I hope everyone enjoyed Christmas with their families.

I'm sure I will have had a merry one, too, but I'm writing this Monday evening because of holiday deadlines.

Something today put a bit of a damper on my Christmas spirit and I'm certain it's something most people have dealt with at one time or another.

I was stolen from.

I went out onto my front porch to get the mail anticipating, due to my last-minute ways of buying presents, the arrival of a gift. I know, I was really cutting it close. I was expecting a unique present I had ordered for my father, who is likely the best and bravest man who ever lived on this earth in my humble opinion.

As I opened the front door, I was elated to see there was, indeed, a package waiting for me. That elation, however, turned to utter deflation when I realized the box had been torn apart and the contents of it removed with the exception of some crumpled up packing paper and a packaging slip.

No doubt it was torn open by human hands, it didn't appear to be any kind of mishandling during shipping. No, someone took it upon themselves to walk up the four concrete steps onto my front porch in broad daylight, pick up the package containing my father's Christmas present, rip it open and deem it good enough to keep as their own. Perhaps they plan to re-gift it; I can't be certain.

What I can be certain of is that those who steal are among some of the lowest forms of life on this planet. I understand there are those who face desperate times, but stealing makes you nothing but a filthy, rotten thief and no one trusts a thief, so good luck living a life of lies in which you are trusted by no one.

I have been down and out and never, in my life, have I considered taking from someone else for my own personal gain. You want more in life? Just work harder for it; it's as simple as that. If you want it bad enough, you'll achieve it, but through honest outlets, not by breaking the law or violating another person's property.

I am also certain that I, and the bulk of decent human beings, work extremely hard to make ends meet and afford themselves the opportunity to buy things for those they love during the holidays. The audacity of someone to violate another by taking something that does not belong to them sickens me.

And for me, this was just one package, but it really chapped my peppermint sticks because it was the eve of Christmas Eve. It's such a shame to think someone would be out robbing people at such a time. I guess their form of shopping is different from the rest of us.

This hasn't been an isolated incident, either. I've had my mail stolen, lawn furniture, a disco ball which hung from under our deck, a little octopus guy that hooked up to my hose whose arms flailed about sending water in all kinds of directions during the summertime, a white rhododendron and other packages have also gone missing as well. I've filed police reports, I've had a locked mailbox installed, but nothing really stops a thief. I lived in downtown Baltimore and never dealt with what I have locally, in a small town where, when I was a kid, it was unheard of to even lock your doors whether you were home or not.

In the spirit of the holiday season, though, I can't let myself be overcome with anger. I'm considering going all Kevin McAllister from "Home Alone" with my place, but that's going to take a lot of time and effort. I'd love to play a recording that says "Keep the change, ya filthy animal" as is detailed in the movie after a bunch of booby traps go off, but I won't. I'll most likely just install cameras.

What happened is just unfortunate and my parents claim they want nothing but photos of me as a brunette to display in their house since all they have now are photos of me from my days as a blonde. They are good eggs, they don't expect much. I knew this gift would make my dad very happy and put a smile on his face, though. I reckon spending time with me does the same, if you ask him, but that's not the point.

People steal for many different reasons and I understand everyone finds themselves in a tough spot here and there, but never is the answer to take what is not yours. In this case, I think it was just something done to act cool or to impress someone else, although I'll never know for sure.

The moral compasses of many have taken a plunge south and that is a shame. I may come across as a flaming liberal to some throughout the life of this column, but I still believe in and have a core set of values which include "thou shall not steal" and general respect for all living things.

Happy holidays readers, and thieves, consider a resolution to turn it all around in the new year. As human beings, we can always improve, so even for you, it's not too late.

(Jenna Wasakoski, a News-Item editor, is a graduate of Von Lee School of Aesthetics and is certified as a professional makeup artist.)