While holiday classics like Elf, Home Alone, and The Polar Express, can be viewed any time of the year, "The Yule Log" - a show that features a warm crackling fire - can only be seen during Christmas. It is therefore no wonder that fans look forward to it with such anticipation, year after year!
First broadcast in 1966, the origins of the hit show are a little hazy. Some believe that Fred Thrower, the President of New York-based television station WPIX, came with the idea as a way to fill a three-hour programing slot that came open after a scheduled college game was canceled. Others think Thrower created the show, which featured the warm crackling fire at Gracie Mansion, the official residence of New York's mayor, to show his appreciation for the station's viewers who lived in apartments and homes without fireplaces.
Regardless of the origin, the 17-second clip that was replayed over and over with some classic Christmas songs in the background, was a roaring success - one that became an eagerly awaited annual tradition. But all good things must come to an end. In 1989, WPIX decided to cancel the show. However, it was not due to lack of viewers but because the station could not afford to continue airing it without commercials.
But the fans were not ready to give up their favorite Christmas tradition. In 2000, New Jersey resident Joe Malzone started an online petition to bring the show back. The response was so overwhelming, that the station succumbed to their wishes and broadcast an updated version in December 2001. Not surprisingly, it was the most watched Christmas 'show' in the Metropolitan New York Area and a new 'Yule Log' era was born. In 2003, Tribune Broadcasting, the parent company of WPIX decided to not only bring the show to their other stations, but also, broadcast it in high-definition.
Yule Log's success has spawned many copycats. In addition to the several local television stations that are broadcasting their versions at various times between Christmas eve and day, this year's line-up also includes a series from on-demand Internet streaming service, Netflix. Fans can choose between "Crackling Yule Log Fireplace," "Crackling Fireplace" and "Crackling Fireplace with Music, or watch all three episodes!
And for those that are still not satisfied there is always YouTube, which features numerous reproductions. One of the cutest is an hour long special that features Internet celebrity feline, Lil Bub, who adds her own Christmas cheer by purring intermittently. It is no wonder that the video has garnered over 2.5 million views since its release on December 18th, 2013.
Happy Viewing and A Very Merry Christmas To All Of You!