This is the Christmas album sung by goats you never knew you needed.

We all know goats are musically gifted.

You may remember that viral video that really showed the goat's dedication to its craft with its take on Taylor Swift's "I Knew You Were Trouble." (And if you don't remember, please ... take a moment.)


GIF via TwoMagiicGamers/YouTube.

Breathtaking.

How could it get any better than this?

The Swedish branch of ActionAid has produced an album of popular Christmas songs — sung entirely by goats.

That's right, timeless classics from "White Christmas" to "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" are now available in goat form. The album is titled "All I Want for Christmas Is a Goat" and features eight tracks of festive bleating.

ActionAid hopes the hilarious album will bring more awareness to the organization and its work fighting poverty around the world.

This goat-y Christmas is actually related to Scandinavian tradition.

In the trailer for the album, a soothing Swedish voiceover begins by describing a lovely moment by the fire with "the Christmas goat." They're not just talking about the album here — it's a reference to a Yuletide tradition in Scandinavia and Northern Europe: the Yule goat.

Image via Trlkly/Wikimedia Commons.

The Yule goat is a tradition that's changed and morphed over time, but is generally thought to stem from Yuletide worship of the Norse god Thor and the two goats that pull his chariot through the sky. All kinds of traditions have stemmed from the Yule goat, including costumed wassailing, mischievous pranks, and decorative goat figures made out of bundled straw.

In the Swedish town of Gävle, a 13-meter-tall straw goat has been built in the town square every year since 1966.

Image by Tony Nordin/Wikimedia Commons.

The very first Gävle goat was mysteriously set on fire at midnight on New Year's Eve. Anonymous hooligans have burnt the giant goat roughly half of the years since.

So far this year's Gävle goat appears to be alive and well. Hang in there, buddy!

OK, but how do goats actually help fight poverty, again?

Farm animals like goats are incredibly useful to many people living in poverty. They can:

  • Produce food to eat like milk and meat
  • Provide milk to sell, adding income for other needs like medicine and school supplies
  • Improve the social status of women who own livestock
  • Act as loans or savings
  • Help fertilize crops with manure
  • Be used as a gift to create or strengthen social ties

Heifer International uses our friend the goat to give a specific example:

"In Nepal...the demand for goat meat significantly exceeds the country’s current production capacity [even] when it is supplemented by exports... So the key is to help Nepali farmers produce more and better goat meat, boosting supply and the market chain. [This] will help these farmers help their countrymen and women by...building their own economies as well as the country’s economy."

So, not only are goats a Scandinavian holiday icon, they're also mascots for an awesome approach to alleviating poverty. Kudos to you, goats.

Happy holidays, from the Yule goat to you and yours.

"All I Want for Christmas Is a Goat" is available on iTunes, Amazon, and Spotify.

All proceeds will go to ActionAid. Pretty worthwhile, if you ask me.

And for good measure, here's a great take on "Holy Night." Really take in those first few notes and enjoy:

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Amazon

Shopping sustainably is increasingly important given the severity of the climate crisis, but sometimes it's hard to know where to turn. Thankfully, Amazon is making it a little easier to browse thousands of products that have one or more of 19 sustainability certifications that help preserve the natural world.

The online retailer recently announced Climate Pledge Friendly, a program to make it easier for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products. To determine the sustainability of a product, the program partnered with third-party certifications, including governmental agencies, nonprofits, and independent labs.

With a selection of items spanning grocery, household, fashion, beauty, and personal electronics, you'll be able to shop more sustainably not just for the holiday season, but throughout the year for your essentials, as well.

You can browse all of the Climate Pledge Friendly products here, labeled with an icon and which certification(s) they meet. To get you on your way to shopping more sustainably, we've rounded up eight of our favorite Climate Pledge Friendly-products that will make great gifts all year long.

Amazon

Jack Wolfskin Women's North York Coat

Give the gift of warmth and style with this coat, available in a variety of colors. Sustainability is built into all Jack Wolfskin products and each item comes with a code that lets you trace back to its origins and understand how it was made.

Bluesign: Bluesign products are responsibly manufactured by using safer chemicals and fewer resources, including less energy, in production.


Amazon

Amazon All-new Echo Dot (4th Gen)

For the tech-obsessed. This Alexa smart speaker, which comes in a sleek, compact design, lets you voice control your entertainment and your smart home as well as connect with others.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.


Amazon

Burt's Bees Family Jammies Matching Holiday Organic Cotton Pajamas

Get into the holiday spirit with these fun matching PJs for the whole family. Perfect for pictures that even Fido can get in on.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

Naturistick 5-Pack Lip Balm Gift Set

With 100% natural ingredients that are gentle on ultra-sensitive lips, this gift is a great gift for the whole family.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.


Amazon

Arus Women's GOTS Certified Organic Cotton Hooded Full Length Turkish Bathrobe

For those who love to lounge around, this full-length organic cotton bathrobe is the way to go. Available in five different colors, it has comfortable cuffed sleeves, a hood, pockets, and adjustable belt.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

L'Occitane Extra-Gentle Vegetable Based Soap

This luxe soap, made with moisturizing shea butter and scented with verbena, is perfect for the self-care obsessed.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.

Amazon

Goodthreads Men's Sweater-Knit Fleece Long-Sleeve Bomber

For the fashionable men in your life, this fashion-forward knit bomber is an excellent choice. The sweater material keeps it cozy and warm, while the bomber jacket-cut, zip front, and rib-trim neck make it look elevated.

Recycled Claim Standard 100: Products with this certification use materials made from at least 95% recycled content.

Amazon

All-new Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote

Make it even easier to access your favorite movies and shows this holiday season. The new Fire TV Stick lets you use your voice to search across apps. Plus it controls the power and volume on your TV, so you'll never need to leave the couch! Except for snacks.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.