CASSELBERRY, Fla. — People may be enjoying their holiday decorations even more this year to cope with what’s been a very difficult year for many.  But that joy turned to sadness and disappointment for a Central Florida family after their Santa display was stolen.

What You Need To Know

  • The Buckleys decided to put up an inflatable Santa for the holidays this year

  • Even though they anchored it to the ground, the Santa display was stolen

  • After sharing their story online, a couple of complete strangers bought them a new, larger Santa

After someone stole their inflatable Santa Claus four years ago, Linda and Bob Buckley decided in 2020 they’d put one up again.  This time, though, they anchored it down with


They say people throughout their Casselberry neighborhood loved it even more than they do.

“People know exactly where this is, they wave,” said Linda.

But then, the unthinkable.

“I looked and went, 'Oh, not again,'” said Linda. “And yeah it was again, Santa was gone.”

The grinch didn’t just steal Santa, they stole the Buckleys's Christmas spirit.

“Stealing Santa is the antithesis of what Santa is all about in the first place,” said Linda.

“You were stealing good, and turning it into bad,” said Bob.

They posted their disappointment on social media.

“An hour after I made that post there was a ring at the doorbell,” said Linda.

Scott and Tami Thomas, who had never met the Buckleys before, saw the couple's post on a Casselberry neighborhood social media group.

“I literally couldn’t even speak to them because I burst into tears,” said Linda.

“She started tearing up, crying a little bit,” said Tami.

The Thomases bought and delivered a Santa even bigger than the Buckleys had before.

“It’s been a tough year for everybody,” said Tami. “Everybody needs a little joy.”

The Thomases should know, they both just recovered from coronavirus and Scott is starting up his own HVAC business after he lost his job during the pandemic.

“Compassion comes from where we were raised, and we like to just put everything aside and make sure a person’s day is put back up to a brighter side,” said Scott .

Her faith in humanity restored, Linda is now gathering up holiday decorations and donating them.

“It’s ridiculous for me to keep it in a box up in the attic when there’s somebody out there who maybe has nothing,” she said.

Some of those will go to a mother who recently lost her job at Disney.

“Somebody did something incredibly nice for us, and I’m not going to sit back and not share it,” said Linda.

The Buckleys filed a police report when their original Santa was stole, but they say it’s still unclear who may have taken it.