Published: Dec 28, 2010 12:03 AM EST
Updated: Dec 27, 2010 8:30 PM EST

LEE COUNTY, Fla-Elizabeth Delong has struggled for years to make ends meet.

"This year, I could actually do [buy Christmas presents] for my kids, and it got taken away," Delong tells WINK News.

A real-life grinch broke into their family home on Christmas Eve.

"My girls got their presents taken away," said Delong.

With no one around, the thieves walked out of Delong's front door with about $300 worth of gifts. Delong believes the burglar or burglars came in through the back door.  Since then, the family has added extra security to their home to prevent future break- ins.

Now, they hope others learn from their story.

"Make sure your doors are locked, get a bar or something to protect your back door," she said.