He who wants to warm himself in old age must build a fireplace in his youth
– German proverb
As the chill of winter sets in and the holidays trot toward full gallop, nothing extends a welcome to family and friends like a blazing fire. The focus and bookend of all great rooms, the mantel and its hearth beckon visitors to warm the hands and soul. After all, any drink and conversation made fireside are always elevated. They transform from mundane to magical and memorable. Nothing is so primal and so comforting as places to rest circled around a roaring fireplace. Its basic, elemental nature seems to call out to our collective unconscious, stirring thoughts from cavemen to scouting. So pull up a chair or a stool, gaze into the fiery maw, toast the toes and fire the mind. While you’re at it, turn off the TV.