For thieves… Really? Can’t we talk about the beautiful lights, trees and holiday decorations? Let’s step back and think about it. According to the National Retail Federation, this year Americans will spend nearly $720 billion, yes that’s with a “B”, dollars this year on Christmas. That figures out to an average of $794 per person spent on gifts. It’s no secret that many of those gifts are desired electronics and jewelry, which pack an expensive item in a small package.
Are you advertising to thieves? What, who would really advertise that??!?! The iconic American picture window typically focuses in on the sparkly Christmas tree and the shiny wrapped gifts below the tree. Consider keeping the presents out of public view, removing the curb appeal for would be thieves.
And speaking of curbs… With so much online retail now, package theft is becoming one of the fastest growing non-violent crimes. If you cannot be home for your deliveries, consider buddying up with a neighbor who is, or (if you are allowed) have packages shipped to your workplace. Another option is to have packages held (whether at USPS, UPS, or FedEx) and pick them up. Most places will hold packages for a couple of days.
There are other forms of advertising that we do harmlessly that put us at risk! Traveling at the holidays? Have a neighbor pick up your mail and newspapers. Consider timers on your outdoor lights (preferably dusk/dawn timers). And you could be popular in the neighborhood. Offer to let neighbors park extra guest vehicles in your driveway while you are gone! These tips make it look like someone is home, or at least going in and out.
And if that wasn’t enough, we all want to show our travels and gifts to others, but please be aware that airing that picture of your fancy new 75″ TV to all your Facebook friends or sharing pictures of your holiday cruise (while still on your trip) could make your home an easy and desirable target.
Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have,
for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. Hebrews 13:16 (ESV)
This Christmas season, Jamie and I encourage you to give to those less fortunate. Whether that be of your time, volunteering with organizations to help collect and distribute gifts, delivering and serving food to the hungry, or by donating financially to worthy organizations, but please be careful…
Thieves aren’t just out after your gifts either. Every year scam artists take advantage of unsuspecting people by soliciting donations for bogus organizations, which in essence is a donation right into the thief’s pocket. Make sure you are gifting to organizations in which you know and trust are legitimate. Do your research on lesser known organizations. Make your donation directly to the organization, not through another organization or person, who may be skimming portions of the donations for themselves.
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around
like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8 (ESV)
Shepherdess, be wary of the wolves that lurk behind the rocks and bushes in your pasture for easy opportunity to attack. Be on the watch and guard your flock.