this post is about two of my favorite things – mushrooms and homegrown holiday traditions. andrew and i have both been reading ‘holiday lore’ books all month, and we learned that the fly agaric mushroom (amanita muscaria) is a longstanding symbol of yule/ christmas in scandinavian countries! here’s a great article from the us forest service explaining the connection. ethnobotany may be my favorite subject, ever.
the other half of this post is about one of my favorite traditions we are cultivating – each year, we get one new ornament for our tree and present it to each other on the day we decorate our tree. so far, all of our ornaments are handmade by artists and feature the wonderful fly agaric mushroom. the first one i had custom made by forage workshop two years ago, and i absolutely adore it. andrew and i fell in love learning about and foraging for mushrooms 😀
the one above andrew got for me this year from indie south’s holiday hooray.
this one is so special to me, because my best friend gifted it to me last year … and it’s from germany! the germans in particular love to use the fly agaric in holiday decorations and depictions.
here are some of the book’s on our coffee table this winter:
- a foxfire christmas: appalachian memories and traditions
- pagan christmas: the plants, spirits, and rituals at the origin of yuletide
- the old magic of christmas: yuletide traditions for the darkest days of the year
- yule: rituals, recipes, and lore for the winter solstice