Yule log videos. They’re a pretty common thing now; you can find them on Blu-Ray, Netflix, and YouTube, but the original was almost lost forever. It disappeared for decades, and was only recently recovered and restored.
Brian Earl, host of Christmas nostalgia podcast Christmas Past, said:
“After the station discontinued the program, the original film was put in a mislabeled canister and lost/forgotten for many years.”
Of the original 1966 yule log broadcast, Earl said:
“It was an idea that could’ve been seen as strange, risky, bold, silly. But nobody could’ve predicted that it would catch on the way it did.”
The original 17-second yule log clip was looped for three hours and set to a track of Christmas music.
The film was eventually replaced with an updated version in 1970, and the original was put away and forgotten. The new version aired until 1989 but was also eventually misplaced.
This later version was eventually found in a film canister in New Jersy during a search for footage of then-presidential candidate Donald Trump! It had been mislabeled as a Honeymooners episode, said longtime Yule Log fan Chip Arcuri on the Christmas Past podcast.
It was thanks to Arcuri’s love for the Yule Log that the badly damaged recording was able to be restored. He had, in his collection, the records containing original recordings of all of the songs originally used in the broadcast.
Digital director Rolando Pujol told :
“To me, it has tremendous value as a piece of TV history,” “The Yule Log is high-concept TV ― which, in the face of it, sounds like a ratings disaster and a very bad decision. But it draws people in and compels them. And they keep it on as a sort of friend that you have over to your house every holiday. You turn it on and it’s there.”
You can find the full two-hour video of the original WPIX Yule Log below:
Many expressed their gratitude and excitement at the return of the classic Yule log.
To WPIX: thank you, thank you for the Yule Log- for bringing back my childhood and a million memories….Merry Christmas to you all!
— Lisa Williamson (@bellpeckfan) December 25, 2018
WPIX 11. The Yule Log. Christmas memories of a Brooklyn apartment with a virtual chimney. pic.twitter.com/4hTB9AgXiB
— Michelle Schimel (@MichelleSchimel) December 25, 2018
Still Yule Logging, thank you @WPIX
— Belle & MrB (@bellewitch66) December 25, 2018
So happy to see this NY Christmas tradition continues. https://t.co/jGjFVyR44c
— Jordan Wertlieb (@JWertlieb) December 25, 2018
And here are a few of our favorite fandom Yule logs, if the traditional isn’t your thing: