Beverly Knauer lives in beautiful San Diego, California, and began low carb in the 1970's. She's taken
several detours from the LC path during the years only to come back to it, realizing it's the only way
she wants to live. Beverly is Chief of Rehabilitation Services for a California Children Services, and is currently
writing a book for children.
"Love is, above all, the gift of oneself."
— Jean Anouilh
I woke up irritated. No one deserves to be jolted from pleasant dreams
by a tinny version of "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer" playing on
their clock radio. It was not going to be a good day.
* Caveat: this type of gift does not work with children, or adults
with a maturity level below 21 years.
You see, I am not your typical woman — I hate shopping. Well, at least
I hate holiday shopping, and I had delayed the dreaded task for as
long as I could. I HAD to go shopping to find the perfect I love you
gift for my boyfriend, Michael.
Negotiating the roads to the shopping center was more difficult than
pushing through a crowd of teenyboppers waiting for a Pink concert.
The first challenge was actually getting into the parking lot; cars
were in a snarl down the length of the street, horns honking.
Indignant drivers leaned out of their windows, shouting and gesturing
I blared the Christmas music on the radio, drowning out the man yelling
at me to "move my &@!# car". "Peace on earth, good will to men," I
Destination achieved — I was finally in the parking lot, in the middle
of all the bedlam. Some drivers reminded me of hawks circling their
prey, waiting to swoop and dive. Other drivers were like stealthy pumas,
lying in wait, ready to pounce on the next vacated parking spot.
Trapped, I was forced to wait. Finally, I lucked out. Someone in front
of me was leaving! From out of nowhere, "Mario Andretti" stomped on his
accelerator, swerved in from the opposite direction, and stole "my"
Now I was really in an anti-holiday mood. I tried humming "Oh, We
Need A Little Christmas" between gritted teeth.
Eventually, I snagged a parking spot. Despite lacking full-combat gear, I
decided to forge ahead into the mall, among ill-tempered and the
oblivious — it was not pretty. There were parents dragging their kids
around by the arm, shouting at them, saying things those poor children
will be telling their therapists about years from now.
While waiting in line to buy some Day-Timer calendars, I noticed a
plump-cheeked child with lips and hands sticky from a half-eaten candy
cane. The next thing I knew, I found I was wearing that candy cane stuck to my new
Then I actually witnessed a fight between two grown women who were
"duking it out" over a Cat In The Hat toy.
"Hey, that was my cat. Get your hands off it!"
"No way lady, I don't think so. I had it first, so it's mine!"
Maybe it was because my nerves were raw from being nudged and bumped
too many times. Maybe I had been standing in too many long lines,
frequently finding what I was looking for to be out of stock, and
spending too much money. Maybe it was because I was tired, cranky,
and they were playing "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" for the umpteenth
time. But something came over me in that moment. I smelled greed in
the air, and it was making me hungry.
One of the woman playing tug-of-war with the toy already had an
identical one in her shopping cart. That meant the two fighting buxom
women were the only things between me and the Cat In The Hat in the
cart. I made my move while they were distracted, grabbed the toy, and
ran to the cash register. Later in the car, I realized I didn't have
kids! I didn't even need the toy, and had no one to give it to, but
the greed factor had been overwhelming. That did it! I was leaving
the mall. I hadn't found the perfect gift, but I couldn't take any
When I got home, I realized how tired I was of it all — the frenzied
last-minute dashes to the mall to get golf balls for Uncle Pete and
bubble bath for Grandma Irene — gifts purchased in desperation because
I couldn't think of anything else to buy.
Before anyone accuses me of being a Scrooge, let me assure you that
I love Christmas. I can be more "Christmas" than Martha Stewart. My
shopping fiasco illustrated how complex I was trying to make the
holiday — I had lost sight of the simplistic essence of the season.
As I was unpacking my shopping bags, I picked up one of the new calendars
I had purchased and had an inspiration. I knew what I was going to give
Michael, and it was going to be the perfect gift...
Over the next couple
of days, I sat at the computer, plowing through the recesses of my mind,
searching for memories. Composing sentence after sentence, I wrote
about things I loved about Michael, and memorable moments we had
shared — funny things, sad things, inspirational things. Then, I cut
them so that I ultimately had 365 pieces of paper, and glued one to
each day of the year on the calendar. I put a photo of the two of
us on the inside cover.
On Christmas morning, the clock radio alarm woke me to The
Temptations singing, "Give Love At Christmas." I smiled. That was
exactly what I intended to do.
Michael opened my present and thumbed through the pages one by one. I
saw some tears glisten in his eyes and roll down his cheek. His smile
was brighter than the star on the top of the tree. He kissed me and
said, "you discovered the perfect gift — you gave me love."
Love — you can't see it, taste it, or wear it; you can't touch it, smell
it, or play with it. But it has the power to make you feel divine and
intoxicated. It re-ignites the light when it has gone out inside of you.
It opens a window when a door has been closed. It has the power to embrace
you when you are lonely, soothe you when sad, give you hope when you are
discouraged, and lift you when you have fallen.
Christmas is for love. It is for rejoicing, for giving and receiving, for
celebration with family and friends, for the laughter of children, for
twinkling lights and brightly wrapped packages. But most of all, Christmas
is for love.
Love is the ultimate gift to give — it's the perfect gift.
Copyright © December 2003 Beverly Knauer and Low Carb Luxury
Title photo Copyright © 2003 Neil Beaty and Low Carb Luxury
New for the Holidays at Low Carb Connoisseur
Russell Stover Low Carb Assortment Gift Box!
Give a gift that shows you really care...
Russell Stover now offers their delicious
low carb candy in a beautiful red gift box. It includes
all your favorites — Pecan
Delites, Toffee Squares as well as assorted caramels and creams.
Be sure to checkout our other Low Carb Holiday Gifts and Gift Baskets!
"Chocolate Lover's Delight," "Emeril Sauces & Seasonings," "Pampered Lady" Bath and Beauty Basket. Plus much, much more!
Low Carb Connoisseur — we put the Dash in Low-Carb.com!