Dec. 19 - Famous politicians are among those depicted in the nativity scene figurine known as ''the pooper'' in the Spanish region of Catalonia. Andrew Schmertz reports.
When we think of Christmas decorations, we think lights, trees, and nativity scenes. But in the Spanish region of Catalonia, this nativity scene has gone, well, into the toilet. These figurines known as "the caganers"- or "the poopers"- are seen by many as the most popular figurines in the nativity scene. Sergi Alos is the manager of the workshop behind the scatological festivities. SOUNDBITE: MANAGER, SERGI ALOS, SAYING (Catalan) "We've always based our creations on the saying 'the King poops, the Pope poops, and everybody who eats, poops.' We create a lot of characters because we all do it. It is something we just need to do, therefore we create it." And no famous person is safe from becoming the butt of the popular nativity scene. There's everyone from French president Nicolas Sarkozy to U.S. president Barack Obama depicted. One American tourist thought it an honor to have the American president part of the scene. SOUNDBITE: U.S. TOURIST, WILL, SAYING (English) "I think it's funny because I think everyone, especially people in power need to have a sense of humor about themselves, so I think that with the culture and with the meaning of the story, that it is not so much, you know, making fun of Obama and saying that he is a bad person or anything, it is just another part of them accepting him as a leader." The pooper is said to have been around since the 15th century and has been included in nativity scenes since the 1600s. The rise of the pooper coincided with the peak of the Baroque style, which show cased extreme realism. British tourist Will Green says these figurines may be part of his holiday shopping. SOUNDBITE: U.K. TOURIST, WILL GREEN, SAYING (English) "I would definitely get a figurine of Elvis pooping. I think it would be awesome." The manager of the workshop sends the figurines to the poopers he depicts, though he admits he rarely gets much of a response. Many families here think the figurines represent good luck--- symbolic manure to fertilize the year ahead. Andrew Schmertz, Reuters