One off-shoot log tradition is the Catalan Tió de Nadal—the “poop log.” This hollow log has a happy face, a hat, and stick legs. It makes its entrance on December 8, and families “feed it” with nuts, dried fruit, and water. It’s also covered snugly with a blanket every night until Christmas Eve. Then, kids hit the log with sticks and demand it to poop out candy or presents. The log complies—a true Christmas miracle. Check out the process, including the traditional (and bizarre) song, in the video above.

The log’s TV debut

In 1966, New York’s local WPIX station was faced with an hour and a half of Christmas Eve dead air. The station’s president suggested a sort of Christmas card to viewers: a closeup of a burning log on a fireplace festooned with stockings, backed by holiday music, and played on a loop.

WPIX ended up canceling its other programming (much to the scheduled roller derby’s chagrin) and treating New Yorkers to a roaring, festive fire for three hours. The TV became the family hearth that night, and the response was enthusiastic. It was reshot in 1970, played annually until 1989, and then extinguished.

But never fear, DVDs (and eventually the internet) came through. There are over 100 videos on the YouTube channel Virtual Fireplacealone. As a seasonal gift to you, our reader, we picked the ones that burn the brightest.

Quartz’s Yule Log… Log

A Very Happy Yule Log: This Hallmark take from 2016 packs a lot of Christmas into one frame: Lights, stockings, gifts, a tree, a cat named Happy and a dog named Happy. This thing burns ferociously for three straight hours (it doesn’t loop—that’s three glorious real hours), with classic Christmas songs playing throughout. Highly recommended for bigger TVs.

The Yule Log: A no-frills approach to fireplace videos, the fire takes center stage and carries the show, even though it’s an unorthodox teepee fire. The real hero here is the soundtrack, just a crisp fire-y roar with plenty of crackle.

Fireplace in Your Home: Birchwood Edition: The whole series—an empire begun by a pilot-turned-fireplace-visionary named George Ford—is the gold standard of yule logs. The birchwood edition is Ford at his finest, and once it gets going (it does take a little while), you’ll feel its Christmas-y wrath. Oh, and it’s in 4K, for those who like their fake fireplace in the highest of resolutions.

Original WPIX Yule Log: Log for log, it doesn’t hold up to today’s standards. No roars or crackles, just music, and that’s a problem. But the OG is not on this list for its production value—all hail the originator. We wouldn’t be here without it.

Fireplace in Your Home: Classic Edition: If George Ford is the Orson Welles of yule logs, this is his Citizen Kane. Like its birchwood brother, the fire starts slow and builds over time, reaching a ferocious peak about 15 minutes in, blazing in perfect symmetry for 30 minutes, and then slowly fading into a perfect death. Netflix gave it its own trailer and behind the scenes video, and over on Amazon, it’s literally restoring people’s faith in Christmas.

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