The Goat in the Garage: A practical alternative to the Elf on the Shelf

The Goat in the Garage: A practical alternative to the Elf on the Shelf

By now you’ve probably heard of the popular Christmas tradition, known as the Elf on the Shelf.

If you don’t know what the Elf on the Shelf is, let me sum it up for you. The Elf on the Shelf is an adorable, (albeit overpriced) little toy that sits on your shelf during the month of December. His job is to watch your kids behavior during the day, report back to Santa at night, and make snow angels on your living room floor with the entire contents of your pantry. Isn’t that just so adorable?

Even though we chose not to participate in the Elf on the Shelf tradition (my kids say it’s creepy), I totally get the appeal. Really, I do. The popular Christmas song, “Santa Claus is coming to Town” just isn’t cutting it anymore. Every year, less and less naughty kids are getting coal in their stockings. It’s a travesty. 

I once heard about a kid that put gum right in his sister’s hair, and he STILL got a bike from Santa.

True story, you guys.

I’m tellin’ ya’, kids have it easy these days. The Elf on the Shelf can be a great tool to threaten those little monsters of yours, but in my opinion, if you REALLY want to scare your kids into good behavior, I’ve got a better idea. It’s cheap, it’s sustainable, and it doesn’t involve any nightly parental effort of destroying your house — ahem, I mean elf effort. Bahaha, who am I kidding. You parents staying up late during the month of December to stage “mischievous elf shenanigans” are cray cray, yo!

The Goat in the Garage: A practical alternative to the Elf on the Shelf

Step 1: Buy a goat. Really, it can be any goat. The meaner and uglier, the better. The only one we could find was this little adorable Nubian. My local craigslist was fresh out of ugly goats.

elf on shelf alternative

Why do you have to be so adorable, you adorable goat you? I want to nuzzle my face into those big floppy ears, I do.

Step 2: Put the goat in your garage for the entire month of December. You’ll need to buy some hay for your goat and you’ll need to give it some water, but other than that, your goat will be fine ALL MONTH LONG in your garage. Trust me, it’s cool. Goats love garages. Be sure to leave a bag of fresh trash for your goat to sift through. (Don’t skip this last part!)

elf on the shelf alternative

  elf on shelf alternative

Step 3: How exactly does the Goat in the Garage work? Simple! Every day that your kids are naughty (trust me, it’ll probably be every day), just make them clean up that lovely mess in the garage. Instead of waking up to mischievous pranks pulled by that busy Elf on the Shelf, simply open the door to your garage. Surprise! A mess you didn’t have to make, and one that your kids get to clean up!

elf on shelf alternative

Oh, you think your garage was bad before, eh? Just you wait ‘enry ‘iggins.

Step 4: (Optional: Only use for really naughty children) Got some extra-naughty children this year? No worries. The Goat in the Garage is adaptable to all levels of child naughtiness. Simply purchase a goat in milk. A goat in milk will need to be milked every single day. Not only will your children get to clean up the lovely goat mess everyday, they’ll also get to milk a goat, make cheese, soap, ice cream, yogurt and other delicious goat goodies for your family. Nothing says “Merry Christmas” like farm-fresh, homemade goat’s cheese, made by your reformed children. You can sit back, relax, and enjoy all the wonderful goodies, while your kids do all the work.

elf on shelf alternative

This year, don’t let your kids have it easy with that elf on the shelf charade. Trust me, the Goat in the Garage is exactly what you need to have perfectly well-behaved children each year.

elf on the shelf alternative

DaNelle is the creator of the blog Weed ‘em & Reap, and author of the book, Have Your Cake & Lose Weight Too. DaNelle, along with her husband and children, raise goats, sheep, and chickens on their urban farm. DaNelle writes about the reversal of disease, weight loss through real food, common food diet myths, and her funny farm experiences and gardening adventures.
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