Stuck without a fireplace this holiday season? No problem. Just crack open your laptop (or even your smartphone or iPad), fire up YouTube, and warm up with one of these cozy digital Yule logs.
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!