My lovely friend Jett tweeted about this last night, and I wanted to make sure it gets as much attention as humanly possible:
The young father stood in line at the Kmart layaway counter, wearing dirty clothes and worn-out boots. With him were three small children.
He asked to pay something on his bill because he knew he wouldn’t be able to afford it all before Christmas. Then a mysterious woman stepped up to the counter.
“She told him, ‘No, I’m paying for it,’” recalled Edna Deppe, assistant manager at the store in Indianapolis. “He just stood there and looked at her and then looked at me and asked if it was a joke. I told him it wasn’t, and that she was going to pay for him. And he just busted out in tears.”
At Kmart stores across the country, Santa seems to be getting some help: Anonymous donors are paying off strangers’ layaway accounts, buying the Christmas gifts other families couldn’t afford, especially toys and children’s clothes set aside by impoverished parents.
If you read the remainder of the article (and you should), it makes you realize that when you have something, that something is so much more than others have. It’s an important reminder as we close in on the holiday, which is typically when I start panicking that my kids don’t have enough under the tree. I worry that five or ten presents won’t be enough for them to feel loved – and there are families out there that are struggling to put ANYTHING under the tree.
It’s a reminder that we all have the power to make sweeping and inspiring improvements in others’ lives.
It’s a reminder that we can all play Santa.
Kmart is not the only store offering layaway this year – Walmart is also offering it. Feel free to stop in, ask for a layaway that clearly is for children, and pay off what’s left. Chances are, this late in the holiday, there’s not much left. And think of the monumental change you’re providing to their holiday.
“I don’t mind the dark, Momma. Because you can only see the Christmas lights in the dark.” – Tony