Speed Reads

spreading holiday cheer

'Secret Santas' buy nearly $100,000 worth of gifts at Walmarts across the U.S.

Santa made some early stops across the country this week. But instead of sliding down chimneys, he quietly walked through Walmart's automatic doors.

Anonymous do-gooders paid off layaway tabs at Walmart and Toys R Us stores in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Arizona this week. The benefactors at Walmarts in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, described by NBC New York as "Secret Santas," each picked up bills totaling $40,000 or more. At the Pennsylvania Walmart alone, the donor helped about 200 families, NBC New York reported.

Dec. 11 was the last day to pay off holiday layaways at the Millville, New Jersey Walmart. Its Santa arrived two days earlier — just in time for employee Shantay Jenkins, who told USA Today that she had $713 of merchandise on layaway:

People were coming in to cancel their layaways and come to find out it was paid off for them. Another customer called to see if we could hold the layaway a couple days longer because they didn't get their paycheck yet, and we were able to let them know it was paid off and to come and pick it up. [USA Today]

The New Jersey store's manager is the only one who knows that particular donor's identity. Pennsylvania and Arizona's donors remain a complete mystery — and put your office Secret Santa to shame.