Holiday Hearth Accessories

Holiday Hearth Accessories

Tara Dickinson
9 minute read

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Holiday time brings up many images of time spent with loved ones around a warm fire at home. You’ve most likely heard the term "hearth and home" as it has become a sort of  cliché; what it means is that those who use it are craving the comforts and warm safety of home life. The hearth, or fireplace, in the main room of the home is a common gathering place for families to hangout, connect, and enjoy being together. This has been the case for centuries. As we have modernized and no longer need fires in homes to survive, the hearth, besides being a gathering place for the family, is also a spot for collections of photos, arts, and other souvenirs. During the holidays the hearth is an important focal point and again, most likely the center of many holiday traditions.

A Brief History of the Fireplace Hearth

Shared by eFireplace Store: “The hearth has been around since humans discovered fire. Prehistoric hearths were first discovered in ancient caves and campsites. Fast forward thousands of years and hearths are still prominent in Ancient Greece, so much so that there is a goddess, Hestia, named after it.

The Byzantine Empire used to impose a hearth tax whereby the government took money from every home with a hearth installed. Still today, this hearth tax is one of the best records of the population during the medieval times, considering the hearth was a hot commodity needed for survival.

Fast forward again to the 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries, hearths moved from a necessary part of the home and established its rightful place as works of art and cherished heirlooms. They're still considered a gathering spot for storytelling, but due to technological advancements, the hearth is no longer critical to survival as it once was.

By the late 20th century and the new millennium, having a hearth in the home lost its significance with the advent of central heating and cooling.

Over time, the hearth has evolved, much like the word. From its technical meaning on the cave floor beneath the fire to its symbolic significance as the familial gathering place, the hearth transforms as we do.”

Types of Hearths (Fireplaces)

Electric fireplace- is simply an electric heater that mimics a fireplace burning coal or wood. Electric fireplaces are powered by an electrical outlet, so no fumes are being released into the home; it’s low maintenance and easy to clean. Using an electric fireplace is extremely simple, and its appearance can be designed in a wide range of unique ways.

Gas fireplace- look like real wood fires and act like them too. They produce a small amount of smoke that requires venting, but the fire is produced by gas. More manageable than a wood-burning fire because you can control the amount of gas being used.

Gas log fireplace- offer all of the ambiance and warmth of a real, wood-burning fire but without the mess. Gas logs are typically made up of ceramic but can be fashioned to look like any type of wood from oak to driftwood or more. None of the accompanying real fire maintenance requirements.

Gas fireplace inserts- these are popular and often mistaken for a regular fireplace. They are installed into an already-existing fireplace and are designed to replace wood fireplaces for a cleaner alternative.

Wood fireplace- the original and the classic of all fireplaces is beautiful and creates its own unique ambiance; the atmosphere, the warmth, the sound, and smell are all things that people love about natural wood fires. No need to depend on electricity for use. Great for keeping warm if the power ever goes out, and maybe even for cooking usage.


Now, the accessories that accompany the hearth are quite impressive. The list is long and comprehensive. And almost every item on a hearth accessory list comes in various designs, sizes, shapes, and types so your options are just as comprehensive. Hearth accessories make great gifts as they will last for decades and are quite useful.


Andirons- Definition from Merriam-Webster: “A pair of metal supports for firewood used on a hearth and made of a horizontal bar mounted on short legs with usually a vertical shaft surmounting the front end.” These are used to hold firewood up off the fireplace floor to allow proper burning and minimize smoke. They can also be placed in front of or beside your firewood grate. They're perfect for electric or gas log fireplaces. Even in the off season, they bring style and interest to an unused hearth.

Ash buckets- ash holders safely store ashes until they are cool. The lid keeps the ashes contained and dust under control. Handles are strategically placed for easy carrying and emptying.

Chimney caps- standard and custom designs are available. These provide protection for your chimney flue and chimney crown by covering the entire top of a chimney. This prevents rain water from entering the flue or soaking into a chimney crown.

