Stephanie is the chief operations officer of Philux, a television host, and philanthropist.
“Christmas is such a busy season in Manila! I try my best to go through my days peacefully so as not to forget what the season is truly about,” says Stephanie Kienle Gonzalez, COO of furniture company Philux. “To me, more than materiality and fluff, it’s about being present, sharing genuine moments and cherishing that time with your nearest and dearest.”
For Stephanie, Christmas has always been an intimate celebration with her small, tight-knit family. She shares, “If we are in town, we usually have Christmas Eve at home with my parents and sister, over a lovely home-cooked meal, holiday tunes and sitting around a bright tree in the living room that is filled with meaningful ornaments.” On Christmas day, her family would visit her husband Chris’ lola’s home for lunch, where their kids would enjoy their cousins’ company while they run amok in the garden.
When asked about her Christmas traditions, Stephanie explains that it’s all about making her children happy during the festivities. “We have our Elf on the Shelf visit a month before the 25th of December. She cleverly and playfully moves around the house with special messages for Andrea and Arielle and this really builds up their excitement for the season. The head elf from the North Pole never fails to call up the children to let them know Santa Claus has received their letter.”
She adds, “Lastly, Santa or Le Père Noël always makes a stop on Christmas Eve, nibbles on the cookies, milk, jamon and wine that we place by the tree to the kids’ utter delight and leaves them a surprise. We always look forward to the smiles and giggles our holiday traditions bring.”
Holiday décor has her own signature pared-back elegance. “My holiday style evolves as our life does, though I always try to keep things natural, elegant and with sentiment. As I am a very visual person, the look slowly comes to life as I layer elements when setting the table. Sometimes, I edit elements out when I feel less is more. Overall, I want to create a feeling that is warm and festive.”
Read more: 7 Ideas For Decorating Your Christmas Tree