Brace yourself for bad news: If you've been sneezing and sniffling lately, you may be allergic to your Christmas tree.

"There is a fair amount of dust and mold on these trees," says Dr. James Wells, who teachers at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. "Also, some people have problems with the strong odor."His advice is to take an aspirin or a decongestant and stay away from the Christmas tree. If all else fails, buy an artificial tree next year, one that isn't covered with dust.