Have a cathode ray Christmas!

YulelogNew Yorkers trapped in tiny apartments have seldom felt that they’re missing out on holiday charm. There’s always the Yule Log, broadcast originally 38 years ago and brought back in 2001 on WPIX—it’s even going national this year on fellow Tribune station WGN. (In case you’ve never seen it, the whole show is a camera trained close-up on a fireplace—a feature lacking in most New York apartments—with audio provided by a steady stream of Christmas carols.)

And for those who miss carolers, there’s no shortage of them on TV these days, thanks to ads. It’s all quite festive, if you can accept the fact that in most cases the lyrics have been, shall we say, “reworked” to fit the needs of the advertiser. Old Navy offers up spot after spot of bright sweater and pajama wearing singers who commiserate with consumers about the fact that the "holidays will hit you like a brick"—they’re running incessantly. Ads by DDB for the New York Lottery also have carolers singing—about how they’d rather have lottery tix than other presents. And Hyundai plays it a bit straighter with carolers singing sweetly about the virtues of Hyundais.

If that’s not enough, on Monday Old Navy unleashed its carolers on New York, sponsoring a singalong in Times Square that ran on Good Morning America.

With a fireplace and carolers on the tube, now if only they could find a way to make it easier to lug a six-foot tree up to a fifth-floor walkup.

—Posted by Mae Anderson