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The worst, and best Christmas ever (tear-jerker alert)

Thursday, January 03, 2013   by: Darren Taylor

What started out as a heartbreaking Christmas Day for a Sault Ste. Marie family ended up a joyful one, thanks to a group of compassionate Sault Ste. Marie Police Service officers and the Sault Canadian Tire store.

Doris Thompson of Sault Ste. Marie told her daughter, son-in-law, and three grandchildren, after visiting her home on the afternoon of Christmas Eve, returned to their own centrally-located residence and found they were victims of a break-in.

“Someone had broken into their home and unwrapped their gifts, stole what they wanted, and went into their bedrooms and also stole articles from there,” Thompson told us. “They were devastated that someone would do that to them at any time, let alone Christmas Eve. Their Christmas was ruined.”

The thief - or thieves - went through her grandchildren’s Christmas stockings and stole toys, along with other items such as frying pans, work socks, even a Bible.

Thompson told us: “On Christmas Eve (after the break-in) the officers took time to assure the grandchildren they were safe. They came in and they stayed and spoke with them. The youngest grandchild (a four-year-old boy) was really upset.”

Police told them they were going through the entire house to make sure everyone was safe.

“The police were really good with the family. One police officer told the grandchildren about how they can’t let bad people scare you like that. My youngest grandchild took it the hardest. He couldn’t understand why somebody would come in the house and do that.”

However, the family was pleasantly surprised on the evening of December 25.

Six police officers, one dressed as Santa Claus, brought gifts to the family home. Five police cruisers outside the house put on a show with their lights.

“That was my youngest grandchild’s favourite part,” Thompson said.

Family friends had also arrived Christmas morning with gifts.

Police had gone to Canadian Tire after asking management to open up the store on Christmas Day, obtained gifts from the retailer, wrapped them and delivered them to the family’s home.

Police purchased gifts for the children, while Canadian Tire contributed gifts for their parents.

Thompson said: “There were gift cards, Lego toys and remote control toys for the grandchildren, and for the parents a coffee maker, and a soap-making kit.”

It is not known if a suspect, or suspects, have been found.

The family’s father stated: “For the police, the main focus was on the kids, but they focused on all of us. I broke down and cried when I saw the gifts.”
“We’re grateful to the Police and to Canadian Tire for their involvement, they deserve to be recognized, along with friends of the family who brought gifts Christmas morning,” he continued.

As Thompson describes it: “On Christmas Eve the family had tears of sorrow, and on Christmas night they experienced tears of joy, they were so overwhelmed. They’re all very grateful for the compassion, we’ll never forget the kindness. This was above and beyond the call of duty. This family will never forget Christmas 2012.”

Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
Just Curious 1/3/2013 12:06:58 PM Report

Just proves that for every A$$h@@@ there are a thousand great people...Kudos to all the great ones involved in this...
celest5 1/3/2013 12:08:40 PM Report

Wow that brang tears to my eyes.
That is a tear-jerker.
Laser 1/3/2013 12:08:47 PM Report

It's good to hear the Christmas spirit lives on! Cheers to the police department!
riverguy10 1/3/2013 12:24:34 PM Report

Far too often our Police and Fire Services are critised,but this is the true reality of the men and women that serve our community,we are all truly blessed.
Saultbie22 1/3/2013 12:32:03 PM Report

So great :)
arygub 1/3/2013 12:36:57 PM Report

As a new citizen to SSM, a big thank you for the kind thoughts and actions of the local police and Canadian Tire. When you really look at things, there are much more better people in this world than bad. In the end, the negative actions of those who stole will come back to haunt them.
firefly 1/3/2013 12:45:25 PM Report

brought tears to my eyes, there still is human kindness and compassion out there, beautiful story
VEROTIK 1/3/2013 12:50:17 PM Report

Kudos to Sault police for going out of their way to help this family.
lowla 1/3/2013 12:55:53 PM Report

these kind of stories always bring tears to my eyes. Congratulations to the police and Canadian Tire staff for showing so much compassion in this terrible situation
JustMe1234567 1/3/2013 1:00:12 PM Report

