Mushroom Santa

A lot has been made of the supposed connection between Santa Claus and A. muscaria – mostly because of the red-and-white colors (unlikely, when you consider that Santa’s classic costume is mostly an invention of advertisers, less than 100 years old, whereas the theoretical mushroom-using shaman Santa would have to have originated centuries if not millennia before). There’s also that whole story of reindeer purposely consuming the mushroom to get intoxicated (and then “fly”). While I do think there’s something to the idea that some aspect of Santa Claus is much older than both the “jolly old elf” or even the Christian St. Nicholas, most of the theories surrounding the connection to fly agaric stretch the bounds of credulity.

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