Christmas is upon us but it’s pretty much passing me by. For one thing I’ll be alone that day which isn’t really all that merry, but with that I could cope with my two cats for company. Seriously important is that little Felix the cat is sick. He’s at the vet today and will remain there overnight, probably suffering from Pancreatitis. Little Felix is a cat who is normally full of beans, so I’m hoping his natural vivacity will help him to rally and overcome this illness. And when he feels better, he will have a lifetime of vet prescription, high quality, low-fat cat food to dine on. No roast goose Christmas dinners for him. Tomorrow I will know more. All I want for Christmas is for Felix to recover and come home.
I had planned to write about the Catalan Christmas but have lost any inspiration that may have been lurking so this will be brief.
Catalans spend a lot of money at Christmas, although a lot of that is on food for fancy dinners. Gifts are given mainly for Kings on 6 January. Santa Claus and Christmas trees have made inroads here, but the traditional and most ubiquitous Christmas decoration is the Nativity scene.
The figures in a Nativity scene might be just the holy family, Joseph, Mary, and the baby Jesus, or might include angels, the three Kings, villagers, and farm animals. They might be small and simple or large and very elaborate. Although it all sounds very religious, typically, the Nativity scenes in Catalunya include one extra figure – a man, somewhere at the periphery, squatting and shitting. He is called the Caganer (which means “shitter”). It’s good fun trying to find him in shop window displays or in large public displays such as can be found every year in the Plaça Sant Jaume, the main
where the City Hall sits on one side and the Palau de square of Barcelona la Generaliltat (equivalent to a state capitol building) sits on the other.