Ahh, the televised Yule Log…
Since its inception in 1966–the brainchild of WPIX-FM GM Fred Thrower as a present to the pitifully fireplace-less residents of New York, this famous roaring fire blazed away on TV every Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. Except for the twelve years it didn't burn because, well, a blazing log with no commercial interruptions doesn't make a station any money, now does it? And we all know what Christmas is about, right kiddies? But, as good stories always go, this little log that could made it's way back into people hearts and living rooms at the turn of the century–and it even went national in 2003 thanks to Tribune Broadcasting so even people who could afford fireplaces (and yards and second rooms and children, presumably) could enjoy The Yule Log.
The original footage was only a 17 second loop and was shot at Gracie Mansion, and the more recent one–a seven minute loop– was shot in California a few years later because the folks at Gracie didn't give permission for a re-shoot. Something about a…fire. And those seven musical minutes have been a nice, kind of kitchy tradition–save the creepy doll pinned sacrificially to the mantle–ever since.
But, someone somewhere asked, couldn't this be more realistic? I mean, couldn't we put this fabled fire in high-definition? And a few years ago, The Yule Log went HD. So, we wonder, what Yule rules? And why? Let us know and we will compile the answers.
By Caroline Palmer