Baby, it's cold outside, and there's nothing like snuggling up to a roaring fire and some Christmas tunes.
OK, OK, it's not that cold, and most of our tiny apartments aren't blessed with fireplaces. But that's where the WPIX Yule Log comes in. Whether you're opening presents, sipping spiked eggnog or reminiscing on holidays past, it will be there to keep you company and usher the sights and sounds of Christmas into your home. Here's what you need to know this year.
In 1966, WPIX general manager Fred Thrower came up with the idea of a televised yule log, set to a Christmas soundtrack, to warm New Yorkers' fireplace-deprived apartments (see above). The original film loop was shot at Gracie Mansion. That year, the station gave up $4,000 in ad revenue to air the yule log over the roller derby. It was an instant hit.
The version we see today was filmed in 1970, after the original loop was worn out. Because they were not welcome back to Gracie Mansion (a rug was singed while filming the first), WPIX needed to find a new fireplace. The lucky winner was located in Palo Alto, California.
By 1989, WPIX's new management decided the Yule Log would take its final bow in favor of more profitable programming. Little did they know it had become such a beloved New York City tradition that fans would take action to return it to their living rooms.
"Bring back the log" petitions were finally successful in 2001, when New Yorkers would once again enjoy a much-needed cozy Christmas season. It has secured its spot on channel 11 ever since.
WHEN TO WATCH
The original Yule Log will be on channel 11 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Christmas Day.
IF YOU DON'T HAVE CABLE
Living in an apartment without a fireplace AND without cable?! Even you can avoid having a blue Christmas. The Yule Log's special web-only edition will stream from 8 p.m. to midnight Christmas Eve, and from 1:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. Christmas morning at PIX11.com/holiday. (The break is for a live showing of Midnight Mass, straight from St. Patrick's Cathedral.) You can also find versions on YouTube, Netflix and at the top of this article.
HOW TO CONNECT
Anyone who's anyone has a Twitter account, and the Yule Log is no exception. Follow it on Twitter @PIXYULELOG, and you'll get to enjoy lively, first person tweets, such as "I'm getting warmed up! Almost my time to shine! #loglife." If that's not enough excitement for you, head over to its fan site, theyulelog.com.