Chimney brushes- effectively sweep away soot and creosote buildup and help prevent flue fires. Used on metal flues and brick chimneys, including round, square, oval or rectangle clay flues, smooth wall flexible chimney liners.

Fatwood fire starters- are used in all types of fireplaces: wood stove, fireplace, hearth, fire pit, camping, hiking, hunting etc. to quickly start a fire. These sticks are usually all natural and harvested from leftover stumps of trees.

Fire starters (other):

Pinecone: ​​ pine starters are pine cones set in a wax base.

Wax: fire starters are made with all natural products, usually many are found in nature: acorns, pine needles, and pine cones. Fire starters are safe for indoor wood burning fireplaces. If soy wax is used, it completely burns up so there is no residue or remaining wax.

Fireplace gloves- are durable leather gloves for protecting hands from flames, heat, and splinters when stacking firewood or adding logs to a fireplace. The long length also protects forearms. Important items to have to reduce the risk of a burn. ​​

Fireplace grates- used for combustion efficiency and enabling the radiant heat emitted by embers to project outward into a space. Placed against the back wall of a fireplace, the grate aims smoke directly up the chimney.

Fireplace tool sets- sets normally include a poker, shovel, broom, and tongs, all placed into a stand.

Glass fireplace doors- withstand high heat and are designed to enhance a traditional fireplace hearth while at the same time helping to reduce heat and air conditioning loss up the chimney by as much as 90% while the fireplace is not in use.

Hearth pads- used as a stove board or hearth extender to protect the floor in front of your fireplace. Also handy as a wall shield to protect your walls from intense heat. As a bonus they can be used under other heating appliances such as kerosene, gas and electric heaters.

Hearth rugs- wool rugs add protection to your hearth as they are durable and naturally fire-resistance.

Kettles- there are two types of kettles for fireplaces and stoves, one for steam and humidity, and one for cooking. The ones called steamers add humidity to a room with the steaming hot water; normally used with wood, coal, pellet or corn burning stoves. Not for cooking.

Campfire style kettles- ​​usually made of cast iron and are used for cooking over a fire. The round shape allows steam and flavors to mingle.

Kid safety gates- protecting kids and pets, these safety gates allow for adding or decreasing the number of panels according to your needs.

Log carrier- are handy items to have in helping with tasks of log-hauling. Many designs can also act as log stands or log holders by the fire.

Logs racks- fit into almost any fireside space to make firewood stacking easy and attractive.

Mantle & fireplace surrounds- fireplace surrounds consists of columns attached to either side of the mantel, and can have the following variations:

  • A flat-style is set flush to the wall.
  • The column-style is set away from the wall.
  • A cabinet-style is a column surround that also serves as a storage or wall unit.
  • Steel, concrete, and stone are the most modern materials. Tile is a more traditional option, and brick can be either modern or traditional for a fireplace surround.

Screens- stainless steel mesh screens are another option acting as protective coverings for fireplaces. Scenes come in an extremely wide variety of styles.

Steamers- cast iron steamers serve as an alternative to electric humidifiers, perfect for those with allergies and asthma. Makes winter air moist and breathable; a great solution for dry air.

Stockings- the holiday stocking, who could forget this hearth accessory?! The tradition of hanging stockings by the fire was so Father Christmas could fill it with presents if children had been good. According to tradition, the original Saint Nicholas put gold coins in the stockings of three poor kids who left their stockings drying over the fireplace. Since then, children have hung up their stockings on Christmas Eve, hoping to find them filled with gifts in the morning.

Thermometers- wood stove thermometers are an easy way to measure the temperature of your wood burning stove and offer easy-to-read zones for quick reference of a stove's operating efficiency.

Trivets- a trivet is an object placed between a serving dish and a dining table, usually to protect the table from heat damage. Of course also an ideal accessory for fireplaces of all types.

HOLIDAY BONUS: A wonderful gift to give or share with family is a firestarter gift-set. This can include fragrant wood kindling, pinecones, long wooden matches, and any other items you can think of to get your friend’s hearth roaring to a holiday success.


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