It's Christmas Eve and a special time for family and friends to gather in the glow of a crackling fire. But things don't always go as planned and fireplaces don't always work properly. If yours is smoking and choking your guests, here's how to clear up some common minor problems with simple fireplace remedies. First be sure the damper is open. Next check your firewood. If it's wet or unseasoned (too green), it'll smoke rather than burn. If they're wet, get dry ones or buy an artificial log. A fireplace needs flames to heat the air so that it rises up the flue and draws smoke out with it. To help, light a rolled-up newspaper and hold it near the damper to get the draw started. Finally open a nearby window or door for airflow. Once you've got a good blaze going and the flue draws as it should, the only problem left is how will Santa get down the chimney later? Oh well, from our house to yours -- Merry Christmas everybody! And that's the On The House tip for today.