Tamara Garcia Hinojosa (Motel One Barcelona-Ciutadella)
What do you look forward to most at Christmas?
As I'm originally from Malaga, it is always exciting to know that I am going to see and spend time with my loved ones and welcome the New Year with recharged batteries. Wherever we are, we all try to make it to be together on time for Christmas.
How do you celebrate this year?
Usually my family gathers at my parents'. My mother is in charge of preparing dinner (always delicious) and afterwards, we keep celebrating with typical Christmas cakes, sweets and presents. Although this year will not be the same, as it is the first time I am not going to be able to meet with them, but we will think of something to make it special as well.
Is there a special Christmas tradition?
A typical tradition that I found out when I moved to Catalonia, is the Caga Tió ( a "Poo Log"): a small wooden log painted with a smiley face, adorned with the traditional Catalan hat and covered in a blanket. On Christmas Eve, the children start to hit the log with sticks while singing a special song in the hope that he will excrete gifts and sweets for them. As the blanket is finally removed, a treasure of small toys and Christmas goodies are revealed as presents. After this, they throw him in the fire! Also, in Spain on New Year's Eve, we eat the "twelve lucky grapes". We have to try to eat them one by one, in time with the striking of the last 12 seconds of the clock at midnight. You have to manage to eat all the grapes in time, to have 12 lucky months ahead. Whether you believe in magic or not, eating the grapes guarantees a pretty fun start of the year!