As people around the world are celebrating Christmas and shopping, mum of one Victoria Osborne is doing her best to avoid festivities as she is allergic to Christmas.
Victoria Osborne, 47, suffers from such extreme allergic reactions at this time of year she could go blind.
Her condition has made it difficult for her to stand close to Christmas tree decorations, wrapping paper, and scented candles and she is also crippled with chronic migraines, triggered by bright flashing lights, such as dazzling Christmas displays.
Osborne has a severe allergy to formaldehyde, which is used to preserve dead bodies but also found in artificial trees, ornaments, Christmas crackers, perfumes, and cleaning products.
Her eyelids swell to such an extent that blood flow is restricted and her doctors say she is at risk of losing her sight.
Speaking on how it affects son Gabriel, 11, Victoria, said: “I watch everyone else going mad at Christmas, Elf on the Shelf, pyjamas, special drinks, tons and tons of food.
“We have none of that. I feel terribly guilty that Gabriel can’t have a proper Christmas.
“Bless him, he accepts it because he doesn’t want to make me ill.
“I wish I could give him the magic of Christmas that he truly deserves, but it’s just not possible.
“The last time I put decorations up, he was five, and I got so ill, I remember nothing at all.”
The woman, who also lives with her mum Colleen Dickens, 67, in Formby, Merseyside, enjoyed a typical Christmas as a child and dermatologists are baffled as to why she has developed such life-changing sensitivities.
She believes the reactions may be linked to a genetic condition she suffers, a hypermobility variety of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.
Despite struggles, all year round Victoria said: “At Christmas, it’s really hard.
“The weather is darker and there are so many artificial lights.
“On the day itself, we have a lovely meal, go for a walk with the dogs, eat a bit more than usual, play board games, and watch TV.
“We don’t have any stress.”