Title: Thanks for everything you've done
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SharonHeg
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(Date Posted:10/27/2008 21:40)

Hi Everyone-

First post, although I think this is the 3rd year in a row that I've been lurking.

I was a New Yorker from 1966 until 2000 and have been in Florida ever since. Anyway, I was raised as Jewish, but our family was very non-practicing. And what can I say - I LOVED Christmas. However despite not practicing our own religion, I wasn't allowed to own or really do anything "Christmasy" - which would have made sense if my parents thought I was interested in converting to Christianity, but I wasn't...I just loved all the pretty, sparkly stuff and, as I got older, the "spirit of the season", much moreso than the religious aspects of the Christmas holiday (that's not to say that I think religion isn't good for anyone else - if it works for you, more power to you). But despite my requesting every year, they would never let me have a "pretty" Christmas tree that I wanted so badly. "Not in OUR house!"

Anyway, with that as it was, when I was a little girl growing up in Brooklyn and then Staten Island, the only little bit of Christmas that I was "allowed" to experience was what was on television...I lived for all of the Rankin & Bass specials and Charlie Brown and Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol but my #1 favorite every year was the Yule Log. I would sit in front of the TV whenever it was on and pretend that I was sitting in front of a real fireplace and enjoying a "real" Christmas. I didn't know a lot of the songs because they weren't the popular ones you heard on the radio every year but I didn't care...it was very special part of my childhood.

I eventually grew up and, as I said, moved to Florida. Got married to a non-practicing Catholic (we were married by a hippie-turned-minister). His parents followed us to Florida a few years later but not before they taped The Yule Log on Channel 11 when it returned to TV in the early 2000's. I nearly cried the first time I watched it (grin). Being able to tape it onto DVD a few years later made it even sweeter...and I never would have been able to know about it being broadcast on TBS if I hadn't stumbled upon this web site a few years ago. So thank-you Chip, and everyone else, for keeping the home fires burning - The Yule Log has warmed the heart of this misplaced New Yorker.

Oh, and the BEST part of growing up and having a house of your own? You can do whatever you want. This was our house last Christmas.




Hubby leaves the decorating ALL to me (he'll help me with what I can't reach but otherwise he's very "hands off" - for me, it's like celebrating the Christmases I never had as a kid so I'm all over it!). I add a little bit more every year but as you can see, the credo of "more is better" that I observed in the neighborhoods I grew up in, has worked its way to my front lawn.
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Christmas Music Guru
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RE:Thanks for everything you've done
(Date Posted:10/28/2008 00:09)


Welcome Sharon, and thanks so much for sharing your story.

I know a Jewish woman who had a very similar experience to yours growing up. She too, loved watching the Yule Log as a kid.

The program has certainly touched the hearts and lives of many a people over the years.



(Message edited by Christmas Music Guru On 10/28/2008 00:12)
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Lawrence F. "Chip" Arcuri
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JustaJeepGuy
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Posts:55

RE:Thanks for everything you've done
(Date Posted:10/28/2008 22:25)

I wonder if anyone who actually had (or has) a real fireplace turned (or turns) on the TV for the Yule Log?   I probably wouldn't have, and  I would have missed  all  the  music....which I did anyway, by not living somewhere that the Log was shown.  I led a deprived childhood!  I demand restitution, Charlie Brown!

Mike


(Message edited by JustaJeepGuy On 10/29/2008 14:17)
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RE:Thanks for everything you've done
(Date Posted:10/29/2008 00:43)


Mike,

The answer is a resounding yes. Many, many people who had real fireplaces watched the Yule Log, including our own family. We had the real fireplace going on one side of the family room, and the TV with the Yule Log on the other side. And we all sat around the room and watched both! Some folks just had the Yule Log on as a backdrop for entertaining and didn't really watch it, but we did!

As I told the Associated Press in 2006: "There was something special about the fireplace they used. It was just magnificent. And the fire itself - it was a roaring, happy, mesmerizing fire."

Here's the full article if you'd like to read it:  

http://www.redorbit.com/news/oddities/770748/tv_offers_competing_yule_logs_on_dec_25/index.html

Let me just add that the real star of this program was its soundtrack. The Yule Log would never have been the success it was without its great music.

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Lawrence F. "Chip" Arcuri
Owner/Webmaster | The Yule Log.com

JustaJeepGuy
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Posts:55

RE:Thanks for everything you've done
(Date Posted:10/29/2008 14:13)

Chip,

Do you think the soundtrack would have done as well by itself?  It might just have been "another block of Christmas music" without the fireplace.  I don't recall any radio stations that even played blocks of Christmas music on Christmas Eve when I was a kid (this was in Ohio).  All I remember hearing was the occasional "sound of the season". 

I would have killed for the Yule Log in 1973.  I was in the Navy at Mare Island in California, and one radio station claimed they were going to play 4 hours of Christmas music on Christmas Eve.  I listened to the entire 4 hours and never heard anything that even resembled a Christmas song.  I think it rained all that day and night, too.  A fireplace, even a televised one, would have made it an acceptable Christmas.  The YL  would have made it a pretty good one.  But no do-overs for me, thanks....  (Oh, sorry to hijack your thread, Sharon!)

Mike


(Message edited by JustaJeepGuy On 10/29/2008 14:16)
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RE:Thanks for everything you've done
(Date Posted:10/29/2008 15:25)


Naturally, for a televised event, both video (fireplace) and audio (music) were needed. And because both on the WPIX broadcast were so exceptional, the magical teaming of these two great elements made for a spectacular program.

If the program had consisted of a great fireplace but mediocre music, it probably would have still done well, but not near as well as if it had great music and a mediocre fireplace. There's no doubt that it's the music that carries the program and is the main reason for the show's success.      

As for radio stations, here in New York there were several that not only played blocks of Christmas music, but a few that had Christmas music marathons Christmas Eve through Christmas Day. The most legendary of these was Easy-93, WPAT, which used to broadcast its annual "The Spirit of Christmas" 36-hour marathon, which always began at 12:00 PM Christmas Eve.
   
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Lawrence F. "Chip" Arcuri
Owner/Webmaster | The Yule Log.com

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