Don’t let the Grinch steal Christmas – What you need to know to keep Santa’s gifts safe!

Orange gift, with tag, beside a snow globe and small toy house with candles and lanterns in the background.

You have searched high and low for the most perfect gifts for all those on your list – gifts that you know everyone will love and you can’t wait for your friends and family to receive them! But, before then, you need somewhere to store them. You may think storing gifts in your car is a good idea. Presents are easy to hide in the trunk and it’s locked, why not?! Unfortunately, thieves know that vehicles are a great place to store valuable gifts too and these Grinches, with sticky fingers, may get to them before Santa does! Taking steps to prevent your gifts from getting stolen is an important part of the holiday season. No one wants to have their presents stolen.

How to protect your gifts from getting stolen this holiday season

Here are some tips to protect against theft and stolen gifts this holiday season:

  • When transporting your gifts home, place the items in your trunk or, if you can’t utilize your trunk, make sure to cover them up so they are not visible. As soon as you arrive home, bring your gifts inside. Don't leave them in the car, on the porch, or in any other location where a thief could see them.
  • Carrying many bags may make you a target for thieves, so be sure to always be aware of your surroundings and park in well-lit areas.
  • Beware of porch pirates -- many of us avoid the shopping crowds and shop online. Online shopping has made crossing people off our lists much easier; however, it has also made it easy for thieves to steal presents. If you’re ordering online, be sure to track the parcel and make sure someone is home to receive it, so that the gift doesn’t get left on the porch and stolen.
  • Be careful in how you dispose of packaging and receipts – packaging and receipts can alert thieves to items inside your home and may make your home a target for break-ins.
  • That lit-up Christmas tree in your front window may look beautiful, but it could also attract thieves. Consider relocating your tree to a less obvious spot or, if your tree is in front of the window, consider closing the blinds to ensure that your presents don’t get stolen by a thief.
  • Don’t display your gifts on social media – that new gift may be exciting, but showing it off online could alert a potential thief.

Protecting your gifts from thieves is important and so is protecting your home. The holiday season is one of the most popular times of the year for travel and thieves know this as well. Vacant homes are targets for break-ins.

Here are some tips you can use to protect your home from theft and unwanted visitors:

  • Ensure all windows and doors (including the garage) are shut and locked. Closing window blinds is also a good idea, so others can’t see in. Patio sliding doors can be easy to manipulate and break open. Consider installing a security bar or a wooden rod (hockey sticks work great too!) to secure your porch or patio door.
  • Keep your premise well-lit – many of us have outdoor lighting, but if you’re going to be away, consider keeping a light or two on inside. This will help your home appear occupied and stop a thief from stealing your belongings.
  • Snow covered driveways are a big giveaway that no one is home. Arrange to have someone shovel your driveway. This is true in the summer as well. If you’re traveling in the summertime, make sure to have someone cut your lawn.
  • An overflowing mailbox is another sure sign that no one is home. Make sure delivered parcels aren’t sitting out on the porch and suspend mail and newspaper delivery until you’re home.
  • Avoid advertising your vacation plans on social media. Alerting everyone you’re on vacation is also telling everyone you’re not home and can make your home a target for a thief.
  • Consider a security system or installing a camera. Cameras for your door are readily available, are easy to install, and can be set up to alert you if someone is on your property.
  • Get to know your neighbours. Neighbours can help protect each other by keeping an eye on the neighbourhood and alerting each other to suspicious activity. You can also ask a neighbour, that you trust, to keep an eye on your property while you’re away.

No one wants to experience a theft incident or break-in. It is upsetting and can leave you feeling violated, scared, and uncomfortable in your own home. Following these easy and straightforward tips can keep you and your personal property safe.

The content in this article is for information purposes only and is not intended to be relied upon as specific professional or expert advice. Aviva Canada accepts no responsibility for action taken as a result of reliance on any information contained in this article.