As you gather together with friends and family, why not crank up the old YouTube Yule Log? It's easier than putting together a real fire, and you can always start it over when the flames die down! I've gathered some of my favorite virtual fireplaces below -- I recommend clicking through to YouTube and going to HD for the best effect (and best audio -- the crackling and roaring sounds are key to a good yule log!).
If you're looking for a DVD or Blu-Ray yule log, there's actually a thriving market out there -- I can personally recommend HD Moods: FIRE (Blu-ray) -- it has excellent audio, and they keep changing out the logs (to keep the fire roaring), but use clever cross-fades so it's very subtle when the change happens. (Also, for you camera nerds, that Blu-ray video was shot with a RED Camera®.) Enjoy!
The Original WPIX Yule Log
The quality here isn't great. But the WPIX Yule Log is the original TV yule log! See Kara's post on More Not-So-Famous Christmas Firsts for this log's history, including the true story of how this shot set a carpet on fire -- always use your protective fire screens, people!
Aspen and Spruce - 15 Min
This 720p video shows roaring flames from aspen and spruce logs, along with a distinctive popcorn-like crackling and popping sound. I love the roar of the flames pulling air into the fireplace!
Unidentified Logs - 20 Min
Another 720p video, showing a merry fire.
Closeup Fire - 98 Min
A full 1080p video, though it's zoomed way in. I'd turn off annotations on this one (the little red icon in the lower right) as there are some odd ad-like things at the top...begone, weird YouTube ad thingies!
Homey Fire - 10 Min
I'd also turn off annotations on this one, it has a brief ad for an iPhone app. And nobody needs that crap on Christmas!
Leftover Wood - 1 Hour
This one is decent, and in 720p, but it takes a while to get going. There are some annotations at the beginning, pointing to a 2-hour (non-HD) version and another yule log video by the same person.
Canadian Fireplace - 5 Min
At 5 minutes, and with a little background noise, this isn't the best option in the world -- but hey, it's something. Shot at Storm Mountain Lodge, Alberta Canada, Jan 6, 2010.