I love a fireplace and mantle - Mum always used to say it made a home cozy. We always had a fireplace with a mantle growing up, but since we were always living in military housing, it was a faux fireplace like the one pictured below in our house in Belgium. I had a revolving bulb under the pieces of coal at the bottom and two electric bars in case it got really cold. The mantle is decorated in the same way it was every holiday season - Santa in his sleigh and the reindeer sitting above a raised platform covered in the white fleece snow stuff you buy at the craft store with a couple of little evergreen trees, one on either side. It made our Christmas complete when these decorations came out and they survived for many years until they were lost in a house fire.
When Sophia was a toddler and we lived in Florida, I bought one of these cardboard cutout fireplaces from Lillian Vernon or Miles Kimball. I'm not sure if either one is still in business. Sophia loved it - two little wooden chairs sat on either side of the fire, each holding a teddy in a Santa hat, and she often sat in one of the chairs with the teddy on her lap.
There are so many Christmas fireplace/mantle design options out there - Pinterest has these two that caught my eye.
Definitely high on the forever home wish list - a fireplace!