In a touching story with enough Christmas spirit to last you until the new year, a New Hampshire family was shocked to find that a stranger had anonymously paid for more than half of their Christmas gifts.
When Robyn Ayers of Raymond, NH went to make a payment toward the $283 balance for her family’s Christmas gifts on layaway at Walmart, her money was refused. According to a Walmart employee, a woman had paid a portion of Ayers’ layaway bill after seeing her shopping in the store. The anonymous woman also left Ayers a touching note with her remaining $130 layaway bill, that left the mother of two in tears.
Written on the back of Ayers’ layaway receipt, the handwritten note read:
“I hope you and your family have a Merry Christmas. The lord is always with you! Have a blessed Holiday Season!”
Ayers, whose sons are 11 and 3, says the stranger’s overwhelming generosity came at the perfect time for her family. Not only were she and her husband feeling the crunch of the holidays, but they had recently experienced a number of setbacks that had limited them financially. Last year, the family had to pay to put their dog to sleep, and this Thanksgiving, it was a broken stove. Ayers says that her family almost lost their house a few years ago, and even a small act of kindness like this has an impact. Before the anonymous payment was made, Ayers had worried she would not be able to get her kids’ toys out of layaway in time for Christmas.
Ayers is still looking for the “Layaway Angel” who helped pay for a Lightning McQueen toy, Xbox games, and other Christmas gifts for her kids. She tweeted a picture of her receipt with the caption: “This stranger paid 4 our layaway. I wish I could thank her 4 helping give our kids a Merry Christmas! U r an angel.”
For thousands of families like Ayers’, feeling this financial pressure around Christmastime is nothing new. These families who still have a roof over their heads and food on their tables often slip through the cracks — they can afford all the necessities, but the “extras” are harder to come by. Considering that Americans are estimated to spend $882 on Christmas gifts this year, it makes sense that a family with a few financial setbacks would have a hard time filling the stockings for their kids. (And this doesn’t even account for the extra gifts Santa is supposed to bring.)
Realizing how common this Christmas dilemma really is makes Ayers’ story even more special. These random acts of kindness around the holidays, often from anonymous strangers, can determine what a family’s Christmas looks like. It’s not even mid-December, and we’ve already seen a few Christmas do-gooders doing their work — like Ayers’ anonymous “Layaway Angel,” whose good deed matches the work of the now-famous Toys “R” Us “Layaway Angel”, who has paid off $20,000 in layaway purchases two years in a row. One landlord was even kind enough to waive the December rent of a struggling family who was between jobs as an early Christmas gift.
Christmas may not be all about the material stuff, but for families, and especially for kids, it’s the little things that can make the biggest difference. As Ayers tells Babble, the kindness of one anonymous woman made a happy Christmas possible for her family:
“This secret woman was our Christmas Angel. She restored our faith in our race during hard times — there’s still good folks out there. She literally saved our Christmas!”