Grinch stole our little girl’s Christmas

On Saturday, Jan. 2, our family set out on a shopping trip. Both of our girls had Christmas money to spend and a list of items they wished to purchase.

On Saturday, Jan. 2, our family set out on a shopping trip. Both of our girls had Christmas money to spend and a list of items they wished to purchase.

While our older daughter was with her father, my 10 year old and I headed off on our own.

She looked longingly at a jacket in SportChek that she had decided long before Christmas to purchase with the money she knew she would be receiving from her grandparents, but she decided that her old coat would last her through this year.

From there we moved on to Cleo, where I tried on a couple of sweaters. Reunited with her sister and father, we continued on to Claire’s and LaSenza Girl, where she helped her sister look for earrings and return a birthday present.

It was only on our way to the calendar kiosk, to purchase a calendar to record the year’s special events, that I realized that my 10 year old didn’t have her purse.

You can imagine the panic we all felt as we retraced our steps to find the missing purse.

I want to thank all the clerks in the stores who quickly assisted my daughter in her search.

As I was leaving my phone number at one of the stores, she raced ahead to Cleo to see if it was there. The look of relief on her face as she emerged from the back with her purse clutched tightly over her shoulder was incredible. But that relief quickly turned to utter dismay when she realized her wallet was missing, as well as all of her Christmas money.

The $100 that was stolen was given to her by her two sets of grandparents. All are senior citizens and living on a fixed income.

The wallet was given to her last year for Christmas by her sister. I wonder if the person that stole the wallet felt any guilt when they opened the wallet later and saw her school picture ID in there. Or did they only see the money that could be used to purchase something nice or be put toward Christmas bills?

There was only woman that used the change room, except for me, between 12:30 and 1 p.m. at the Parkland Mall’s Cleo.

How does it make that person feel to know that their face is probably on the mall security cameras as she (allegedly) hurried from the store with our daughter’s wallet in her purse?

Yes, we did report the incident to mail security.

We were told that if the wallet was recovered, the money most likely wouldn’t be in it – something we already knew.

Two days later, we received a phone call from the north RCMP detachment to say that the wallet had been turned in. The money, however, was missing.

At least someone had a heart and did the right thing. Thank you so much to the person that turned in the wallet. Having it back made her day.

I would like to tell you a little something about the 10 year old that was robbed.

She knows the difference between right and wrong, and what you did was certainly wrong.

She is a compassionate girl and often puts others ahead of herself. She doesn’t receive an allowance, so any money she gets comes in the form of birthday or Christmas money. She thinks seriously about where she is going to spend her money, but thought nothing of opening up the wallet you stole and putting money into a Salvation Army Red Kettle after she saw me do the same.

The reason her purse was on the shelf in the change room was because she was returning two sweaters that I had decided not to purchase. She wanted to help out the clerks in the store.

She will thank us repeatedly for something she has been given, and her favourite expression is, “This was the best day ever!”

Jan. 2 doesn’t fit into that category. She can also see the bright side of things.

When her tears had dried on Saturday, she turned to me and said, “At least she didn’t steal my purse too. I really like that purse.”

We have been filled with “what ifs” ever since we discovered the wallet had been stolen. But the biggest what if is, “What if the woman that discovered the purse in the change room had simply walked up to the clerk in Cleo, and handed in the purse intact?”

Our day wouldn’t have been ruined, and our 10 year old would have had a much better start to 2010. Also, our letter to the editor would have been a much different one. We would have been trying to track down the woman that turned in the purse and offer her a reward for her kindness.

Barb Leidl

Lacombe