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?