This holiday season; don't let the spirit of giving lull you into giving burglars, muggers and pickpockets a better chance to take advantage of you- The holiday season is an opportune time for crime.

Homes jam-packed with gifts. Stores, malls and downtown streets teeming with unsuspecting shoppers. People rushing around looking for last-minute gifts, trying to get everything done.

Here are some tips on how to keep your homes and gifts safe this holiday season:

If you are expecting a package and won’t be home to accept delivery:

Have a neighbor watch for and pick up the package once it’s delivered, or ave the package shipped to another location such a family member , neighbors home, or work address
Leave special instructions for the delivery service on where to put the package.
Choose “delivery pick up” where you can go to the deliver provider’s store front to pick up your package.
Watch delivery status and track your packages so know when to expect it.

If You Are Traveling:

Get an automatic timer for your lights.
Ask a neighbor to watch your home, shovel snow, and park in the driveway from time to time.
Don't forget to have mail and newspaper delivery stopped. If it piles up, it's a sure sign you're gone.

If You Are Out for the Evening:

Turn on lights and a radio or TV so it looks like someone's home.
Be extra cautious about locking doors and windows when you leave, even if it's just for a few minutes.
Don't display gifts where they can be seen from outside.
If You Are Shopping:
Stay alert and be aware of what's going on around you.
Park in a well-lighted space, and be sure to lock the car, close the windows, and hide shopping bags and gifts in the trunk.
Avoid carrying large amounts of cash; pay with a check or credit card whenever possible.
Deter pickpockets and purse-snatchers.
Don't overburden yourself with packages.
Be extra careful with purses and wallets.
Carry a purse close to your body, not dangling by the straps. Put a wallet in an inside coat or front pants pocket.

Shopping with kids? Teach them to go to a store clerk or security guard if you get separated.