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The Yule Log On Demand

Yule Log
The original, authentic "Yule Log" on the tube. (Craig Allen photo)

One of the joys of Christmas Day in New Jersey is the crackling fire, and the Christmas music…on television.

The original Yule Log debuted on New York’s Channel 11 in 1966.  It was a broadcast of a pleasantly burning, crackling log in a fireplace, accompanied by Christmas music of the day.  This commercial-free broadcast brought the feel of the suburban fireplace to city apartment-dwellers.  The “burning log” was an instant hit, and aired at different times on either Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, annually, through 1989.  At that time, Channel 11 management shelved the Yule Log, feeling that it did not appeal to their desired younger audience.  The digitally, fully-remastered Yule Log triumphantly returned December 24th, 2001, riding a wave of post-9/11 notsalgia.

Recently, I’ve noticed several friends on various social media commenting about watching the Yule Log “on demand,” as far back as Thanksgiving Day.  First, the original, authentic Yule Log, is owned by, and aired only on Tribune Company stations around the U.S.  It has never been made available on video or dvd (the prohibitive cost of music licensing rights being one of the reasons).  Other television stations around the country have produced their own Yule Log programs (copycats seeking ratings), as have production companies (seeking dvd sales).  That is what you are seeing…accept NO substitutes!  Secondly, isn’t part of the lure of the Channel 11 Yule Log the fact that your TV turns into a fireplace only “in the moment” for a few hours on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day? In my opinion, TIVO’ing doesn’t count…there wasn’t a way for the average New Jerseyan to record TV “back in the day.” Some facts of tradition should remain.

By the way, join me for Christmas Classics and Holiday Favorites at 10am on December 25th on New Jersey 101.5! We’re your traditional all-day Christmas Day soundtrack! Ho-Ho-Ho!

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