The tradition of Tió de Nadal originates in the Catalan region. According to Catalan folklore, this “Christmas Log” deposits token gifts at Christmas, anticipating larger gifts given out on Three Kings Day. Children will often draw a face, adding tiny legs and a hat, on a fireplace log to represent Tió de Nadal. They then cover it with a blanket. Starting on December 8, the log is symbolically fed until on Christmas Eve, the family beats the log with sticks. This violence is done to induce the log to “defecate” its many holiday treats, e.g. candy, cookies and small presents. During the beat-down, songs are sung. The blanket is then lifted and the gifts revealed.
Christmas varies because, though for all of us, it is also for each of us.