Meet Biel, our Christmas log

From the same people that brought you the Valencian horchata, here it is another chapter about the curious things of where we live: The traditional magical Christmas log.

The magical Christmas log (Tió de Nadal) is a real Catalan tradition that may surprise you quite a little. On the 8th of December a mysterious log appears in the front door of those houses with children that have behaved good all year long. Until the 24th the kids have to take care of the log, keeping him warm with a blanket and feeding him, so he will be ready to give presents on the Christmas night.

Traditionally Santa was 100% relieved of his occupation delegating to the magical log, but lately his presence is more demanded sharing both the magical log and Santa the night. However the way they bring presents to the kids couldn’t be more different.

On the Christmas evening, the magical log sits preferably in front of a fireplace or on the middle of the living room with his blanket, the kids sing traditional tunes while hitting him with a small wooden stick. I know what you are thinking…poor little guy. If the kids have been good all year, after each song they will find, under the blanket, presents that the magical log has expelled. And let’s just leave it at that, we don’t want to give more scatological details about the presents’ origins.

When I was a little girl I only had Tió de Nadal, but Dani had Santa in his home. That’s why we decided that our new family will have both traditions at the same time, so Santa and the magical log can join their powers to bring presents. I think it is a win-win solution, right? They can divide efforts and we can host them both at our home :)

And now that you already know what it is all about is time to meet our Christmas log called Biel! He has the best Elvis-like pompadour and the sweetest smile.

Do you have other weird Christmas traditions like our Biel? It would be great to read your stories!

Biel the Christmas log - The cat, you and us

Here is the little guy, called Biel. Our own magical Christmas log :)

Biel the Christmas log - The cat, you and us

Here he is on the day he arrived at our home, making quite an impression. We could not help it but keeping him at home. That face… :)

Juno and Biel the Christmas log - The cat, you and us

Juno welcoming him, well…not very into body language reading, but I have not the best feeling about those two.

Juno and Biel the Christmas log - The cat, you and us

Maybe sharing Juno’s favorite spot (the sofa) will help in their getting along. You can see here his little blanket.

Biel the Christmas log - The cat, you and us Biel the Christmas log - The cat, you and us

Biel is quite happy with his place next to the tree.

Juno and Biel the Christmas log - The cat, you and us

And Juno looks quite pleased…

Juno and Biel the Christmas log - The cat, you and us

Who I am kidding?! She will need more time to adjust, not very cheered sharing attentions :)

Share this adventure


  1. Mariko ADDS...

    What a hilarious tradition! I love hearing about how different cultures celebrate Christmas. Thank you so much for sharing Biel with us!

    16th December 2013
    • We reply...

      I know! Traditions involving kids and magic are always the best kind. And hey, Biel is shy but happy to know that you liked him :)

  2. Ice Pandora ADDS...

    I’ve never heard of this Magic Log yet, tho the
    story is quite cute and sweet c:
    Lovely pictures as usual! Juno is so mellow!

    16th December 2013
    • We reply...

      Thanks!! I can’t help but melting over Juno fluffiness even when she is looking with an angry face at us, hahaha.

  3. Fiona ADDS...

    Oh my god, I’d never heard of this log tradition before – so insanely awesome! Did you make him? Where can I buy one?? I hope Juno understands Biel is not taking her place but just wanting to be her buddy :)
    Is it wrong that I want to hit a log now? he he he

    17th December 2013
    • We reply...

      Quite crazy to think that all my childhood years I have believed (and of course, still I am :P) that presents came from the inside of a log :) after gently hitting him with a stick. Well, now that I read it, not sure if it is a good message for kids :) hahaha. We wanted to make one ourselves, but when we saw Biel in a market made by a crafter called Jaime Vicente, we knew we had to adopt him. I have checked and he is not selling them online, although he has an etsy shop, I will keep my eyes open.

