With Christmas so close, we are all in deep. Oh yeah, baby, it’s cold outside, but we are warm inside from all that’s going on: Visits to Santa, Christmas movies galore (I may or may not have The Polar Express memorized thanks to my super sweet train-obsessed 4-year-old son), gingerbread house-making, plenty of shopping and gift-wrapping, wine and whine with friends and the multitude of holiday activities taking place each day and weekend!
Here is what I have loved hearing about so far this holiday season: Successful toy drives, Salvation Army donations, letters to Santa and overall, just a bunch of altruism at its best. ‘Tis the season; our hearts are sometimes bursting!
Yet, ‘tis the season as well for theft, and our bursting hearts can quickly transform into our stomachs turning and our Grinch sides coming out when we find out about bad things happening to us, our family or friends, or just in general to those around us.
I know crime is inevitable; the police department tells us that every year about this time they deal with more and more reports about theft and violence. This year was no exception in Indy, with criminal activity actually increasing from last year. It makes me cringe.
But why? Why does it happen so often, and why does it happen more this time of year? Don’t thieves have a heart?!
Well, not really, and let’s face it, these criminals want to give themselves and their families presents, too. It’s just too bad it comes at the expense of other people’s friends and families.
Recently Sullivan Hardware and Garden (they have an awesome family Christmas train ride, y’all!) posted a video of a man with a tire iron who stole clothing off the two elves at their “North Pole” section of the store. Yes, you read that correctly: The man was carrying a tire iron while stealing ELVES’ CLOTHES after hours! As the owner commented, you can’t make this stuff up.
On the “Nextdoor” community website, people have been reporting a ton of theft occurring in their neighborhoods lately. One individual posted that his Christmas decorations, holiday projectors and laser equipment were stolen outside his house while he and his wife were gone for an hour. ONE hour.
Some reported that their cars had been broken into; others that they had heard voices by their garage and individuals scurrying away to their vehicles.
Packages are also being stolen off of porches on a routine basis. One neighbor reported that her Amazon package containing a religious book was stolen. Another said a box with dog food inside was snatched from her porch before she got home from work.
What the whatttt?!
We now live in a society where we certainly cannot keep our doors unlocked, we certainly cannot have peace of mind when our cars are parked outside our own house, we certainly cannot have anything of value outside with a shred of security it will stay intact, we certainly cannot make online orders with airtight affirmation the orders will stay on our porches until we get them and, sadly, most of all, we certainly cannot trust that people can be trusted.
It is all so scary, and ultimately, it is SO very sad. Here we have people trying to get into the Christmas spirit, to put out beautiful holiday displays for everyone to enjoy…and then within such a short amount of time, they are wrongfully stripped away by seedy characters. People are spending hard-earned money for gifts or home improvements, and they cannot even trust that these items will get to their own hands before a Christmas bandit strikes again.
Bad things are happening more and more…and more. So, we are learning to adapt, learning to be more cautious and learning to stay strong despite these setbacks which we whole-heartedly fear, yet don’t always anticipate.
Ultimately, we are left to keep the proverbial Christmas spirit alive, to keep trying to overshadow the bad with the good and to stay positive amidst these terrible Grinch incidents.