Personally, I haven’t in quite some time.
Sure, I enjoy the wood-burning stove when I visit my parents’ home in southwest Minnesota and the fireplace at my aunt’s home occasionally, but I personally haven’t had one in any of the apartments I’ve lived in. I also don’t see the purpose in turning the TV on PBS, or whatever station has the fire screen running, on Christmas Eve. It pales in comparison to a real fireplace. It also doesn’t keep one very warm.
And it’s a tradition many enjoy, not just at Christmas, but all year round.
We used to have one of those weird contraptions (not a fireplace, per se, as there was no mantle nor was there a square hole in the wall) in the old farmhouse I grew up in, but when my parents deemed the extended brick on the floor a safety hazard for four rambunctious kids, they renovated that room and got rid of it. I think they only had the thing lit a couple of times – based on my memory – and I remember the warm glow filling that entire room.
I, for one, never understood the meaning of crackling fire on your TV screens at Christmas time. Google it and you’ll find hours upon hours of footage on YouTube, now streaming in high definition! Woo—hoo!
Perhaps it’s a lot like those ugly Christmas sweaters.
Then again, maybe not.
I’ve grown up some since moving out from home and have had the opportunity to sit in front of a fireplace (not at Christmas time, though). I enjoyed the warmth and, most of all, the ambient glow filling up a room.
That warmth and light remind me of the joy that spreads, especially at Christmas, as children wait in anticipation for Christmas morning and Christians observe Advent, anxiously awaiting the birth of, and return of, our Savior.