I hope that the gifts that were earmarked for family and friends and slated to go under the Christmas trees on our street bring you some sort of comfort. I can only imagine the desperate times you must be experiencing that would entice you to track and follow a lone UPS driver as he made his rounds late on a Friday night. Running up the driveways, careful to avoid the 4 inches of white snow blanketing the grass, he breathed hard as he hurried to finish his route in order to begin his own Christmas preparations.
Perhaps you lay hunkered down in a parked car making a note of each house that the brown jacketed driver stopped at. Or maybe you had an accomplice who tailed the truck and wrote down addresses (although, how you could read them in the dark is beyond me…..wait….they must have been illuminated by the hundreds of Christmas lights brightening our homes). In any event, your heart must have been pounding in anticipation. Knowing that you needed to score; yet not wanting to get caught.
You were so bold that some of the neighbors were actually at home at the time that you slinked off with your bag full of goodies. These are desperate times I know. I give of my time to help many in my community who have lost their jobs, and in some cases their homes. My family has given generously to several food drives and gift tag collections at our church. My son, along with several boys from his homeroom, have sponsored a family of four for Christmas.
So knowing that this is the worst economy in decades, I understand why you would stoop to such a despicable act. But you know, when it came time to wrap the gifts on Christmas Eve and I realized that yet another shipment had been stolen on that same delivery day (thanks UPS tracking service!) and it was too late to replace the items in time for Christmas, I just felt sad…..
My husband and I resumed our Christmas Eve tradition of putting out cookies for Santa and wrapping the remaining gifts while watching “It’s A Wonderful Life”. But then as I watched George Bailey react to the kindness of the Bedford Falls community as they poured into his house on Christmas Eve and gave of the little that they had in order to help save the Bank, I realized that stolen gifts won’t remove the true spirit of Christmas.
The true spirit of Christmas today, no matter your beliefs, is love.
Love of family.
Love for friends.
Love for the communities in which we live.
So as the little bell on the Bailey Christmas tree tinkled and ZuZu said,
“Look, Daddy. Teacher says, every time a bell rings an angel gets his wings.”
a solitary tear rolled down my cheek and I gave thanks for the wonderful people in my life. Stolen gifts are just things that can eventually be replaced. No thief in the night can steal love….
Fast forward to Christmas morning:
A friend of my daughter’s saw her Facebook status about the robbery and she and her father drove over this morning to bring us a special gift. They wanted us to have something special in our time of loss. Words can not express my appreciation for such a kindness- leaving their own family on Christmas morning to come and share with ours….
It truly is A Wonderful Life…