Meet the log that poops gifts at Christmas in Spain

The Local Spain
The Local Spain - [email protected]
Meet the log that poops gifts at Christmas in Spain
Tío de Nadal. Photo: rosell/Flickr

On Christmas Eve in some parts of Spain it's not Santa that children are waiting for, but this little guy who delivers presents in a rather unconventional manner.


Tío de Nadal is one of Catalonia's quirkiest Christmas traditions, which can also be found in homes in Aragón and Valencia and just like the caganer, it brings together Christmas and the act of defecation and no-one really knows why.

READ ALSO: Why Spain’s Catalonia celebrates Christmas with someone having a poo

It's essentially a log with a jolly face painted on one end, is often propped up on two front legs, wearing a red sock to mimic the traditional red Catalan beret known as the barretina and covered with a blanket.

You will find him being sold at Christmas markets across Catalonia and in some other regions. 

The figure appears on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception (December 8th) and children will then look after it all the way up until Christmas Eve. 

READ ALSO - El Gordo: Everything you need to know about Spain’s Christmas lottery

Tradition dictates that children must ‘feed’ scraps of food to the log, also known as Caga Tío (pooping log) each night in the run-up to Christmas and cover him with a blanket to protect him from the cold.


Do this successfully and on Christmas Eve the log will reward its carers by pooping out gifts, traditionally Turrón, dried figs and nuts, but in modern times anything from sweets to toys.

He won’t do this though until he is beaten with a stick and ordered to defecate with a song.

The blanket covering his rear end is removed and what lies beneath are gifts to be enjoyed by everyone in the household.

Who needs Santa?


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also