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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.
So if you have a tió de nadal, you should’ve taken him out on December 8th, the day of the Immaculate Conception.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Good for you for caring for your tió!
He’s the shit, right?
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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