Read on for five of my favorites, from the original WPIX Yule log to one with its own audio commentary.
Length: One hour, 49 minutes
Video quality: 480p
Annoying ads or captions? A few at the beginning, but you can click them off
What you’ll hear: Some nice crackles and pops
Overall: The logs in this fireplace look more like the ones you’d find in a big-city deli than out in the wilderness. That said, the no-nonsense, rock-solid camera work is priceless—and hey, we’re talking nearly two hours of yule log action here. (There’s also a one-hour, 1080p HD version available.)
Length: 1 minute, 48 seconds
Video quality: 240p, kinda muddy-looking
Annoying ads or captions: Just a title card at the beginning
What you’ll hear: A spot-on parody of those self-serious commentary tracks you hear too often on DVDs.
Overall: Short, but funny.
Length: 2 hours
Video quality: 360p (not quite SD-quality)
Annoying ads or captions? Nope
What you’ll hear: A series of holiday songs and carols sung by independent (and pretty good) artists
Overall: The video quality isn’t amazing, but I love the Santa’s cap and guitar that flank the warm fireplace—and nice-looking logs, by the way.
Length: 20 minutes
Video quality: 720p HD
Annoying ads? Yes, but you can click them off
What you’ll hear: A soothing, steady crackle
Overall: The best-looking fire of the bunch, with logs that look like they came straight from the wood pile an and a strong, steady flame—and in HD, no less. If only the video clip were a wee bit longer…
Length: 8 minutes
Video quality: 480p, but it looks like a screen capture of a VHS tape
What you’ll hear: Traditional holiday instrumentals
Overall: Short, and iffy video quality, but c’mon—this is the original yule log video. A piece of television history, no doubt.
Happy holidays, everyone—and if you have a favorite YouTube Yule log, post it below!