Tear-jerker is right. Beautiful story!
Kudos to the police for taking it upon themselves to do that. Amazing. There are a lot of good things the police do behind the scene's that they don't seek out publicity for. Remember this story the next time you want to make a nasty comment about them.

jalo 1/3/2013 1:13:45 PM Report

I have to say our police department has shown true compassion for the family in what I have read. For the police in all of their work it is difficult. How to respond is often I'm sure difficult to say the least, and as humans like all of us they make mistakes. There are times the response may come across overwhelming in ways that seems a lack of concern for situations people are going through. Proper follow-up is needful in good and bad. Over all kudos to our City Police. Happy New Year
Tom_Bom 1/3/2013 1:18:41 PM Report

A tear jerker for sure. Those police officers have sort of restored my belief in human kindness and the power it wields.

Good on you Sault Ste Marie Police. Good on you. They turned an absolutely terrible situation into a not as terrible situation out of the kindness of their hearts.

THIS is what Christmas is all about. Love, kindness, and understanding.

Oh and the criminals... I hope they're caught and charged.

blue diamond 1/3/2013 1:32:17 PM Report

As JustCurious said, the Soo has more good people than bad. Remember the news, no matter where you read or listen, is primarily focused on negative issues than happy issues. Just a fact of observation.

The Soo is a place that gives, and continues to do so. The economy is not the worst, nor is it the best. If you look at all the organizaions collecting money,toys/food/clothing/household goods .... the amount is really quite something for a city of 75,000. In the past few months all one would have to do is look at Santa Fund, Salvation Army, United Way, Christmas Cheer, Soup Kitchen, Legion, all Schools in the area....etc .... you get my drift. Sault Ste Marie is a genereous city and comes to the assistance of others.

Would this happen in other centres? Probably, but not with the same caring and concern as here.

Good for the SSM PD and CTC... there really is a Santa Clause!
Happy New Year Saultites
backstroke 1/3/2013 1:39:58 PM Report

What a beautiful story!! Gave me goosebumps, thanks for going out of your way, and turning an aweful situation into a happy memorable one for those children!!
Saultpolice 1/3/2013 1:58:19 PM Report

Thank you for all for the kind comments that have been posted. Our officers will continue to represent the best in our community even in bad situations. I appreciate everything that has been said here and again, I thank all of you.
Ricatoni 1/3/2013 2:11:24 PM Report

NICE JOB SSMPD!!!!!!!!!!!!!In the Soo we do care ......:) sounds to me like this might be the work of young juveniles.......remember kids that good will always triumph over bad....and the reason is there are more of us who are good then there are those that are the right thing and turn yourselves can and will be forgiven.........
Really?? 1/3/2013 2:14:11 PM Report

An absolute awesome story!!! To all those involved (well to these officers, Canadian Tire and the family and friends) you are all AWESOME!!

To the punks who can take toys that obviously belong to innocent little children, do society a favour, you see that nice big green and yellow bridge??? Go jump off it please!! If you need a ride there, I'll be happy to give you one, free of charge!!
golfnuttt 1/3/2013 2:14:55 PM Report

A lesson for all those that continually criticize the City Police. Very touching that the Canadian Tire management also took time away from their own loved ones to contribute. Nomination for news story of 2012.
barbiecu 1/3/2013 2:29:02 PM Report

I am so glad there are still people with hearts in our town. People who respect each other in death and in hard times. I only wish they would make a law that the thiefs when caught should have their picture posted on a web page of some kind so people can watch for them in the neighbourhood and report them. Maybe then the crimes would be less. It is about time they pay for what they do instead of just getting a slap on the hand and let out again. Maybe people need to make goverment change the laws for them and young offenders. It is time they are held accountable.
willoweep 1/3/2013 2:41:12 PM Report

Yes Virginia there is a Santa Clause and he lives in the hearts of many .

I am so very very proud to live in the Sault .

And as someone else said, these sorts of stories restore our sometimes shaky belief in the goodness of People.

To ALL the Elfs not only at the Police station ,but Canadian Tire THANK YOU !

