Thanksgiving (and Black Friday) are officially in the past – it’s time to think about Christmas decorations.
I am not suggesting this, but you might want to consider adding something special to your crèche. Along with the Holy Family, the assorted animals, angels, shepherds and wise men, you could add a caganer.
It’s a Spanish tradition. For at least the past 200 years, residents of the Catalonia region of Spain have put a caganer in their Christmas nativity scenes.
Put as delicately as possible, a caganer is a defecator -- a statuette posed squatting with a little brown deposit below its bare backside. Catalans hide them somewhere in their nativity scenes and invite guests to play a sort of “Where’s Waldo” to try to find them.
How this tradition began is a mystery, and the best explanation of why they exist is that they are supposed to bring good luck. In recent years, there has been a trend of fashioning the statuettes to represent famous figures – world leaders, soccer stars, etc. In 2010, one of the top sellers was Barack Obama.
So far, it looks like this year’s most popular caganer will be the new Pope.