The televised "Yule Log" became a tradition in 1966, when WPIX-New York aired film of a crackling fire. The idea was to help New Yorkers without fireplaces enjoy a reasonably decent simulation of one. Fast-forward 48 years, and YouTube is where the best Yule Log action is. Pick your favorite, make it full-screen, and enjoy.

(Technical note: a lot of these videos use YouTube's "annotations" feature to pop up ads and junk during the otherwise nice footage of fireplaces. If you're viewing on a device that lets you turn off annotations, do it. On a typical browser, you click the "gear" icon, then click "OFF" next to "Annotations.")

Crackling and Popping - 1 Hour

Right after 13:05, more wood is added. Delightful.

A Dark and Rustic Fire - 2 Hours

The still frame below is a little enhanced. This video is nice, but not that nice.

Invisible Fireplace, Visible Fire - 5 Hours

Big bonus points for five hours of yule! Minor point detraction because we can't see the fireplace walls. I like seeing charred bricks.

Closeup Fire - 1.5 Hours

You definitely need to kill the annotations on this one. But this is a very pretty closeup view. It looks super-hot.

Lil Bub's Yule Log - 1 Hour

Cat lovers, rejoice! You get to watch Lil Bub battle the desire to sleep for a whole hour.

Owl Yule Log - 40 Minutes

Owl lovers, rejoice? So, yeah, the people at Hootsuite perched "Snoopy" the owl in front of a fire (apparently way in front, judging from how out-of-focus the fire is) and shot that for a long time. Pretty cute. Nice owl. Would watch again.

Amazon's Christmas Cover Song Playlist

Update: After posting this list, folks at Amazon pointed out a YouTube playlist featuring Yule Log videos along with songs by Shelby Earl, Tom Tom Club, Kate Davis (ft. Gabe Schnider), Amanda Palmer (!), and Brandi Carlile. If you like music with your YouTube Yule Log, here's some good stuff:

Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Blu-ray

Netflix has a "Fireplace for Your Home" yule log, which, oddly enough, is set up as three "episodes" in a TV season (some have music, some don't). If you turn on the closed captions, you get this helpful note: "[CRACKLING]." Amazon Prime Instant Video has the same thing (be sure to check out the related videos).

If you're a crazy person like me, there's a Blu-ray yule log shot using a RED camera. I own this. It's great.