Posted on December 22, 2014
Last year I started experimenting with making my own wrapping paper. Nothing too fancy, just paint and paper. I like that I can buy basic materials and make just as much as I need, a critical idea when you live in a place with a shortage of storage. This year I found a roll of basic butcher paper and white tempura paint, figuring it would be easy to reuse them for any occasion. I tore off four foot sheets and experimented with patterns of lines, dots, and triangles.
To add a little color, I make gift tags with a little bit of butcher paper and pages torn from the stack of catalogs I get around the holidays. Anthropologie and Boden had particularly beautiful winter catalogs this year, and I love how nicely these came out. A bit of yarn and some of last year’s sparkly gold washi tape, and I have a simple but pretty stack of gifts waiting for Christmas Day.
Posted on December 19, 2013
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.
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.
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.