Everyone loves Christmas and the general festive season. Full of brightly decorated trees and twinkling lights, delicious sweet treats, and plenty of opportunities to spend time with your nearest and dearest, there’s little wonder why it’s so often referred to as the most wonderful time of the year!
To get you firmly in the mood for the fast approaching festivities, there’s not much more ‘Christmassy’ than cosying up with your loved ones around a warm open fire or a log-burner. In fact, there’s a reason why Nat King Cole famously sang about chestnuts roasting on an open fire…
Open fires are a wonderful way to get into the festive spirit by roasting chestnuts, marshmallows, and other typical winter favourites! You can also roast other nuts if you’re not the biggest fan of chestnuts, and even seeds and fruit.
The likes of marshmallows and fruit can be skewered and (very carefully!) held over the flames, though chestnuts and other nuts should be placed in a case-iron skillet or pan. The online retailer, Not On the High Street even sell their own personalised chestnut roasting pans for this purpose!
As well as being a great place to roast delicious chestnuts and other treats, an open fire or log-burner in your home during the Christmas season also provides a great place to gather round with your family and friends. Whether you’re cooking this year’s Christmas dinner for your loved ones, or hosting drinks or a games or movie night,the warmth of an open fire is perfect if you want to give your event’s setting a homely, festive feel.
With Christmas being a season associated with love and kindness, having an open fire or log-burner in your home is also a great way to provide a romantic setting without having to brave the cold by leaving the house!
The benefits of an open fire in your home at Christmas
Another benefit of installing an open fire or log-burner in your home (particularly in the colder months) is that no other heating appliance will give you the same feeling of warmth that an open fireplace will, or even the same relaxing atmosphere. There’s nothing quite like hearing the crackling of the burning wood and watching the flames dance as they cast a pretty, warming glow around the room.
Alongside the festive and homely feel they give any home, heating a room using an open fire or a log-burner can also save you money. Sometimes, buying and burning firewood can be cheaper than using your home’s built-in heating system. Additionally, if you’re worried about your environmental impact, one way you can do is ensure you burn wood rather than coal (a fossil fuel). This is because wood is a renewable energy source that can be replenished.
To minimise your impact, you can also burn sustainably sourced wood, such as that from sustainability managed forests. Additionally, it may seem like an easy solution to burn your real Christmas tree when it’s time to take it down, but this should be avoided.In fact, burning Christmas trees is a leading source of chimney fires! You should also avoid hanging stockings above a lit fire as this causes a fire risk.
Burning fossil fuels (such as coal) damages the environment as they release greenhouse gases into the air.This causes heat from the sun to be trapped in the Earth, causing its temperatures to rise. This also contributes to rising sea levels and melting ice caps, which threaten ecosystems.
What to consider when putting an open fire or log-burner in your home
If you decide to spend your Christmas around an open fire, there are a few things you need to keep in mind before installing one in your home. Firstly, you need to remember that a fireplace or a log-burner can be a fire hazard, so make sure you already have a fire alarm and carbon monoxide detector fitted.
Open fires should also be protected by a fireguard if you have children and pets in your home, and it’s equally vital that you get your chimney swept by a professional chimney sweep each year,though the need may be more frequent (depending on how often you use your open fireplace or log-burner). This will prevent fires by allowing dangerous combustion gases to pass freely.