Guest Editorial: Christmas in April

By Phoenix Fuel

The anticipation of Christmas morning is shared by young children, and sometimes adults, year-round. The excitement of opening something new and spreading a little joy to others. But why limit that good spirit to one day? Luckily, one young boy in Tempe woke up to a Christmas miracle a little earlier than expected.

4-year-old Gerald Philbrook’s toy gator tractor was stolen from his family’s home in early April. Disheartened, his father, Peter Philbrook, posted in a local Facebook group that his son’s battery-operated gator tractor was stolen from their complex, saying he would do whatever he could to come up with the reward money. To him, the bond he shared with his son building the tractor outweighed any amount of money. For Gerald, it wasn’t just an average toy, but more symbolic with meaningful stickers covering the tractor in memory of his father’s friend and grandmother.

Patrol Sergeant Andrew Brooks’ wife came across the Facebook post and shared it with her husband. Sergeant Andrew Brooks rallied together Tempe officers in order to find the stolen tractor. After efforts to find the vehicle failed, Brooks was able to find another way around the situation. With the financial support from an area Walmart, the Tempe Officers Association was able to buy the boy a sparkling, new tractor.

It was just like Christmas morning for the 4-year-old. Along with his new toy tractor, Gerald was given a personalized license plate with his name displayed on it and a new replacement of his peace sign sticker.

“This will always be a very special memory,” stated an officer in a statement provided by Fox 10 Phoenix. “We deal with so many negative things in the world, and there’s so much negativity going on. Just to be able to bring some joy is awesome. It’s a good feeling,” the officer went on to say.

For many, Christmas morning is filled with hope, wonder and a little anticipation. But that same good-hearted spirit shouldn’t just apply to a single day but should be shared year-round, especially during such negative times. As the man in the red suit would say, “Spread A Little Cheer.”