo setup out of the living room before I can do anything!

  • K8sMom2002

    Kathy P, that's just because we have a very small house, and no den or family room. The living room is IT for a gathering spot. So we sort of have to keep the piles beat back.

  • Kathy P

    We got our tree on Saturday. I had dh set it up in the stand and hose it down really well. Left it outside on the deck overnight before bringing it in Sunday.

    My challenge was cleaning. I decided to get a smaller tree to put in the family room (on an end table) rather than a full size one in the living room (where we never spend any time!) We used to do this when the kids were really little. It means we can enjoy it more since it's where we spend time.

    Anyway….I got up and cleaned the family room yesterday. I wore a N95 mask. I had some issues getting it to fit well – I had to play with the elastic straps til I could get a decent seal and minimal gaps. I hated it! BUT it seemed to really help. Stirring up that much dust (I even pulled the couches out and got behind/under them) should have done me in!

    The lights are on, but we are waiting to do the ornaments til dd gets home on Thurs. She's having fun hanging w/ grandma and her cousin this week. We booked her flight based on the finals schedule at her school, but she was done w/ all her finals 2 weeks ago! But she did have department cleaning days last week. So she headed to grandma's on the bus on Saturday.

  • K8sMom2002

    Yay that cleaning is done and your DD is also done with her finals! 

    An update on our vacuuming saga … I'd run out of bags for my vacuum cleaner and the store didn't have any in stock. They said they had a dozen on order and they should have them in on Saturday. I'd been reduced to dumping out half of the dust in my vacuum bag! 

    I went by Saturday to pick up the bags, and they STILL didn't have them in. The store owner must have seen my despair. He went and pulled a bag out of a displayed vacuum cleaner and gave it to me. 

    So long story short, I have no reason except laziness to not vacuum now!