Santa Claus at Rustan’s: “He is more fit and is slimmer now by a few pounds,” says Rustan's EVP Anton Huang.]

MANILA, NOVEMBER 19, 2012 (PHILSTAR) LIFE & STYLE By Millet M. Mananquil - Christmas is definitely the Tantocos’ favorite time of year. They spend a whole year preparing for it — from searching far and wide all over the world for the goods they will order for Christmas, to conceptualizing what their Rustan’s stores will look like in late October, which is usually the time their stores get dressed up for the holidays.

There were Christmases when their windows pictured fairy tales, and spoke of happily ever afters. And a time when their windows were transformed into fantasy land, the better to soothe our hearts from harsh realities, at least even for a month or two. There was a Christmas when huggable polar bears “roamed” their stores and reminded us that we must take care of the earth. Christmas at Rustan’s is surely designed to delight both young and old, but also to make us think and pause.

This Christmas, while our spirits may be dampened by floods and shaken by tremors elsewhere, Rustan's envisions fresh white Christmas trees cascading with lights that speak of fresh starts and glow with hope. The newly-renovated Rustan’s at Edsa Shangri-La was unveiled last Monday with a “Light Up Your World” mantra, reinforcing Rustan's commitment to conservation and awareness on energy efficiency and sustainability as the revered retailing institution turns 60 this year. The store uses 80-percent LED lights.

Over TWG tea — their latest delicious acquisition that excites our palate — Rustan's president Nedy Tantoco spoke of how she and her EVP Anton Huang and the Rustan’s team of style savants and merchandising experts put together this year’s Christmas offering to the public.

The Beauty Source: Everything you need to be beautiful is at Rustan’s.

[PHOTO - Pioneers in luxe retailing: Rustan’s president Nedy Tantoco and executive vice president Anton Huang lead the unveiling of the newly-renovated Rustan’s Edsa Shangri-La with its fresh,clean white Christmas trees brightened up by cascading LED lights.Standing (from left) are division managers Dina Tantoco (marketing), Nina Huang (children’s), Paolo Lobregat (men’s) and Katrina Tantoco-Lobregat (fashion).Photos by ERNIE PEñAREDONDO]

Having unveiled this, the Tantocos now brace for the November and December frenzy of making sure service is as impeccably efficient as Rustan's founder Glecy Tantoco preached about it: “No trips, no leaves, no excuses for this season,” Nedy smiles as she sips her white tea, bracing for another working day. At the store, all is white and right — including the beautiful new restroom with sleek lavender French modern chairs that transport you to Paris.

What a beautiful feeling.

NINA HUANG suggests delightful Christmas gifts that can serve as purses or cellphone holders — quilted, colorful mini-bags/pouches in the form of horses, owls and dogs. “This is not just for kids,” Nina says. “Grownups can attach it to the the belt loops of their jeans so they won't misplace their cellphone."Rustan’s has unique dolls (Dorothy doll with Toto,the tin man and other items from the Wizard of Oz collection), dollhouses (by Kid Kraft), backpacks (by Stephen Joseph) and game sets (by House of Marbles). For holiday frocks, Rustan's has Neck & Neck from Spain and Kiddos by Mandy de la Rama-Santos. But Nina, who loves horses (she is a graceful equestrian) suggests also rocking horses. And yes, a unique luggage with wheels that kids can ride on or pull in airports. “That should keep kids from being bored while queuing with their parents at airport counters.”

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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