Grit Blogs > Waking up in Kansas

Chestnuts Roasting on a Virtual Fire

By K.C. Compton

Tags: holiday, warmth, fireplace,



OK, OK. This does qualify as one of my goofiest gifts ever, but … I have to admit I’m enjoying it immensely.

When I visited with my cousin in San Francisco last week, she mentioned that she was sitting in front of a roaring fire, relaxing. I thought this was odd because I didn’t remember her small house in the hills there in the Bay Area having a fireplace.

We visited a few more minutes and she said, “Just a minute, let me turn the fireplace down.”

“The damper,” you mean.

“No,” she said. “I have a remote. It’s a virtual fireplace.”

I thought she was kidding, but the more she explained her fireplace DVD to me, the cooler it started sounding. For the first time in many years, I don’t have a fireplace or a woodstove in my home. And now that the weather has been in the single digits, I really miss the warmth, glow and crackle.

As it turns out, now that Cousin Janet has sent my very own Digital Fireplace DVD, I can have the glow and crackle by pressing a button. The warmth, I’ll have to imagine. But the heck of it is, I honestly believe having the faux-fireplace crackling away in the background does make it seem warmer.

There is also a little ambient noise – dogs barking in the distance, I think, and maybe kids playing – that some online reviewers objected to, but that I find just add to the coziness.

I imagine this isn’t the very best thing I could be doing for the environment – it does use some electricity, after all. But … no smoke, no ash. That counts for something, doesn’t it?