When I was a kid we had a fireplace out in the front room. The room we were only allowed to sit in a few times out of the whole year, mostly around Christmas. It was then family would gather, we would set up the Christmas tree in that room and have the big family dinner in the dining room. I loved having the fireplace on.
I remember the smell of it, the sounds that it made and the warmth of the fire on my face when I would sit so close my eyeballs began to dry out. It was nice even then. A few times we got wood that had aged a bit more. It all came from the ravine/ wooded area which was behind our house. The older wood had been sitting in the dirt, becoming a home for insects. That wood tended to smoke and hiss in the fire and there odd, sharp pops when it found one of those creepy crawlers inside the log.
I know some people have huge bonfires outdoors for Christmas and other holidays. We did that once, in October. That time we were living in a rural area and you were still allowed to burn yard waste, scraps, and so on. Now there are more rules and laws about it all. It was nice having that huge roaring fire in the middle of the garden. We had already picked all the squash and other edibles out of the garden. It was an easy way to burn the weeds and get rid of the left over plant parts instead of shovelling them all under the dirt to compost.
The bonfire wasn’t the same as the fireplace inside the house. Of course, the fire isn’t as large in the house. But, indoors we can have the Christmas tree in the same room. The older relatives like it, they can talk and hear each other and it’s not so cold. I miss having an indoor fireplace now, and all those relatives.