I’m grateful for new traditions. In this case, being in Barcelona, the old and presumably ensconced Catalan tradition is not to have a Christmas Tree, but instead to have a “Tió”, which is an adorable, smiling, innocent little log, propped up on two sticks (his legs), and a little red cap. The eager children sing a song around this adorable, unassuming little creation asking it to, well, without knowing how to phrase it delicately, here is one of the various versions of the song:

“Caga tió,
d’avellanes i torró;
tant si cagues com si no
et donaré un cop de bastó.
Caga tió!!!”

I’m not sure I could translate it perfectly, but essentially the local, eager children ask it to ‘caga’ out their gifts, and if Tió doesn’t, they’ll keep hitting him with their sticks until he does. I guarantee this wouldn’t fly in the States, but somehow, it seems perfectly cheery and downright “Christmas-y” here in Beautiful Barcelona!

With his ever watchful eye, our Tió served as a type of Mascot for our Christmas Festivities, and it seems a great time was had by all. I can say without reservation that it was a definite improvement over last year’s solitary event in Paris, so the addition of many friends visiting from different regions of the States, of my younger brother, and of my husband were all the gifts I could ask for – even if they didn’t come from our resident Tió!

I’ve gotten a bit behind on my daily postings, but catching up here, I hope you’ll accept my belated wish for a very Peaceful and Joyous Holiday for each of you – we can presumably all use plenty of these sentiments these days!

Bon Nadal!