’Tis the season of thieves; don’t let them fool you!

Illustration by Chris Perez

Once again we enter that time of the year for “good will toward all men,” but unfortunately, some of us extend that good will to ones who probably do not deserve it; I just happen to be that one!

For most of us, it is a time of giving, but for grinches like me, it is a time of taking. You all make it so easy.

Wrapped in the excitement of the holiday, most don’t even realize you are making it as easy as fruitcake to share in your gift giving. I thank you for that.

Being wrapped up in the passion of the yuletide spirit, most do not see how you encourage me to take advantage of the season’s bounty.

As you rush from store to store, looking for just the right surprise for Aunt Judy, you leave yourself wide open for my chance to have a happy holiday.

Just like the season, I start earlier and earlier each year, taking advantage of the Black Friday sales to start my list with great bargains. After you load up your car with the first round of 5 a.m. deals, I come along to pick and choose the best of the best.

Illustration by Chris Perez
Illustration by Chris Perez

By not taking a little time to cover up that XBox in the back of your SUV you just stood in line for, you make it an easy pick-up. The funny thing is, most SUVs come with a tunnel cover to protect you cargo, but like most, you throw it aside or use it as a shelf ornament in the garage.

A simple blanket thrown over your morning purchases may make it harder for me to pick which car to bust into. I’m not going to risk getting caught just breaking in for no reward. But if you drive a car, take time to put your gifts in the trunk; that big lump you draped with that Longhorn throw in your back seat ­— it wouldn’t fool Stevie Wonder.

Like many, I love window-shopping, but just not at the mall. Your home provides me the best layout of the “must have” gifts of the year.

Every night, while cruising neighborhoods, the wide-open widows display great trees decked with tinsel and lights surrounded by mounds of gifts. Then, for some odd reason, you think closing the curtains when you head off for work the next morning will prevent the Grinch from picking up what I need to complete my shopping list. The day after Christmas is another great opportunity to fill my bag. By looking at the trash, I see that you got a new Blu-ray player, Beats headphones and something shiny from Jared’s.

If only you took the time to cut up the boxes or fold them so the labels didn’t show — your beloved prizes would have a chance of still being with you.

You would not believe how many of you hide a spare key around your mailbox or under a flower pot on the porch or do not lock your garages. Quick access for you also is quick access for a Grinch.

One of the newest and most profitable forms of your giving comes from the lack of protecting your valuables online. Passing out your credit card numbers like stale Halloween candy makes it easy for me to give you the gift that keeps giving: identity theft. I love the bills after the holidays you throw out but were too lazy to shred.

I can build a whole new life on information from certain store receipts, because many include your full card number and even remaining balance amounts.

Black Friday used to be one of my busiest days, but now the time after Cyber Monday has become one of my favorites.

FedEx, UPS, the postman, all piling up all your treats on the front step make it easy for me to have my fill with your presents. All you had to do was have a neighbor pick them up or have them delivered to your work.

The funny thing about all of this is that you make it so easy for the Grinch to steal your Christmas; it is almost like you want me to.

Simple things like locking your car door after you go out to warm it up or taking those headphones off as you walk the mall make it so much harder to take your holiday cheer.

But a lot of you would rather trade convenience for safety; a crook will gladly take that deal. This year, do yourself and your family a big favor: make it “’Tis the Season” to not get robbed.

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