A thief who stole a family’s Christmas decorations apologized with a note and cash

Every year we hear stories about holiday-related thievery, but they don’t always have a happy ending. Fortunately, one of the brazen thieves who stole a family’s Christmas decorations from their lawn had a change of heart after a 9-year-old girl named Chiara Velardi appeared on the local news in Sydney and made the most heartbreaking plea for whoever made off with her family’s festive decorations to please return them.

According to The Daily Dot, one of the men responsible for lifting a decorative light-up reindeer from the family’s property penned a letter of apology, claiming he was drunk at the time of the incident.

Like, we know how it feels to get your holiday drink on, but c’mon dude.

Anyway, the guy felt bad after being scolded by the little girl, who eloquently stated that the thieves “shouldn’t do that anymore and you should say sorry to my dad, my mom, and me.” Not only did he express his regrets for being the neighborhood Grinch in a handwritten note, he left Velardi 100 Australian dollars ($75 US) and urged her not to let this incident keep her from putting up more Christmas decorations:

Apparently, the thief’s method of delivering the apology note and accompanying cash was a little less cowardly than the deed that landed him in hot water. Velardi’s father Roy said the guy’s friends delivered the peace offering to the family’s home after the news story spread.

While we totally understand if Velardi chose to be petty about the situation, he took the high road and graciously accepted their apologies. The family has opted not to display their decorations on the inside, but we sincerely hope this incident doesn’t keep them from enjoying the holiday season.