The following column from Staten Island Advance/SILive writer and editor Margorie Hack celebrates both memories and the present day spirit of the holiday season:

It happened last Thursday. I pushed open the back door of the Advance, headed for home, and I was met by a strong smell of wood smoke. Aah, I thought, someone in a nearby house has a fireplace.
Though I’m not particularly looking forward to the cold weather that’s on its way, one thing I have always loved about the winter is it’s fireplace season.
When I was in fifth-grade, we moved into a house that had a fireplace that opened both to the dining room and the living room; there was another one directly below it in the basement, which my parents quickly turned into a warm, inviting family room.
We had a huge wood pile outside our house and by the end of winter, its size had always dwindled considerably because we so often lit the fireplace.
The smell and the flicker of the flames stood in sharp contrast to the snow that almost always blanketed the Great Outdoors on the eastern side of Cleveland. I always felt just a wee bit closer to those around me and something about the flames always succeeded in firing up my imagination.