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This Minecraft Holiday Yule Log brings back that old-fashioned festive feeling

The first television yule log, according to Wikipedia, aired in 1966 in New York City. They've come a long way since then: There are now entire channels dedicated to festive fireplaces, you can stream them to mobile devices or load them from DVD, or for a twist you can watch Jeff Kaplan sitting in front of one at Blizzard HQ, motionless and unsmiling—truly a man in a festive mood.

For something even more exotic, this Minecraft fireplace, created by YouTuber Denis, might be just the trick. There's no music, no festive detritus like a tree in the corner or tinsel hanging from the ceiling: It's just an up-close shot of a burning fire, complete with roaring, crackling sound effects and the occasional flying spark that fizzles out in a puff of smoke. (There is, however, a chicken murder about 15 seconds in, which I somehow managed to completely overlook when I watched. After that, though, it's all festive fireplace.) Maximize that blazing pit on your big UHD monitor and put it on repeat (right-click the YouTube play button and select "loop" from the pop-up menu), and you're set until the new year.

This is different from the official Minecraft Holiday Yule Log, which has been around since 2016. It's a more elaborate production, with a pulled-back view of a fireplace in a rustic room replete with gifts and decorations; snow is falling outside, and every now and then someone will wander across the screen. It's lovely, but for a relaxing, warming (psychologically, at least) effect, I really prefer the former. There's nothing quite like snuggling up close to a roaring fire to conjure up those old-fashioned holiday feelings. Happy holidays!

Andy covers the day-to-day happenings in the big, wide world of PC gaming—the stuff we call "news." In his off hours, he wishes he had time to play the 80-hour RPGs and immersive sims he used to love so much.