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Category Archives: Pets & Animals

Gävlebocken is Back!

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My beloved Gävlebocken is back! The 13 meter tall Christmas goat has been erected once again this year in Gävle, Sweden. Make sure to follow him on Twitter or Instagram, or read his blog for a dose of julstämning. And if you’re a serious Gävlebocken fan like me, you might also like to check out the live feed on his webcam!

🙂 #sharegävle #Gävlebocken #gavlegoat

A photo posted by Gävlebocken (@gavlebocken) on

And you can always go visit Gävlebocken yourself:

Slottstorget
802 50 Gävle
Sweden

Warm Fuzzies from Mog the Cat

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‘Tis the season for giving, sharing, and spreading joy. This short video of Mog the cat gave me warm fuzzies, and I’m sure it will make you feel cheery, too. Be sure to watch until the very end to see how things turn out!

Wasn’t that a sweet ending? Though this is a Sainsbury’s advert, I love the fact that it reminds me of what truly matters. In this case, neighbors pulled together to help the family recover from the fire. What can you do to make the season brighter for someone in your life? Perhaps it’s sharing a meal with a friend or baking cookies for your coworkers. Share a smile with someone you pass on the street; you can make a difference in someone else’s day in seemingly small ways. What will you do today? Let us know in the comments below. 🙂

Christmas Photos for Your Pets

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Photo by Sandra Cobet. License: CC BY 2.0

Have your pets been naughty or nice this year? Now is their chance to whisper in Santa’s ear. Or maybe they’ll just give Santa a big slobbery kiss. 😉 In Petco stores nationwide, your furry family members can have their photo taken with Santa. If there isn’t a Petco near you, contact your local humane society or animal shelter. Many humane societies have an event where Santa will take a picture with pets. For more holiday fun, you can get a free digital photo from PetSmart (details below).

So pull out your Christmas sweaters, scarves, hats, or other festive accessories and make plans to attend one of these photo events!

Photos with Santa at Petco

petco-logoOn Saturday, December 6th or 13th, head into your local Petco between 1–4pm to have your pet’s photo taken with Santa. You’ll get a 4" x 6" photo for just $9.95. You’ll be happy to know that 100% of your photo purchase will help homeless animals—now that’s money well spent!

Click here to find a Petco store near you.

Paws for the Camera at PetSmart

PETSMART-logoGet a digital photo of you with your furry friend(s) at PetSmart for free—that’s right, FREE! Now, to be clear, Santa will not be there, but you can still have a nice, festive photo taken. The image will be emailed to you, so you can print as many as you like or even use it for your Christmas cards! This in-store photo event will take place on December 6–7th and 13–14th from 12–4pm.

Click here to find a PetSmart near you.

Other Resources

  • Your local humane society – Contact your local animal shelter to find out if they are having a “photos with Santa” event.
  • Your local shopping mall – Sometimes the Santa photo booth at the mall has designated times when pets are welcome to take photos with Santa.

Gävlebocken: The World’s Largest Yule Goat

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As evidenced by some of my Etsy selections and by my own personal Christmas tree, I LOVE julbocks [Swedish yule goats]. So it should come as no surprise that I also adore Gävlebocken, the massive julbock that is constructed each year at Castle Square in Gävle, Sweden. And when I say “massive,” I mean it—Gävlebocken weighs 3.6 tons and is 13 meters tall!

Dag 15 #gävle #gavlegoat #gavlebocken #gävlebocken #jul #visitgavle #christmas #sharegavle

A photo posted by Gävlebocken (@gavlebocken) on

A holiday tradition since 1966, Gävlebocken is erected each year at the beginning of Advent, and he is made of straw and adorned with red ribbons, similar to his smaller counterparts. Gävlebocken is usually accompanied by a shorter goat, referred to as his little brother or Lillbocken.

For some weird reason, Gävlebocken is a favourite target of vandals, particularly arsonists 🙁 The poor goat has been burned down or otherwise destroyed 27 times in his history. The organization who creates the goat each year [Southern Merchants] has taken measures to try and ensure Gävlebocken’s survival, including installing a 24-hour webcam, coating the goat with ice, and soaking the straw with a variety of anti-flammable liquids.

Speaking of Gävlebocken’s webcam, you can view the live feed yourself here!

Screen capture of Gävlebocken’s webcam from the middle of the night

Besides watching Gävlebocken’s webcam, it’s also fun to follow him on social media—he has a lot of personality for a straw goat. Check him out on Instagram [gavlebocken] or Twitter [@Gavlebocken]. Gävlebocken even has a blog, which is particularly amusing. For example, yesterday he wrote about his little brother and said “[He] is the cutest little strawgoat you can imagine, and sometimes we play hide and seek or tag the Goat. Great fun!” Oh, and don’t fret—he posts online in Swedish and English, so you can keep up with all the goaty goings-on.

Dag 11 #gävle #gavlegoat #gavlebocken #gävlebocken #christmas #jul #sharegavle #visitgavle

A photo posted by Gävlebocken (@gavlebocken) on

Intrigued by Gävlebocken? Shoot him an email at gavlegoat@merjuligavle.se to tell him God Jul or visit him this holiday season:

Slottstorget
802 50 Gävle
Sweden

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