If you ever read fairy tales or played Super Mario before, then you've probably seen this red toadstool mushroom once or twice. However, you’ve probably never guessed that the Amenita Muscaria or Fly Agaric in English is where the very origins of Christmas stemmed from. From Santa's style, reindeer, bag of goodies, midnight flight, sleigh, the way we decorate our houses and even chimney-based entry into homes can all be tied back to the ancestral traditions of the Sami people from Finland—as well as other arctic circle dwellers.
On the night of the winter solstice, a shaman would gather Amenitas for the entire village, wearing a blood red outfit with white dots or stripes to honor the sacred mushroom, along with bulky black boots made of reindeer hide.
When the shamans went on their fungus hunts, they weren't too hard to find considering that Amenita spores travel exclusively on pine seeds. The shaman would then hang them on low hanging branches of the pine they grew under, or store them inside of a sock and hang by the fire before anyone would partake in consuming them since Fly Agarics are extremely toxic, but become less toxic when dried out. Another method of removing fatal toxins was to feed the shrooms to the reindeer which would temporarily stimulate their muscular system so strongly that the reindeer would get temporary super human strength—prancing and jumping SO high that they looked like they were flying! Their digestive systems filtered out most of the toxins, making their urine the safest way to get high.
Once the shaman was done collecting the mushrooms and urine, they would then return to the village, but at this time, the yurts would be covered by several feet of snow forcing him to go through the hole in the center of the roof acting as a chimney—along with his goodie bag where he was then able to gather around with loved ones and catapult himself into a spiritual journey to the tree of life (a large pine) which lived by the north star... Sound familiar?