I'm Jonathan Stiers (pronounced Styers). Join me as I share my adventures in food, design, entertaining and travel. I hope you enjoy and find some inspiration!

A Very Stiers Christmas

My Christmas Story

Christmas. Where to begin? I have adored it since I could remember.  At the age of 4 or 5, I would stand still, arms out, opening and closing my fingers, while blinking my eyes. This was me pretending to be a Christmas tree. No joke.

Growing up I have fond memories of Christmas, mostly at my Grandmother's. Before there were people that were paid to come set up all of your Christmas stuff, fluff your tree, hang your lights, I was doing it for my Grandmother, at the age of 10. She originally had one of the 50's era, aluminum Sparkle trees. And at the time I thought, "What in the world is this?" (I would later realize what a trendsetter my Grandmother was and wish she still had it!) I loved it, but this 10-year old traditionalist, needed a Frasier Fur. This was before people had the space or money to do two trees or a tree in everyone room, otherwise I would've used the Sparkle tree elsewhere. My Grandmother was ahead of her time. Not only did she have the trend-current Sparkle tree, she had a flocked tree before those where in demand! 

Little did my Grandmother know what a lasting impression she was leaving on me. So, my hats off to her, not only for trusting a 10-year old with a full-size tree, lights and breakable ornaments, but for letting me do my thing even when I didn't really know what I was doing.

That brings us to Christmas 2013. I put my tree up the first weekend in November. I like to say "I'm on Retail Time." But these days, retail stores are setting up Christmas in September and October, even I draw the line there. I know that some people can't fathom the idea of putting their tree up until December 1st. But here's my rationale; it takes me 7+ hours to get all of my Christmas stuff out of the garage, carried in to the house, set up and decorated. And that's just the tree. I'll spend a second day putting up decor throughout the house. I cannot imagine putting in two days of work and having to take it all down 3 weeks later. This is why people leave all their Christmas lights up through February! Not only do I love Christmas and the festive feeling it brings to your house, I want to get 2 months of enjoyment out of it, after putting so many work hours in! 

Christmas Tip No. 1 - Ribbon

Throughout the month of November and December, I'll be sharing some of my favorite decorating tips, entertaining tips, ornaments, baked goods and other Christmas goodies, all leading up to my big tree reveal, right after Thanksgiving! I have to pace myself after all, to avoid Christmas overload for both me AND you. :)

That brings us to ribbon. I love ribbon because it's so versatile. It can go on your tree, you can use it for wrapping presents or adding a bow to your wreath, garland or swags. The possibilities are endless.

On my past trees, I've used a red fabric ribbon and wanted to mix it up this year. I decided to go with a jute ribbon with red webbing. Not only does it give my tree a more natural, rustic feel, but ribbon is great for adding softness to your tree. It's best attribute is movement in a world where everything is hanging perfectly still in it's place. 


Christmas Tip: No. 2 - Photo Memories

Farmer's Market