  4. Louise ADDS...

    What a brilliant tradition. I love how you guys are having both Biel and Santa. But really… why do kids beat a log that give them presence with a stick? It sounds so harsh !! :p

    We don’t quite have anything like that at Christmas. We do have a very weird tradition called ‘Sinterklaas’, a sort of prequel of Santa. It’s very much a Children’s tradition too. It has a lot of origins in slavery in the past so I don’t quite celebrate it anymore. It has changed a lot since, but it still has some strange customs. Actually, when I was little I was so scared for Sinterklaas that I was happy he wasn’t real. Stupid huh? I prefer your log!!

    17th December 2013
    • We reply...

      Oh! Thanks Louise for sharing Sinterklass with us! and well his past maybe not a good thing to look at :) After your comment I have read online that he is based on Odin a nordic God that flies on his eight-legged horse, impressive! :) I think is so sweet that you were relieved that he wasn’t real! You made me laugh. Maybe we should change all the hitting to the log, would a gentle rub & clapping hands do the trick as well? ;P

  5. petra ADDS...

    this is fascinating. I hadn’t heard of this before. I’m not doing Christmas these days. this may change again should I have my own children one day. but I doubt it. that said, I do love to hear about the more unusual Christmas traditions some people follow…

    17th December 2013
    • We reply...

      I agree that it could be more fun when having kids around! But we are such kiddos at heart, so we like to follow the fun of these days as well! :)

  6. Deniz ADDS...

    Haha it’s a so funny tradition, never heard of it before. I’m gonna tell tonight to friends about it. I love everything about Catalan culture but this one is so special and weird (in a good way).
    In our culture (Turkish culture) most of people are not Christians so it’s rare to celebrate Christmas but rather we are celebrating “new year” by preparing dinner and arange a night for guests. But besides, I can’t stop myself sharing this; as I remember from my childhood, every new year night all we children secretly watched “tutti frutti” show which was only showed on TVs at the time of new years!! :)) I’m not sure if you had the same show on Catalan TV’s in those days… But every year, I remember this memory and laugh at myself.

    17th December 2013
    • We reply...

      Hahhahaha, so fun (and feeling very happy) that you will tell your friends about the Magical log. Never heard of Tutti Frutti before! Thanks for sharing it!!! Which type of show it was? We usually have kitsch musical galas on tv during New Year’s eve, also comical although they do not intend to be :P

  7. Jane Y. ADDS...

    i love this! what a great tradition :) that log is so cute~

    17th December 2013
    • We reply...

      We fell in love at first sight with Biel, well Juno is still working on that :)

  8. TJ ADDS...

    Okay, this has got to be the cutest little tradition!! Love this :)
    xo TJ

    18th December 2013
    • We reply...

      A weird cute I’ll add, hahaha, thanks TJ! :)

  9. Albert ADDS...

    Entre el Tió i el cagane… quina imatge que donem! Jeje la veritat es que en Biel amb aquest tupé és la repera. L’hi hauriem d’haver fet una foto al cartell de Las Vegas jaja

    18th December 2013
    • We reply...

      Ui sí, ens va costar escriure el text en anglès, perque sonava mooolt estrany tot plegat :) Ostres ara que ho dius, amb l’Elvis aquell que ens vam trobar agafant en Biel amb el cartell de fondo això era una bona foto, jajajajajaja

  10. Ellie ADDS...

    I wish there was such tradition around me too, because mr. log looks adorable, I’m pretty sure I can take a good care of him!

    19th December 2013
    • We reply...

      How nice that you call him Mr. Log, I’ll copy you, love it! :) Thanks Ellie!

  11. Deniz ADDS...


    Which type of show it was….hımmmm, it was actually striptease show but soo kitshcy way :))) and very funny, you can check from youtube, and see what I mean! :)

    22nd December 2013
    • We reply...

      Hahahhaa, it’s sounds too fun to watch during New Years eve, I’ll check on Youtube ;P

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