What a lovely nativity scene you have there. What could be odd about that?

This is a typical nativity scene that you would find in any Spanish, Portuguese or Italian home. Well, southern Italy, at least.

Take a look and see if you can spot the one thing you won't find in most nativity scenes.

Go ahead, look. I'll wait.

Done yet? Well, let me make it easy for you.

Focus your vision on the manger. The left side of the manger. You see the guy wearing the white shirt, red vest and red hat? Yeah.....he isn't crouching to get a better look at the baby Jesus.

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He's a Caganer.

What is a caganer, you may ask. Well, 'El Caganer' translates to 'the crapper', or 'the shitter'.

Yes friends, in some parts of Europe, it's a tradition to put someone pooping into the nativity. In fact, some families make a game of it and have the children try and find him.

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It seems the tradition of putting a pooper into the nativity started in the late 17th century. No one is really sure why. Some say it's an attempt at humor, while others say it symbolizes that Jesus was born as a man, and all men poop, so we're all equal.

Whatever the reason, it's become very popular. Do a search for caganer, and you'll find, literally, hundreds of different figurines, all squatting and pooping. But, these aren't anonymous people. No, it's anyone and everyone famous. A quick search brought up:

  • Sponge Bob Square Pants
  • William and Kate, Duke and Duchess of York
  • Barak Obama
  • Ozzy Osbourne
  • Malcom McDowell in 'A Clockwork Orange'
  • Spiderman
  • The Pope
  • Michael Jackson
  • Tin Tin
  • Einstein

And all of them were squatting down, with a pile of poop under their asses. And in some cases, a turd dangling.

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So, when Christmas starts getting a little weird around your house, just break out your caganer and make it a lot weird.

What? You don't have one? Aw geez! Do I have to do everything? Follow this link to print your very own papercraft version of a caganer.