ROSEVILLE (CBS13) — For so many children it’s the perfect Christmas gift, a brand new bicycle. But at a Roseville Walmart, some parents had to buy it on lay away and pay it off slowly.
When they came in to make that final purchase and finally buy the bike, they were given quite the surprise.
Secret Santa didn’t use a chimney, but quietly walked into the Walmart on Pleasant Grove Boulevard Monday night. A man, his wife, and two children came in and paid the balance on the layaway items of 27 customers. In all, the man paid more than $1,000 for toys, iPods and that special first bike.
“It’s that kind of holiday story, the kind makes you want to get down on your knees and thank God,” one Walmart customer told CBS13 outside the store.
Steve Winslow, the store’s co-manager, said he’s never seen anything like it.
“It’s hard to believe,” Winslow said. “I’ve been doing this for 30 years and it’s the first time I’ve ever heard of it. He was trying to teach his family that it was just as important to give as to receive this time of year.”
The store tried to call all 27 families to tell them their Christmas gifts were paid for, but one woman missed the call and came into the store early Tuesday afternoon.
The encounter left Walmart clerk Shirley Watson in tears.
“It’s wonderful when this happens this time of year,” Watson said. “I was crying. I was just very excited for her.”
Secret Santa left as quietly as he came in but not before telling the store his family didn’t want to be named and wanted no press.
Generosity must be contagious, because after Monday night, three more secret Santas came in to this same Walmart. But with no more layaways to pay fo, those generous folks were sent on to other stores.