Hocus- Smokeless

By Stephanie Cavanaugh
Special to The Washington Post

When it comes to romance there's little that compares to the allure of fireplaces. Whether they actually provide heat is pretty much irrelevant; it's the fantasy that counts.

Where else can you make like Katharine Hepburn, bony elbow poised on the mantel as you toss back a cognac and exchange witty repartee with your Cary Grant-equivalent.

Where better to read Poe on a frosty evening when the gnarled branches of the old oak tree scrape against the windowpanes like devilish claws?

How else would Santa arrive?
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