In the run up to Christmas, there's every chance you'll be doing the same as almost everyone else. That is, shopping 'till you drop, dumping all those presents in the back of the car and then transporting them home to be wrapped ready for the big day.
Unfortunately, it's the time of year when so many people hit the headlines because all of their kids' presents have been stolen three days before the 25th leaving them without anything to open. Why does this happen?
Christmas is a time when we buy a lot of stuff, and we also have a lot of things delivered. From small items which can easily be posted through the letterbox then it's probably not a problem, but if you have a porch, like me, then larger items could be stacking up, and they're like a magnet for thieves.
And what about that new 52" LED TV you just bought?
You'll struggle to get it out of the car, fight to get it into the living room and then when you've switched it on you'll probably throw the box outside ready for the next recycling run. And while you're waiting for the bin men to turn up, you're advertising to anyone who's passing that you've just shelled out a grand on a brand new telly.
So how can you protect yourself and ensure your Christmas isn't ruined?
Everything comes in boxes these days, some large, some small, and they have to be disposed of. Some of the worst offenders are large appliances such as TVs, DVD players and game consoles and so many people just leave them piled up outside the house. This attracts people who now know that your house is chock full of technology.
So, compress them, rip them up and take them straight to the recycling centre. DO NOT leave them outside!
If you order lots of products from one place, they're likely to all come at the same time and having unloaded them, your delivery driver is unlikely to want to put them back on the van. So, he'll just leave them in your porch, outside the garage or somewhere else equally visible.
Very often you're able to leave comments with your order, so if you're not going to be in when they deliver, consider having them delivered with a neighbour. Or, maybe you can pick them up from somewhere?
I've seen friends spend ages trying to unload their car, piling all the boxes at the side of the road while they then get ferried into the house by the rest of the family. Leaving lots of products on the kerbside for people to see while they're unloaded is a flag to all that a lot of money has been spent.
So, instead of doing one huge trip, make smaller trips and bring everything in at once. Don't leave things where people can see them and certainly not where they can be easily snatched.
All in all, be sensible this Christmas. Don't advertise the vast amount of technology you're buying and dispose of anything that would tell others you have a living room full of things waiting to be stolen!