Friday, December 4, 2009

Pickles, Poop, and Cookies on A Plate

To make this Christmas season
more interesting,
I decided to do some research on
traditions that have passed the test of time.
Deep, meaningful ideas that
are instilled in children
and that embed themselves in memory.

Like the Christmas Pickle.

Well, some say it's a German tradition.
Others say German's don't have a clue.

But the story goes that parents would
hide a pickle on the Christmas tree
after all the other trimmings were complete.

The most observant child would
find the pickle on Christmas morning
and was awarded an extra gift.

Any adult finding the pickle
was blessed with good luck
for an entire year.

Now, I don't know about you-
but if that were true-
I'd be ripping that dang tree apart
to find that sour sucker!

And no one really says
what kind of pickle it should be.
Bread and Butter,
Zesty, or

I suppose the best bet would be
the cute little glass pickles
that come packed in their
very own pickle jar.

With my kids and grand kids,                          
that poor pickle would be
in razor-sharp shards
within two seconds
of the word "Go!".

Maybe I will just follow the
tradition of leaving cookies for Santa.

This tradition came about as a way
for children to sweeten Santa's mood.
It also embodies
the spirit of generosity
and unselfish giving.

So, I told my grand kids that
since they weren't quite as good
as they should have been-
that Santa required a little more
bribing than usual.

I figured a dozen chocolate chip,
a half dozen Oreos,
a couple of pecan tarts
and some mocha truffles-
would probably
be a good midnight snack
for me Santa.

Of course, I could also adopt
one of the strangest Christmas traditions
I have ever heard of.

Tio' de Nadal.
Or translated: Christmas Log.

Doesn't that sound cozy?
Like a pine scented treat for the fireplace?

Well, this log poops.

It all began in Catalonia.

First it starts with a hollow log.
(In modern times they add a few
stick feet and a face).
Starting on December 8,
bits of food are fed to this log.
The log is covered with a blanket at night
and fed regularly until Christmas.

On Christmas day,
the log is placed near the fireplace
and the children start beating it with a stick.
They sing a song, too.

"Poop, log!
Poop, turron,
Hazelnuts and cottage cheese,
If you don't poop well
we'll hit you with a stick.
Poop, log! "

I'm not making this stuff up!)

So, out comes the "poop"-
which usually consists of
candy, nuts and dried figs.

Or sometimes
it "urinates" an onion.


on second thought,
I think I'll just stick with
our old family Christmas traditions.

...Eating like pigs,
playing board games,
watching movies
and napping.

And don't forget
those cookies for Santa, kids!