For those without a fireplace this Christmas, the wonderful invention that is the Yule Log is an absolute must during the holiday season. So where can you watch the Yule Log this Christmas Eve? If you're hosting a Christmas party and searching for the perfect thing to put on in the background, you need to look no further than the digital fireplace that's typically accompanied by some instrumental Christmas music. (Seriously, just talking about the Yule Log the other night at my friend gift exchange led to us turning on the beautiful fireplace and all of us being instantly soothed. My friend who celebrates Hanukkah and never saw it before was obsessed.) The joyous jams and the crackling of the digital fire set the ambiance of Christmas for you. And it turns out, variations of the Yule Log are kind of everywhere, so it takes zero effort.
Depending on your cable provider, you can watch the Yule Log On Demand, usually channel 1000 on your TV. Comcast's On Demand service has the standard definition Yule Log, the Yule Log in 3D, and the HD Yule Log. They even have a menorah with the appropriate amount of candles lit for every night of Hanukkah. Just be prepared to possibly have to search for it since it not-so-intuitively is categorized under Music in my On Demand situation. Disney XD is also broadcasting its own animated Yule Log at various times throughout Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
If you don't have cable (or a cable provider who doesn't give you the Yule Log), you aren't out of luck either. You can download the ScreenscapeS app for your iPad and iPhone and buy the Yule Log (along with 80 other musical screen avers). For those who have Netflix, when you search for the Yule Log, you get "Fireplace for Your Home" with three "seasons" (I'm partial to Season 3), and you can get the fireplace with music or no music. You also can stream a version through Amazon Prime Instant Video. It's free if you are an Amazon Prime member, but if you're not, you can also rent or buy it in time for the holiday. You can even buy a DVD of a Yule Log, but that probably won't be very helpful if you need in time for Christmas Eve.
The most easily accessible Yule Logs for thrifty people out there though are on YouTube, like this two-hour one.
Stream that bad boy to your TV and let that party begin!
And for those seeking variation on the more traditional Yule Log, here's a sampling of what else is available out there.
Please note: these options are specific to Comcast On Demand and may vary based on your cable provider.
Instead of a fireplace, you get a video of an actual snowman accompanied by holiday songs. If you're dreaming of a white Christmas, this is for you.
So I thought the Yule Dog was going to be super charming, but I was way wrong. The song "Merry Little Christmas to You Too" by Matthew Bassette is "sung" by three little hound dogs with some really poor animation. But I still was super amused and it would make for a fabulous conversation piece.
A video of pine cone branches with some pretty fake looking snow falling can fill your screen for 47 minutes.
This Yule Log is a video of a fireplace hearth with two doggies sitting in front of it while Scottish-themed music plays. This log lasts 135 minutes and is pretty shameless promotion for the Starz show Outlander, but is good for those with a Scottish clan.
Imagine the opening music of Halt and Catch Fire with neon-colored flames and that's the Psychedelic Log. Perfect for a college house party with tapestries on the wall. But be warned — it only lasts 10 minutes, so someone will have to be in charge of continuously putting it on.
Even if you have a fireplace or aren't hosting a party, the Yule Log is still the best (the best!) idea. It puts you in the holiday spirit without making your house hotter (parties with lots of bodies can get too cozy) and just chilling in front of it gets you ready while you wait for Santa. Your house will be filled with digital warmth, so put on the Yule Log on and get crackling!