This was my Christmas that almost wasn’t.
Yeah, I know it’s not all about the gifts. It’s about the Baby Jesus and his life for our sins. That’s a big deal.
But it’s also about sharing happiness and the fellowship of family around the lighted tree. And the laughs we get from the presents, which are just plain personal and not lavish.
And so it was with great horror that I returned home days ago to find my holiday-bedecked home the scene of a domestic invasion.
Not only had they violated my space, but they also had taken all the Christmas presents, my TV, DVD player, Keurig coffeemaker – even my garden tiller.
Tupelo Police immediately came to my aid. I compiled a detailed list of what I believed was gone, wept all the next day (thankfully a Saturday) and over a teacup of Bailey’s and soothing tones from “The Commodores.” Then I got mad.
“I’ll be danged if I’m going to let a couple of hooligans ruin our Christmas,” I told my adult children.
Yet, I never expected to see any of the stuff again.
That is, until last Wednesday, when Tupelo Police Detective Matthew Wigginton called to say he thought they’d found it.
The next day, when I joyously reclaimed my property, I realized, by gum, they had recovered virtually everything I’d lost except for some piddling jewelry and an assortment of alcoholic beverages.
I even discovered some items I hadn’t realized were gone, like the pair of beautiful Waterford champagne flutes given to me by my tasteful pal, Pamela.
Wigginton and Sheriff’s Investigator Len Schaefer helped me load the goods into my car.
Schaefer also told me the story of how the trio was apprehended. Apparently, their strong detective work tracked these folks from Macedonia to Itawamba County and Nettleton to Shannon.
There was my stuff and a lot of other folks’, too.
Usually, I tend to give suspects some benefit of the doubt, but heck, these people clearly took my stuff. They didn’t pick it up at a yard sale.
Apparently, they also have a bit of a drug problem, which hopefully the corrections system will help them lick. They certainly are likely to have sufficient time to do so before rejoining society.
I must repeat: I never expected to see my stuff again. I was over that hope, but I was really upset that these scoundrels had deprived me of the joy of seeing the look on my kids’ faces when they opened my gifts. They weren’t anything spectacular, but they were very personal.
“They’ve taken away my fun,” I told my sister, weeping bitterly the day after it happened.
Well, thanks to the Lee County Sheriff’s Department and Tupelo Police Department, my fun is restored and we spent a joyful Christmas together, as I hope all of you did.
Truly, Christmas isn’t all about the stuff.
But there is that element of joy from the giver that makes the giving special. To be deprived of that joy is hurtful.
Thanks to our intrepid law enforcement guys and gals, my hurt was cast aside and joy filled the hole.
I hope your Christmas was just as happy.
Patsy R. Brumfield writes a Thursday column. Contact her at (662) 678-1596 or firstname.lastname@example.org.