An unidentified gentleman strode into a Walmart in Derby, Vermont, on November 15 and offered to pay for all outstanding layaway items.
Customer Julie Ann Gates was at the store with her son when she heard the stranger make his offer. She was in line to pay for her items when the man — who introduced himself as “Kris Kringle” — gave her some stunning instructions.
“Listen, I can either have you put it on a layaway, and I’m going to pay for it when you leave. You’ll just have to come right back and pick it up, or you could follow me over to the cash register, and I pay for it now,” she said he told her. “Why don’t you run and get what you were going to get and come back, and I pay for it. I have a few minutes before I go to the doctor.”
When she asked her mysterious benefactor how anyone could afford to do that, he said, “Santa Claus can.”
“I know personally he is my Santa Claus. He is my Kris Kringle. I’ll forever have his face embedded in my mind,” Gates told ABC News. “He’s given so many people the opportunity not worrying about Christmas, to just be with their families and not stress that maybe they can’t afford it.”
Later, a spokesperson for Walmart said “when customers quietly pay off others’ layaway items, we’re reminded how good people can be. We’re honored to be a small part of these random acts of kindness.”