Starting after Thanksgiving, I park my car a house or two down the street.

Why? Am I making room for a “Lexus to Remember” complete with a big red bow on top?

Nope. I’m desperately trying to preserve my kids’ belief in Santa.

Well, at least the 8 year old and the four year old. I am pretty sure the 10 year old and 13 year old are on to me.

So how does parking my car down the street protect my kid’s belief in Jolly Old St. Nick?

Because Santa’s gifts arrive packaged in Amazon Prime boxes and the fine folks at Amazon can’t seem to be bothered to not obscure on the box what’s inside.


Hey Amazon, how about a “Santa Spoiler” warning on your boxes this time of year?

In order to preserve my kids’ belief that a strange man fulfills their wishes instead of their mom, I park the car, hurriedly gather up the Amazon Prime deliveries, throw them into the attic, and then race back to pull the car (with the kids) into my driveway.

A porch padded with potential presents peaks the interest of your pesky preschooler.

And the porch pirate.

If a porch pirate pinches your presents, who’s responsible (apart from the thief, but good luck tracking him or her down)?

Is the retailer responsible? Maybe. You will need to check their policies for handling stolen items.

Amazon, for example, has it’s “A-to-Z Guarantee Program.” Amazon will cover most (but not all) stolen packages. If your Amazon purchase was sourced through a third-party seller, you will need to contact the third-party seller and try to settle the issue with them first before you can file a claim with Amazon.

What if the retailer declines responsibility? Is the shipping company responsible? Not likely.

Shipping companies are not likely to reimburse packages stolen off of a front porch. Why? Unless you require a signature for your package, the shipping company’s responsibility ends when they drop the package at the door.

So what can you do if both the retailer and the shipping company decline responsibility? Check with your credit card provider and see if there is coverage for stolen items. Be aware that some companies may deny coverage for high-value items (like over $500 or $1,000), and some companies may require you to file a police report first.

To prevent your packages from being pinched by porch pirates, consider requiring a signature for delivery or using a lock-box service.

Have you been the victim of porch pirates? Leave a comment or send me an e-mail.

Copyright © 2018 by Siobhán Fitzpatrick Kratovil. All Rights Reserved.