Ten Tips to a Healthier, Chemical Hangover-Free Holiday

Healthier Holiday Tips

Healthier Holidays Tips

The season of merriment approaches. Here are some things to think about so you and your guests don’t wake up with the typical holiday hangover. And I don’t mean just from drinking alcohol. In addition, I’ve listed some ideas about preventing insect problems.

1. Christmas Trees- Personally, cutting down a living tree so I can use it for a couple of weeks goes against my conscience. If you buy a once-living tree, you can also be exposing yourself to the pesticides commonly used in the industry. Do not spray your tree once inside. There are organic tree farms in some areas.

The real vs. fake tree debate goes on amongst the greener people. I opt for no tree and light up everything that isn’t nailed down with colorful Christmas lights and play music to create ambiance. 🙂

2. Insects- Remember live trees can be home to insects. Here is an article with tips on how to prevent problems. A few years ago, acorns shipped from India were recalled because they were infested with beetles. That story has stuck with me and although natural ornaments is a nice idea, I’d rather leave the acorns to plant their seeds where their mother trees grew! It’s another way for invasive species to hitch a ride and something that we consumers shouldn’t encourage. Besides, taking the kiddies out to collect pine cones is a great teaching opportunity.

3. Fire- All candles emit soot. Scented candles are a documented source of indoor pollution. Avoid. Fire places, even gas ones, can cause headaches for sensitive individuals. Ventilate properly or keep off entirely. The asthmatics in the crowd will be grateful.

4. Scented Ornaments and Holiday Air Poisoners – Avoid. Even the “natural” scents in products can be lung irritants, allergens or migraine-inducers. Instead, bake something or boil spices in water on the stove. Or leave out some coffee grounds in a shallow dish. Seriously, I’d rather smell roasting turkey than fake cinnamon bathroom air poisoner. Spare the air and let people enjoy the delish smells of their meals without competition.

5. Presents- Check ingredients. Consumer Reports gives great tips here. Don’t be fooled by greenwashing.

6. Food- Check if your guests have any food allergies or sensitivities. Offer some alternatives that they can eat without ill effect. Instead of just sweets and baking, put out healthier options for guests to nibble on, too. The diabetics will love you. If a child has a peanut allergy, be extra careful reading ingredients so as not to serve anything with peanuts. His or her parents shouldn’t trust you 100%, as mistakes can be made, but they can relax a bit more knowing you’ve tried. And chances are, they have brought the child their own food. Don’t take offense.

7. Going Visiting? Come clean and unscented. Leave the perfume/cologne you got in its bottle. Other guests may be sensitive and require days to recover, ruining their holidays.

8. Smoker? Go outside to smoke. Yes, even in the frigid air.

9. Pets? Keep pets in another room so allergic individuals can have some relief.

10. Alcohol- Drink responsibly and don’t push alcohol on your guests. Provide alternatives to alcohol and shut down the bar long before the end of the evening.

Entertaining or being a guest these days is hard enough, due to busy schedules. It’s nice when people take the time to try to accommodate the health needs of guests. They live with their conditions every day and are required to change their lifestyles. Most don’t expect the world to accommodate them but some have such horrid reactions, they may require it in order to attend. Making a bit of effort to be inclusive and understanding is the best present one can give, isn’t it?

Do you have any tips on having healthier holidays? Feel free to add in comments. Thanks!


About Lynn

Blogger, talkcaster and teacher.
This entry was posted in Green Christmas, green home, Healthy Holidays, healthy home, Non-Toxic Living and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Ten Tips to a Healthier, Chemical Hangover-Free Holiday

  1. Elaine says:

    AWESOME article, Lynn! My favourite part was that you used the term “Holiday Air Poisoners”. That is a perfect way to describe what many people mistakenly call “air fresheners”. Thank-you! I also very much like your response to the real tree vs. fake tree debate: to just skip the tree altogether and still decorate your home and play Christmas music. Brilliant! 🙂

  2. Theresa Leclerc says:

    I love your suggestions. I can’t help but suggest recycling your paper or simply making some bags that can be used year after year. This reduces the amount of trees being cut down. I’ve seen others where they don’t even wrap the presents under the trees. The more we do the less chemicals are used. My daughter in university decorated a tall bookcase, with lights and Christmas balls. She posted it on facebook; got to love her creativity.

    Buy gifts that matter that might make a difference to people’s choices, unconsciousness and consciousness. Make a charitable donation to the ‘food bank’ or other organization. Take the time to do something extra for someone says more than a gift anyday in my books. By giving someone a ride, help them to clean, shop, or clean a driveway. Make a gift.
    I make a conscious decision not partake in staff gift exchange, as I feel these people have everything as I do too. I like my memories and junk does not appeal to me. I feel I’m wasting my time, energy, and money searching for a gift(s) that I feel focused to buy, as I know it only adds to the clutter or it will land in the landfill, or passed on. Some houses are so filled with clutter – while other homes are so spotless you wonder where are the memories/gifts that they received from the years prior. Gifts are suppose to be fun, but why not give a gift that can make a difference to a life, not harm a life. Useless gifts only add stress to a budget and create more toxicants into our environment. Is it worth it? I don’t want $1.00 junk from other countries. How much do we need to be happy and is it found in a bottle perfume/cologne, candle, a useless gift, or other junk? Sure it might be pretty – but where will it be in a year or two? Do we really need all that junk? Are we that insecure?

    The best gift for me is the presence of my family and friends, enjoying our time together and sharing the preparations of a good meal, tea or coffee, with out any unnatural scents or scents that are cause reactions or triggers. I had more fun last year when someone gave me a small block of wood that was painted that had a note attached that said ‘Walk a block a day.’

    I totally agree smelling coffee, baking and meals beats any god awful fake cinnamon scented pine cones, air plug-in, and stinky candles. I even enjoy the bathroom smell over a fake smells, it’s called a double wammy, and it just makes me want to puke and I feel faint (not caused by the natural smell.) What are people thinking? Think natural be natural. Instead of slowly poisoning yourselves. The greatest gift you can give me is the ability to walk into your home or mine and not feel any symptoms, that’s all I ask.

    If I could make one wish this year is to wish everyone make a conscious decision for a healthier lifetime change. Making one conscious decision a week. Have a very natural/unscented Merrry Christmas and Happy New Year, have it filled with laughter and cheer! Please be considerate of others around you, you might not know who we are but unfortunately we do.

    • Lynn says:

      Hi Theresa. Thanks for the tips and thoughts on living consciously. I really enjoyed them.

      A decorated bookcase? Why not?!! Loved this idea. When pressed to be, people can be really creative, can’t we?

      Great ideas.

    • Jen says:

      I love your take on gifts, Theresa! That is how I feel about them, too, but I always come off as a Scrooge b/c of it. Any tips on how you explain this to co-workers and family/friends that makes them understand instead of painting you as a cheap-skate or Scrooge?

      For holiday scents, my mother used to puncture an orange with little holes and stick cloves in them. Then the oranges are hung by little mesh baskets made from yarn. Family tradition from generations past that I am finally learning to appreciate.

  3. Mary St. Amand says:

    HI Lynn, I use battery operated candles when the power goes out and battery operated tea lights which are pretty at Christmas. You can find them at most dollar stores and places like Walmart. No smell and no fire hazard.Might need to send a friend into the store to get them though!

    Thanks for all the wonderful info you provide!

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