WEST VALLEY CITY — Amy Fritz, a single mother of three boys, planned on wrapping Christmas presents Sunday, but that’s likely not going to happen.
Fritz's vehicle was stolen over the weekend — and her kids' presents along with it.
The family, which lives in South Salt Lake, said while they are devastated by the loss of the vehicle, they are learning that Christmas is about much more than gifts.
Fritz purchased presents for her teenage boys, Walter, 19, Jackson, 17, and Keaton, 15, on Black Friday. She said she kept most of the presents in her 2004 Jeep Liberty because her kids are nosy.
On Saturday, Fritz attended a party near Valley Fair Mall with a friend. After a couple of hours, they went back to where the vehicle was parked, but it was gone. She filed a police report right away, but the vehicle with Utah license plate 761 WVG still hasn’t been found.
Fritz's immediate reaction: “This can’t be real. This doesn’t happen in real life," she said.
"Finally, after the shock wore off, then I was just like, ‘Holy crap! It’s gone. Christmas is gone,” Fritz said.
She hid a couple of the presents at her mother’s house, but those in the vehicle represent most of the family's Christmas.
“There’s never a good time to have your car stolen, but now I’m thinking I’ve got to get a car, and I’ve got to get my kids Christmas. It’s a little overwhelming,” Fritz said.
"Finally, after the shock wore off, then I was just like, 'Holy crap! It's gone. Christmas is gone.' "
She posted what happened on Facebook, and within an hour friends and family offered to help. Her two brothers called her and asked if she needed to borrow a vehicle.
“I think when things like this happen, you kind of go, ‘Wow, people are crummy,’” she said. “And the flip side of that is these amazing people in my life have … stepped up and said, ‘Hey, do you need to borrow a car? Can we help with anything?’”
Fritz has a temporary vehicle until the early part of next month, but what she would really like is her vehicle back.
“It’s a little beat-up. It’s got dents in it. It’s missing both the wheel covers on the passenger side, but it’s our car, and it’s how we get to work and school,” she said.
Fritz said she only had liability insurance on the car, so she won’t get money to replace what she has lost.
She said her family will make sure the kids don’t go without this Christmas. But the family also has learned that the holiday isn’t about the presents.
“You have to broaden your horizons,” Walker Fritz said, “and you have to realize that people have it a lot worse than you.”
“My kids said, ‘You know, Christmas presents don’t matter. We have our family, and we have each other,'" Amy Fritz said. "And it’s really made me realize Christmas isn’t about presents. It’s about the people that you love and the people that love you.”
Contributing: Viviane Vo-Duc