You make us all stand a little taller today .
trixxx 1/3/2013 3:39:18 PM Report

Thankyou everyone for your kind comments, it is not an easy thing to get through, but we do really appreciate what the police and Canadian Tire did, we will forever be greatful,it's easy to forgive when you are a Christian, and to know the true meaning of Christmas.
yoyo165 1/3/2013 3:42:38 PM Report

What a great story!!!

Kudos to the police force and Canadian Tire.
ehbcd2 1/3/2013 3:59:54 PM Report

Hats off to the police and Canadian Tire. Hope they catch the punk(s).
rcamp211 1/3/2013 4:12:31 PM Report

you should have the police check out some ex' sounds like an inside job.somebody knew you where not home and knew when you where coming back.i hope the police catch these low lifes.
bustinout 1/3/2013 6:21:58 PM Report

I am too, moved to tears. Thankyou to all involved in this very giving story. It feels good to do good. Those kids will remember your kindness always. God bless you all
Gater 1/3/2013 6:47:56 PM Report

Absolutely a Great display of compassion and kindness. Hats off to our fine Police force and Canadian tire.
The Best thing I think I have ever read.
Happy New Year...
iamtc 1/3/2013 7:19:45 PM Report

great story now catch the crooks and put icing on the cake.
santa-fe 1/3/2013 7:34:36 PM Report

:)thank you Sault Police and Canadian Tire. Happy New Year What a nice thing to hear to start the New Year.
Working Man 1/3/2013 8:58:25 PM Report

'The sad thing is the police aren't doing anything to catch these criminals. And if they do catch them, they will be out with a slap on the hand!!! '

I'm being sarcastic...
sinikka 1/4/2013 8:37:25 AM Report

These are the reasons that i choose to live in this great city. The best resource we can brag about here is our people. There are those that live among us that have no soul, no morality no sense of decency. But the other 99% are good , compassionate and loving people. I am proud to say that i live in the soo and kudos to the police department and canadian tire for ensuring that light burns bright in the soo. I would of loved to see the look on the children's faces when santa came to the door with these presents. I am sure that they will never forget this act of kindness as i know i will never.
hotlips 1/4/2013 10:13:46 AM Report

That was a sincere and kind hearted gesture from the police officers involved in this story.

Thank you Officers, thank you for keeping the true meaning of Christmas alive, caring, kindness and giving.

You are true HEROS and I applaud you.

I have three children and can't begin to imagine the impact this would have had on our children. Our vehicle was broken into at CT one year and the kids were scared and devistated by that act, can't imagine how they would react by a home invasion!!

This helps us rest easier at night, just knowing that help is really out there and that the bad guys will not win!!

God Bless All of you and Happy New Year.

A loyal reader of Soo Today..
frauleinbroomhilda 1/4/2013 11:25:53 AM Report

What an absolutely beautiful story. Thank you so much for giving me tears of joy!!! To the new Canadian Tire are heaven sent and to the Soo are you men and women. GOD Bless and I hope you all have a wonderful New Year!
jackie88 1/4/2013 11:55:48 AM Report

It doesn't have to be christmas for the police officers of our city to go above and beyond the call of duty and Canadian tire is always there when need be hats off to the police officers and Mark Barsanti the home town owner of Canadian Tire happy New Years to all Jack
irishfey 1/4/2013 4:12:21 PM Report

A big... DITTO.. to all of the above comments! In the world we now live in.. it"s so nice to see this kind of human compassion. I get tired of hearing a Policeman reffered to as a pig etc. They risk their lives every day for us and should be treated with the upmost respect!! I used to work at C.T.C for many years and their act of kindness does not surprise me one bit! Hats off to all of you!!!!.. and they say that there was even a Bible stolen??? Well maby one of these thiefs will open it and read it,,, the Lord does work in mysterious ways you know ,lol... Amen to a job well done!!!
northerngal 1/4/2013 6:24:28 PM Report

Definitly a tear jerker...Kindness in the best possible way. Thank you to our SSM Police and Our Canadian Tire Store for opening their hearts & store on Christmas day!!

You turned this awful experience for this family into smiles galore. It would be worth seeing the twinkle in the young 4 year old child's eyes. I hope this act of kindness will outshine the cruelty of what the theives did especially on Christmas eve.

Again thank you for helping this family feel safe and for bringing back the Christmas spirt!
Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
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