Struggling parents with children’s clothing and toys on layaway are finding that anonymous strangers have paid their balances down to a penny at Kmart and other stores across the country. Retailers have known “Secret Santas” for years, but this Christmas season appears to be different.

According to the Frederick News Post in Maryland, a local manager said, “I’ve been in management here nine years, and we had one or two each year. This year we had 16 or 17 in just the past few days. The need is really there and people are helping out.”

A Maryland Secret Santa said a clerk told her people had been coming in all day. “It was a great feeling to see it wasn’t just me,” she said.

Some parents who were told their balances had been paid cried tears of joy and gratitude.

People who make others’ lives a little better know how the first Santa Claus must have felt. Saint Nicholas was a fourth-century bishop who used his inheritance to anonymously help children and families in need. This reputation led to his being associated with surprise gifts at Christmas.

“With all the bad news we see,” said the Frederick Kmart manager, “it is great to see something good happening.”

At Christmas and every other time of year, let’s each find our own way to light one candle rather than to curse the darkness.

 

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

 

Other Publications by Kathryn

Supreme Court Says: Starting a Business Doesn’t Make You Lose Your Religious Freedom

Kathryn Hickok | July 3, 2014
Do you lose your religious freedom because you’re running a family business? On June 30, the U.S. Supreme Court said no. In a 5-4 decision, ...  read more

Small Business Owners Say: $15 Minimum Wage Is a “Mortal Threat”

Kathryn Hickok | June 4, 2014
This week Seattle became the first city in the nation to mandate a $15 minimum wage. But far from being a victory for workers, a ...  read more

How Jefferson Explained the Constitution to Louisiana Nuns

Kathryn Hickok | May 14, 2014
This week in 1804, Thomas Jefferson wrote to an Ursuline nun in New Orleans, who had asked him to clarify her religious community’s rights under ...  read more

More On These Topics

Time for a Third Bridge to Vancouver

John Charles | July 30, 2014
Last week a conceptual plan for a new bridge over the Columbia River was unveiled at a public forum in Vancouver, WA. The plan, presented ...  read more

A free-market guru with ties to Portland

Steve Buckstein | July 29, 2014
In honor of Milton Friedman’s 102nd birthday this July 31, below is Steve Buckstein’s op-ed in Friedman’s memory, which appeared in The Oregonian the day after Friedman passed ...  read more

Is There a More Flexible Way for Students to Invest in Themselves?

State Treasurer Ted Wheeler has proposed a new program intended to help Oregon students go to college in spite of the quickly ballooning cost of ...  read more