December 24, 2017
The televised Yule Log is a concept that far predates the era of streaming television, first premiering on a local New York network way back in 1966. It played annually for 33 years before the allure faded and advertising revenue dwindled, but the birth of on-demand watching has seen the meteoric rise of Yule Log videos for people who want something cozy to play in the background of their festivities.
Now there are worlds of digital Yule Log options to choose from, most of today’s taking an alternative approach to the classic -- whether sticking with Christmas music or adding animals, Ron Swanson, or, as you'll see below, a literal dumpster fire.
Check out the twelve Yule Logs you’ll want to have ready when festivities start this Christmas.
Let’s get the traditional options out of the way: burning log, Christmas music, and the intriguing cackle of a fire. Amazon, Netflix, and YouTube all have appropriate options. If you’d prefer the fire crackle and aesthetic but to pick your own music, YouTube has several non-instrumental versions as well.
Every year viral kitty Lil BUB shows off those huge eyes and permanently stuck-out tongue for hour-long holiday Yule Logs on YouTube. There’s no music, just the soft sound of the fire and her powerful purring. The 2017 video was just released last week.
Care for three hours of a dog and cat hanging out around an amazingly decorated hearth? Hallmark Channel made its own Yule Log in 2015, now on YouTube, featuring a dog and a cat (both named Happy, because they’re happy), and instrumental holiday music for three hours.
Hulu is getting in on the Yule Log game this year, with dogs getting all playful in a festive living room, complete with fire and music. Check out the video here and the trailer (yes, it has a trailer) below.
Well, these are all sort of an acquired taste. First is the endearing Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman) drinking Lagavulin for 10 hours in complete silence in front of a fire.
Regardless of how you feel about the latest Star Wars movie, you may enjoy this harkening back to “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” in which Darth Vader’s mask is burned for five hours. It starts with the “Star Wars” theme and then goes silent except for the fire.
Embrace the memories of high school Chemistry labs past with this science video that burns a log with a bunsen burner as a piano plays gently in the background. It includes an ethanol demonstration.
For more science, sort of, check out Nerdist's laser Yule Log, where the team essentially burns festive things with lasers (in front of a fire) for about 50 minutes.
Another new addition to the Yule Log family this year comes from Netflix, this time in the form of a dumpster fire that streams for an hour (no music). It’s an extension of Will Smith’s brand new Netflix original, “Bright,” which some critics would probably also compare to a dumpster fire.
It’s not clear why this was made or why 80,000 people have watched it since November. One could argue it resembles that of a bad acid trip, but then again, who doesn't want to get a little weird on Christmas?
Happy holidays, everybody!