Manners & Misdemeanors

The Truly Rich Lady Reveals the Gifts She Received For Christmas

"Some I adore, others I like, and a few I don’t really need-but what matters most is that I was remembered by the people I love."

My Truly Rich Sister is very obsessive about folding paper, so the detritus of Christmas (the mess of wrappers, ribbons, and sticky tape) has been cleared away and the only thing that remains is the bounty of stuff.

I’ve only surveyed my stash this joyful Christmas morning (we open gifts after midnight), and just like a little girl, I find myself glad and happy for getting new things. Some I adore, others I merely like, and a few I don’t really need—but what matters most is that I, Si-si Coo, was remembered by the people I love.  

The One that I Will Keep

I call them rugrats, but I am really fond of them. My nephews are too young to give a proper gift, so they always do a card. The youngest did his best to scrawl out a special message, and it reads: “Dear Aunt CC, Please smile more.” This is wisdom, and I will frame it.


The One That I Will Re-purpose

Shut your mouth! Re-gifting is only distasteful if you are caught. Otherwise, it is totally okay to donate an unloved gift to someone else who may love it. For example, I do not need another bottle of expensive perfume, especially when it smells like boiled sugar and butterflies. My thanks to the person who has given me this, but everyone should know by now that the only scent I wear is money. 

The One That I Just Love

Those who know me best know that Christmas is very special to me because it is the only time when my trusted advisor (called guilt) allows me to indulge in whatever I want. And so, from the Visitors from Toronto, the boxes of bonbons from David H. Chow are most appreciated. In fact, they are all gone. I would also like to thank the Visitors from Mandaluyong who brought the chocolate bars that are only available at the Edsa Shangri-La. I am easy to please.


The One That I Don’t Need

I pray that the gods of fashion will not strike me down when I declare that I don’t need another designer bag. I have a room full of them (that page in that popular book about a room full of obscenely expensive bags is not far off from this), so I am not too keen about adding to the family. After I do my spring cleaning, let’s talk about this again. As for the gift made of exotic skin, I will put it in storage. 

The One That I Need

What I need is a good read. I cannot remember the last time I had that satisfying feeling of having finished a very good book, so the selection of My Year of Rest and Relaxation, An Unnecessary Woman, and How to be Alone is welcome. They all speak to my current state of mind.


The One That I Didn’t Receive

For years, my Truly Rich Mother has been dangling a particular piece of sparkling hardware in front of my face. She uses a version of this lie often: “My dearest Si-si, I think I shall give it to you this year. You deserve it.” But I think she only wants to see my face crumple every time I open the gift box and see something that is not what I had hoped for. This year, it was lemon-scented bath cubes!

The One That is Weird

Someone has discovered my predilection toward gag gifts and presented me with a red button that reads, “Press for Princess.” Funny sir, I am no princess! I am a Truly Rich Lady! This gift will go to the junk drawer.  

The One That I Will Grow to Love

Though I am a supporter of the communities that make those weave wonders (my house is filled with baskets and rugs), I do not want to look like every other Truly Rich Lady wearing a giant muumuu/ caftan/ coat, a set of fringe earrings, a pompom slingback, and a market tote. Having said that, I found my rebel heart softening when I saw this patchwork kimono-style jacket from a stylish friend. I will wear it on the first of January.


The One That is Understood

Finally, every year my personal portfolio grows because of my Truly Rich Father. This gift does not come in a ribbon-tied box, but I love it. I love it the most, in fact.

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About The Author
C.C. Coo
The Truly Rich Lady
C.C. Coo—also known as Town&Country’s Truly Rich Lady—is not a professional seeker of leisure as many people wrongly assume, for she has a real-life occupation: a SHE-EO of Important (Sub)Company of an Empire, for which she works very hard to make sure that the people in her care are not left wanting. She believes that manners are utterly important: “If society is like one of those costume jewelry pieces worn by Jackie O or Diana, manners would be the glue that keeps the veneer of a most beautiful thing from falling apart,” she says.
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