One of the funniest Christmas stories of recent years is that of the Gävle Goat.
Starting in 1966 a 13 metre high wooden sculpture of the Yule Goat has been built in the centre of Gävle, Sweden. Unfortunately, almost every year it is built, it gets burnt down, sometimes on the same day.
The town council have tried over the years to prevent the burning. Because the fire station is close to the location of the goat, most of the time the fire can be extinguished before the wooden skeleton is severely damaged. To date four people have been caught or convicted for vandalising the goat.
In 1968 the council added a protective fence.
In 1976 it was hit by a car.
In 1979 after the first goat was burnt, the second was fireproofed, but then kicked to pieces.
In 1985 soldiers built a 2m high fence and guarded it. Despite this, it was burnt down in January.
In 1992 there were 3 goats, all were burnt down.
In 1995 a Norwegian tried to burn it down.
In 2000 the goat was thrown into the river.
In 2001 the goat was burned down by a 51-year-old man from Cleveland, Ohio who believed that he was taking part in a completely legal goat-burning tradition.
In 2004 the Gävle Goat's homepage was hacked into and webcams changed.
In 2005 a vandal dressed as the Gingerbread Man successfully shot a flaming arrow into the goat.
In 2006, the 40th anniversary of the goat, it was protected with "Fiber ProTector Fireproof", which unfortunately made it "look like a brown terrier".
In 2011, it was set on fire despite having a protective coat of ice made by spraying water onto it.
This year, it was destroyed by an arsonist equipped with petrol on its inauguration day. It was replaced by a smaller replica built by local high school students. This goat was later hit by a car, repaired, and knocked over again.
Check and see it if is still there! http://www.visitgavle.se/sv/gavlebocken