Your Christmas Feel-Good Story

Real Estate Agent with Century 21 Lanthorn Real Estate LTD., Trenton, Ontario

Maybe Santa Claus isn't dead after all.

There's a phenomenon that's occuring all around the good old U.S. of A. this Christmas season that's bound to warm up the cockles of even the most jaded of real estate agents' hearts.

Apparently anonymous people are going into Kmarts all over the country and paying off the balances on people's lay-away accounts. I wasn't even aware that some stores still had lay-away accounts, it seems like such an old fashioned concept, but I suppose some people need this program to squirrel money away to buy their kids gifts for Christmas.

Anyhow, certain angels among us have been going into Kmart stores and have been paying off the balances owed on strangers accounts. Read the Associated Press article here. It doesn't sound like it's an organized movement, it sounds like something that's happening spontaneously across the country.

Reading this article brightened up my day a little. It's nice to think that some people will be getting a break this year, probably a lot of younger parents who could really use one. It can't be easy trying to manage children's expectations in this overly commercial society at Christmas time, so I'm sure this time of year is very stressful for a lot of people. A few extra dollars this time of year could really make a huge difference to some families.

This sounds like a wonderful way to "pay it forward" and to help someone out. I'm glad I stumbled across this article, I'm feeling more Christmassy already.


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Vickie Nagy
Palm Springs, CA

I hadn't heard about this phenomenon but it is certainly a heart-warming story. There are far too many families in need this year!

Dec 16, 2011 05:19 AM #1
Dick Greenberg
New Paradigm Partners LLC - Fort Collins, CO
Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate

Hi Malcolm - You're right - there's a lot of "feel good" in that story, and it seems a great way to help out this year. All of these efforts reinforce our basic humanity and goodness - we need to find more ways to extend it beyond the holiday season.

Dec 16, 2011 05:21 AM #2
Malcolm Johnston
Century 21 Lanthorn Real Estate LTD., Trenton, Ontario - Trenton, ON
Trenton Real Estate

Hi Vickie, yes, there are far too many families struggling this year.

Dick, I agree, we should try to find ways to be more compassionate all year round.

Dec 16, 2011 05:26 AM #3
Norma Toering Broker for Palos Verdes and Beach Cities
Charlemagne International Properties - Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
Palos Verdes Luxury Homes in L.A.

What a wonderful way to help others without expecting anything in return--a great example of the true meaning of giving.  Restores faith in our fellow occupants of the planet doesn't it?

Dec 16, 2011 06:25 AM #4
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD
Roy and Dolores Kelley Photographs

Reading about the angels that are paying off accounts for others is a good reminder that many families need assistance.  It is a very good time to reward ourselves by helping others.


Holiday Decorations Colonial Williamsburg IMG_1423


Photograph by Roy Kelley using a Canon PowerShot G11 camera.


Roy and Dolores Kelley Photographs

Dec 16, 2011 01:56 PM #5
Brian Madigan
RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage (Toronto) - Toronto, ON
LL.B., Broker


It's a lot better than the occupy movement. Let's hope it makes some people happy at this time of year.


Dec 16, 2011 02:29 PM #6
Ellie McIntire
Ellicott City Clarksville Howard County Maryland Real Estate - Ellicott City, MD
Luxury service in Howard County & Catonsville

I have no idea what lay away is, but the concept sound great. Pay it forward does seem to be the sentiment of the season.

Dec 16, 2011 02:36 PM #7
Christine Smith
Buyers Brokers Only LLC - - Canton, MA
Exclusive Buyer Agent & Attorney, Canton, MA

Very cool! I had heard that Kmart had lay away or had revived it.  There really isn't one near me but this is a great pay it forward that could be applied elsewhere too.

Dec 17, 2011 12:42 AM #8
Susan Emo
Sotheby's International Realty Canada - Brokerage - Kingston, ON
Kingston and the 1000 Islands Area

Malcolm, not only did I not know that Lay-away still existed, I wasn't aware that K-mart still existed!!   Random acts of kindness will never go out of style.

Dec 17, 2011 12:48 PM #9
Chris Smith
Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage - New Tecumseth, ON
South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta

I imagine the feeling of joy when a person finds out there acoount is paid for, and not knowing who paid for it... it is the type of activity that breeds generosity and caring for one another Malcolm.  Thanks for sharing...

Dec 23, 2011 04:55 AM #10
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Malcolm Johnston

Trenton Real Estate
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