Ah, caga tió. The fact that kids sit around and whack a log in Catalonia to get gifts should be an amusing thought to most. The fact that they call this log a ‘crap log’ only tips the hat to the beautiful, tradition of lovin’ anything bowel-movement related in Catalonia.
Caga tió is a crafty and very stubborn creature, much like a certain dachshund I know. Because of this, you have to really prime him for Christmas crapping. First you wrap him in a little blanket. He is from the forest and should be able to stand the elements, but a blanket only helps him in crapping. Then, you feed him for a couple of days before the big event. You need to feed him to make sure that craps properly. This entails leaving out something every night for the bugger, which in turn means that it should be something the father likes as he ends up having to eat it. If the tió were in my hometown, this would mean a beautiful assortment of Wild Turkey Whiskey, corn dogs, and meth, which oddly enough would result in a constipated log, but we’re getting away from the true meaning of the crap log here.
The big day arrives and so do the kids with their sticks. This brings about such wonderful songs as, “crap log, crap turró, hazelnuts and cottage cheese, if you don’t crap well, I’ll hit you with a stick, crap log!” Of course the log does nothing, a beating occurs and then it is up to crafty parents as to how to get presents to “crap”. In #1 Fan’s case this involved the stick needing to be “wet” and so the kids would go out to the kitchen, water it a bit and come back to find gifts. If should be known that these are small gifts that the log craps. Not even the silliest of child would expect a bicycle to come out of something so small.
Crafty children (see above) also came up with the idea that maybe upon finding the log in the off season, in the garage (caga tió’s other home once emancipated from the forest) that they could hit him then and get some gifts. Naturally, tió gave nothing and since they couldn’t tell their parents about it, they had to live in fear for months that once Christmas arrived a crapping log they would not have.
Of course, again, this is a tradition that is dying out a bit, which is a shame as it’s solely Catalan. A large influx of immigrants don’t really pick it up at all except when it comes to hitting the large caga tió they erect in the center of towns to crap out freebies for the kids. When that happens the charnegos absolutely love the tió. But, this is only one small part of why it is dying. The other is the fact that corporations really only want one holiday to sell for, which is namely American Christmas. They’re doing everything they can to get a region to adopt Santa Claus which didn’t even exist here a few scant years ago. It’s quite sad really and it’s one of the many reasons I’d love to see global trade collapse and get reformed in a way that’s tenable to local customs and economies. Needless to say, whenever the day arrives that I have kids, they will definitely be smacking the gifting crap out of our log.