Another Christmas

Pass the Pigs antics

Pass the Pigs antics

Hope everyone had a lovely Christmas and a relaxing weekend.  We had an amazing few days of wonderful food and great fun with friends.  Here are twelve of my favorite shots from Christmas.

Nostalgic gifts

Nostalgic gifts

The best kind of Christmas eve lunch

The best kind of Christmas eve lunch

Roaring fire and mini stockings

Roaring fire and mini stockings

Champers and paper crowns

Champers and paper crowns

Roasted duck feat

Roasted duck feat

Enticing a few gifts out of Caga Tió

Enticing a few gifts out of Caga Tió

Somebody decided to make wrapping paper for my gifts as well

Somebody decided to make wrapping paper for my gifts as well

Borrowing babies from the neighbors

Borrowing babies from the neighbors

Pretty thrilled that everyone shared my enthusiasm for paper crowns

Pretty thrilled that everyone shared my enthusiasm for paper crowns

Pass the Pigs

Pass the Pigs

It’s Friday, I’m in love

The atrium of the building I work in never looks lovelier than at this time of year

The atrium of the building I work in never looks lovelier than at this time of year

Since the Mister spent the earlier part of the month traveling, we’re staying in town for the holidays this year.  This is the first time we’ve spent the holidays alone together, which is kind of sweet and romantic.  We’re planning to do a little baking, wrap a couple more gifts, and enjoy a few cocktails while DC is at its quietest.

Here are a few photos from the week.  Hope you have a great weekend!

The bar cart looking lovely in the midday winter sun

The bar cart all aglow in the midday winter sun

Tiny stockings hung from the bookshelves

Tiny stockings hung from the bookshelves

White poinsettias lined up on the marble staircase

White poinsettias lined up on the marble staircase

Gingerbread and candy zoo!

Gingerbread and candy zoo!

Caga Tió

Caga Tio

Caga Tio

Since we’ve been together, the Mister and I have adopted our own little hodgepodge of holiday traditions.  One of our favorites is Caga Tió.

I first experienced Caga Tió, or Tió de Nadal, while spending part of the holidays in Barcelona.  As I wandered the Christmas markets, I kept seeing these adorable wooden logs with smiling faces and red caps.  This was Caga Tió, which in Catalan translates roughly to Poo Log.  The tradition works like this: leading up to Christmas, children offer Caga Tió little gifts of food like nuts and candy, and cover him with a blanket so he doesn’t get too chilly; then on Christmas, they entice him to “poo” out presents by beating him with a stick and singing songs.  The presents “appear” under Caga Tió’s blanket.

Caga Tios at the Christmas market in Barcelona

Caga Tios at the Christmas market in Barcelona

Spanish children beating a giant Caga Tio

Spanish children beating a giant Caga Tio

While in Barcelona, I saw children lined up in the market square to take a turn beating a giant Caga Tió with a stick, much like other children line up to visit Santa.  I thought this was a pretty delightful tradition so I bought a small Caga Tió as a gift for my mother, who likes to fill her home with Christmas decorations.  She loved it and every year our family dutifully feeds it treats during the holiday season.

2011

2011

2011

2011

2012

2012

When I started to bring the Mister home for the holidays, he was equally enchanted with the idea of Caga Tió, so one Christmas a few years ago, he surprised me with a homemade Caga Tió.  We adore him, and he takes the place of honor in our little apartment that would normally be reserved for a Christmas tree.  Every year we feed him treats, and every year we give him a good beating with a stick so that he will “poo” out our presents under his blanket.  We’ve even gotten friends and family to participate, and it has become one of our fun traditions.

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