Nowadays, you can find many “Caganers,” that look like well-known politicians, actors, cartoon characters, etc. To see an incredible variety of them visit www.caganer.com
The Caga Tió is a tradition that probably dates back quite a few centuries; formerly, a log was burned inside the house during the Christmas festivities to warm up the house and the family would gather together around it. Nowadays, the Tió “arrives” at people’s homes a few weeks before Christmas; during this time, the kids will leave mostly oranges skins (as they are in season) and cookies before going to school, and the Tió will “eat” them.
We put the Tió in the living room or dining room and cover it with a blanket. Then, typically on December 24th, we send the kids to another room to say some prayers or sing some songs and when they come back, they hit the Tió with a wooden stick and sing a special song; when the song is over, they lift the blanket, and all the presents are there. Most of the gifts will be the typical “turrones” and other sweets, chocolates, or hazelnuts that the family eats during the festivities.
So in many Catalan homes, Father Christmas doesn´t show up, but it is the Tió who brings the Christmas presents to the family.