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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

El Caganer - My Favorite Character in the Nativity Set

It's still Christmas - and don't you forget it.  Christmas until Epiphany (at least.  Some hold out till the Feast of the Presentation...) And since it's still Christmas I'm going to tell you about my favorite character in the nativity scene. (I’ve written about him before. This post is an update of that previous writing.)

So what if he's not mentioned in the nativity stories (either Matthew or Luke).  Most of the characters we put into our nativity scenes weren't in the nativity stories. (If you want your nativity set to be biblically accurate, follow these instructions: )

My favorite nativity character is El Caganer. El Caganer comes to us from Catalan and its neighboring areas, and he's been around since the 17th or 18th century.  His name literally means: "the shitter.”

And already I've offended someone, I'm sure. Yes: He's irreverent. And that is a good thing.

El Caganer reminds us of a couple of things. First – that our God is one that pulls the proud and mighty down from their thrones (Luke 1: 52 – 53). Kings are used to being treated with reverence. Kings don't have shit all over them them  El Caganer is often portrayed in contemporary works as celebrities and political figures. In this way El Caganer is a leveler, humbling the proud and the lofty.

El Caganer also reminds us that we have a different kind of king, one who's come to lift us up from the dunghill, one who gets down off his high horse and gets dirt on his hands.

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