I was studying our Christmas tree this morning and reminiscing over all the places from which we've collected ornaments. Wonderful memories - from all over the world. But this is one that I missed!
We caught a glimpse of an oddball piece on last night's news and laughed about what we thought was someone's weird sense of humor. Goes to show we're sometimes not as worldly as we think!
This morning it was spelled out in the paper. We're taken back to 17th century Spain when defecation was associated with fertility and health. Usually in the shape of a peasant, El Caganer or The Great Defecator would be placed in the nativity crib to bring luck. It seems the figures have taken on real life personalities and become much sought after collectors items!
It's also a lesson in how traditions morph. Along with this practice, both of which are unique to the Catalonia region of Spain, is the beating of the tio. It is log with a cheery face and red cap. For days before Christmas it is stuffed with sweets and presents, then on Christmas eve it's covered with a blanket and beaten until the presents, ahem, emerge.
I see this morphing into a well stuffed, red hatted man squeezing down a chimney, leaving presents then eating all the cookies and milk to bulk up for the next chimney! Talk about revisionism! This is fun!
It must be the spirit of the season that has made the caganers popular worldwide! Or an opportunity to express feelings under the guise of tradition! There is even a caganer website where you can buy them.
To their credit, the Catelonians have honored their own as well as other world famous figures! Pictured are the Crown Princess of Spain, President Bush and the Pope. Bush is the best seller to the American clientel.
Now, if the candidates want to use subliminal messages in their political campaigns, ie: book shelves resembling a shiney white cross, why not we the people? Whenever we feel we're being ____ upon by our leaders, honor them with a place under our trees! If not in the crib perhaps in front of the "sheep"!