Anyone who knows me knows that for my family, Christmas is a pretty big deal…
Not for us the last-minute dash around the shops or the decorations put up at the eleventh hour on Christmas Eve…
No, our decorations have been up for weeks – yes, weeks!
We have six – yes you did read that correctly, six! – Christmas trees up in the house all beautifully adorned, and the present shopping has been a steady and measured operation to make sure we have everything on everyone’s wish list.
I don’t know who is more excited – me, or my children! (OK, yes, it’s me!)
But among all the festive fun, I’m also only too aware that there are some opportunists out there who see Christmas as the perfect opportunity to strike.
The dark nights and the expensive presents are a tempting cocktail for burglars and I’m just not prepared to take the risk that our family could be a target.
So none of my purchases will be under any of our trees any time soon: they won’t be put in place until the very last minute as I don’t want to encourage would-be thieves to help themselves.
I won’t be putting photos up on Facebook of the mountain of presents either – did you know that insurance companies can refuse to pay out if they believe you’ve put yourself at risk?
And you won’t be able to see our Christmas wonderland from the street if we’re out celebrating, as the curtains will be firmly closed to act as another deterrent.
We won’t be storing any gifts in the shed in the garden – bad luck kids, you won’t find them there! – or in the car or the garage.
It’s not just in the run-up to Christmas either that would-be thieves choose to target families who are distracted by the festivities.
I’ll be making sure that all the boxes and packaging from our gifts goes straight to the local household recycling centre after The Big Day – leaving it out by the rubbish bin for collection would just be asking for trouble, like an inventory of everything we’d all had.
It’s just a really sad fact that criminals see Christmas as the perfect opportunity to strike, so it’s sensible to take a cautious approach to keep our family safe – maybe you should have a think and do the same?
I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and a very happy New Year – see you in 2017!