For as long as I can remember I’ve been afraid of Christmas trees.
It means I have to brave the festive streets at this time of year, always something I have to mentally prepare for.
People always ask me the same thing: “Did a Christmas tree fall on you when you were a kid?” or “Did a Christmas tree cause a big accident in your house?”
I always answer yes, but that’s because I don’t have a real answer.
All I remember as a kid was walking up the stairs from my bedroom to the bathroom all December with a sinking feeling in my stomach.
I would see the ominous, menacing, triangular shaped animal standing by the front door in the darkness.
It looked like something out of a badly directed horror movie, with its hideously misshapen branches and twisted silhouette.
And that image brought with it a paralyzing fear that haunted me well into my twenties.
I still close my eyes and wince when I walk past a Christmas tree.
I tell myself the same mantra every year: “It’s okay, it’s just a tree, it can’t hurt you.”
I discovered a few years ago that my – very unpleasant – phobia is called Christougenniatiko dentrophobia.
I made the discovery while trying to prove to a friend that this was actually a real phobia.
Christmas has been ruined annually since childhood as I was forced to brave the trees at home, at school, at work and even in shops and bars.
Some online suggestions for overcoming this rather embarrassing phobia have included meditating next to or under the tree, hugging it, and even talking to it.
Apparently, like a plant, you can connect with it through words.
I’ve tried all of this on our plastic Argos Christmas tree — the same one that was hovering menacingly at the base of my parents’ house steps — but as soon as I’m just 10 steps from the tree, I can feel my heart racing and my stomach sinking.
For years I have tried to overcome the intense panic and sense of terror I feel when confronted with the pointy pines and unnecessarily large belly of a Christmas tree.
But to this day I avoid Winter Wonderland, Trafalgar Square during the festive season and many other Christmas events.
So it was comforting to read about Kerstin Shepherd – who is afraid of Brussels sprouts – in The Sun.
She shared how she gets hot, sweaty and shaky when she faces them.
Or the story of Garry Hollidge, who suffers from a phobia of Santa Clauses.
He explained that whenever he sees a dancing Santa Claus, he gets short of breath and breaks out in a cold sweat.
Not being able to face the things that bring our loved ones the most joy during “the best time of the year” can be very lonely and anxious.
So maybe my fear of fir trees isn’t so stupid after all.
But while Christmas trees bring joy to so many, I long for the days of January when these mean evergreens are locked in basements, dumped in bins, and neglected for another 11 sweet months.
Good rid of them!
https://www.the-sun.com/news/6988271/i-have-phobia-christmas-trees/ I have a phobia of CHRISTMAS TREES – every year my December is a living nightmare but some people don’t believe me