How to Care For Your Caga Tió (Tió de Nadal, Catalan Christmas Log)

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If you want presents on Christmas Eve, you’ve gotta do some work:

Give your tió de nadal some tender lovin’ care.

And if you’ve never heard of him…

The tió de nadal is a log with a face on it. And he poops presents for Catalan children on Christmas Eve.

Give your Catalan Christmas log some lovin'.

So if you have a tió de nadal, you should’ve taken him out on December 8th, the day of the Immaculate Conception.

If not, and you’re in Barcelona, head over to Santa Llúcia Fair or the Sagrada Familia Fair.

Because it’s time to get your tió de Nadal RIGHT NOW. 

So you can tell all your friends about this beautiful Catalan tradition.

And for the next two weeks, you’re gonna nurture him like you’ve never nurtured a piece of dead lumber before.

Caga Tió Checklist

  1. Make sure he’s a damn log.
  2. Red Barretina cap (a traditional hat worn in Catalonia).
  3. A nose that sticks out.
  4. His body is perched on two smaller sticks as forelegs. Because Christmas logs only need two front legs.
  5. A broad, beaming smile.
  6. Optional: pipe (for character).

caga tios

Where to place your Tió de Nadal

When you bring your tió home, put him in the living room or dining room. Or just find a place where we can see him every day. We don’t want to forget about the joy he brings.

Or worse, forget to feed him.

Remember: the goal for having him around is so he can poop…presents.

Tió de Nadal (wrongly called Caga Tió) is a Catalan Christmas log that poops presents for you.

Feeding your Tió de Nadal

Every evening after dinner, save the peel from your oranges, tangerines, or other fruit. And put it near him. Remember, he can’t get very far. You don’t want to see him dragging himself around the house like a paraplegic zombie scavenging for food. Because, remember, he doesn’t have any hind legs. Usually.

Other foods he may like: turrón, stale bread, cookies. But just stick to fruit, kids, because you gotta eat your fruit to grow healthy and strong. *wink*

Just don’t give him vodka.

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Photo by Calafellvelo via Flickr

Caring for your tió at night

Before you go to bed, make sure you place a warm blanket on him, preferably wool. You wouldn’t want him to freeze to death. Who wants to wake up the next morning to find their tió all stiff and belly up?

Cover up the trunk of his body with his face sticking out so he can eat. Now he’s nice and cozy and ready to feast.

I love my cute tió de Nadal. Her name is Clara.

Let it grow, let it grow, let it grow.

If you feed your tió every night, you’ll see him get bigger and bigger. (Or maybe not. Depends if your parents wanna buy a few different size tiós and change him out every few days.)

Awesome, right? That means you’re eating your own fruits, and in turn, and giving your tió the nourishment he needs to poo presents!

Photo by Ajuntament de Sant Llorenç d’Hortons via Flickr

Christmas Eve. What time is it?

Time to drop a load or seven!

Gather ’round the tió de nadal and grab a stick. Because it’s time to literally beat the crap out of it.

And sing some “Caga Tió” songs like:

Caga, Tió – “Shit, Log”
Tió de Nadal – “Christmas log”
no caguis arengades – “don’t shit sardines”
que són salades -“because they’re salty”
caga torrons – “shit turron”
que són més bons! – “because they’re better!”

Then watch your lil pooper make its magic. While a parent pulls the presents from under the blanket.

Perhaps you got some chocolate, turron, or other small gifts. That’s great!

But maybe your tió isn’t done pooping presents.

So you better go in the other room and wet your sticks. The tió needs to rest so he can take another crap.

And you should say a prayer too while you’re at it. And hope that the GoPro camera you asked for is riding down his anal canal in the meantime.

When you come back, the tió will be ready for another round of flagellation.

Sing another “caga tió” song and keep beating him up. He should poop more presents.

The tió de nadal, the Barcelona Christmas log.

Photo via Calafellvalo via Flickr

Score!

Good for you for caring for your tió!

He’s the shit, right?

How to care

About the Author Justine

California native, churro aficionado, and mom of 3, Justine Ancheta writes fervently about Barcelona and Spain. Since 2008, she's been eating burnt onions (calçots) and tripping on cobblestones in the Gothic Quarter. She shares tips on popular attractions, exposes offbeat non-touristy spots, and gives insight on exploring Barcelona with kids. Her next Catalan culture challenge: top level of a human castle (castellers).

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