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If you’ve been a loyal Old World Christmas customer for a long time, you’re probably familiar with our best-selling pickle ornament. Our customers love the pickle, and there’s an old tradition that involves the pickle Christmas ornament. It gets hidden somewhere on the tree, blending in well due to its color and shape, and whoever finds the pickle gets an extra Christmas gift. We have a number of pickle varieties: the pickle ornament, the glistening pickle ornament, the sweet pickle, the mini gurken, a jar of pickles, and pickle chips. And though the pickle will continue to be a best-seller with rich tradition, we’ve begun to spot a new trend in unique Christmas decor: the lucky mushroom.  

Once made famous in Super Mario Bros. featuring Mario and Luigi, the lucky mushroom gave an extra life with a satisfying “ding.” But the lucky mushroom predates the video game. Glücklicher Pilz or Glückspilz in German means “lucky mushroom,” and is the classic red and white speckled mushroom. The Amanita muscaria mushroom is toxic and dangerously poisonous, however cute they might look. A person experienced with mushrooms can prepare and use them as a psychedelic, however it is easy to get very sick if done wrong. It’s not something to experiment with just for fun. 

These mushrooms grow deep in the forest at the base of fir trees. Similar to the shamrock, rabbit’s foot and other good-luck charms, the lucky mushroom carries with it a lucky tradition from Germanic and Swiss tradition. The lucky mushroom combines folklore and Christmas together. Not only do these mushrooms grow at the base of Christmas trees in the wild, they are also favorite food of reindeers. There is some folklore surrounding the reindeer eating the hallucinogenic mushrooms and then flying and pulling Santa’s sleigh. Both the mushroom and Santa are wearing the same colors. 

Making good use of their local resources, the Germans would decorate their Christmas trees with dried mushrooms. Though this practice is not recommended any more considering their toxic makeup. Instead, we recommend our version of the lucky mushroom. It’s so cute, that maybe more than one should show up on your tree. 

We think that every tree needs a lucky mushroom, a lucky pickle, and a shamrock, but we also love paring the mushroom ornament with our woodland ornaments. The vintage cottontail bunny and vintage wise old owl pair perfectly with the lucky mushroom and give off a forest vibe. We like the new spin the lucky mushroom puts on Christmas decor. It’s a more subtle look when some of the traditional red and green is overdone each year at Christmas. A winter forest decor creates a more sophisticated winter look.

Old World Christmas loves interesting Christmas traditions like the pickle and lucky mushroom. Whether they’re on your tree because you’re looking for good luck or they’re on there because you love the salty, sour taste of a pickle and Super Mario Bros., we think you can’t go wrong with the friendly red and white lucky mushroom ornament. 

January 28, 2022 by Rachael Mitchell

Written by

Rachael Mitchell

Rachael Mitchell is a freelance writer based in Seattle, Washington, and has over 15 years of writing experience. She’d never be able to pick just one favorite ornament, but narrowed it down to the S’more and Tennis Ball. She always looks forward to s’mores in the summer with friends and family adding gourmet ingredients, and played 4 years of college tennis in the mid-west.

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