Yep. Sometimes I wear my Burning Man clothes out on the town in the "default world". This time I happened to run into a statue of an old shaman from ancient times, in front of Weiland's gallery in Laguna Beach. Back in the day, this kindly old figure would slide down the single entrance and exit to the teepee-like homes of tribal villagers, which doubled as the chimney of the snowed-in dwellings. He would come with a sack of goodies to give away. What were the goodies? Amanita Muscaria mushrooms, aka Fly Agaric. These would grow in the winter and give the cooped-up villagers some much needed entertainment. Reindeer are known to consume the same mushrooms, and thus "fly." Santa's outfit, with its trademark red hat with white puffball is designed to resemble the caps of the Fly Agaric mushrooms, which are red with white puffballs.
|Yes, that's right, I'm hugging a large doll. That's how I roll.|
Later, Christians co-opted this folk hero and made him a saint, whose omnipresent watchful eye judges all, as worthy, or not, to receive cheaply-made toys made by children in other countries.
Incidentally, the first theme camp at Burning Man was Christmas Camp, whose host would dress as Santa, set up a tree with decorations, and do the whole bit.
The holidays have passed and I'm glad!