PatRec from Christmas Past – Caga Tio

Way back in 2008 I wrote up my absolute favorite Christmas tradition, from Cataluna in Spain: Caga Tio. If you don’t know about this _awesome_ tradition, you really should click through and read about it:

Catalan families go into the woods and find a Christmas Log (Tio de Nadal) to bring into their home. It’s painted or otherwise decorated with a face, and wrapped in a blanket. Over the weeks before Christmas, the Caga Tio is fed sweets and other treats, in order to get him ready for the command performance on Christmas. After weeks of being fed, the Caga Tio is ready. He is then beaten with sticks by the children of the family until he poops out treats for the children, usually in the form of the Catalan treat called turron. Yes…the log poops out the children’s treats, which they then consume. Caga Tio literally translates into “Pooping Log”.

Love this tradition, mainly because it’s sounds so crazy to Americans.

By griffey

Jason Griffey is the Director of Strategic Initiatives at NISO, where he works to identify new areas of the information ecosystem where standards expertise is useful and needed. Prior to joining NISO in 2019, Jason ran his own technology consulting company for libraries, has been both an Affiliate at metaLAB and a Fellow and Affiliate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, and was an academic librarian in roles ranging from reference and instruction to Head of IT at the University of TN at Chattanooga.

Jason has written extensively on technology and libraries, including multiple books and a series of full-periodical issues on technology topics, most recently AI & Machine Learning in Libraries and Library Spaces and Smart Buildings: Technology, Metrics, and Iterative Design from 2018. His newest book, co-authored with Jeffery Pomerantz, will be published by MIT Press in 2024.

He has spoken internationally on topics such as artificial intelligence & machine learning, the future of technology and libraries, decentralization and the Blockchain, privacy, copyright, and intellectual property. A full list of his publications and presentations can be found on his CV.
He is one of eight winners of the Knight Foundation News Challenge for Libraries for the Measure the Future project (, an open hardware project designed to provide actionable use metrics for library spaces. He is also the creator and director of The LibraryBox Project (, an open source portable digital file distribution system.

Jason can be stalked obsessively online, and spends his free time with his daughter Eliza, reading, obsessing over gadgets, and preparing for the inevitable zombie uprising.

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