I remember my parents putting stuff on lay-a-way all the time when I was a kid. It wasn't just a financial move either, if it wasn't in the house my brother and I couldn't find it(mean parents)! A lot of stores over the years have done away with lay-a-way programs, except K-Mart but it seems this season may be different. A number of stores are bringing back the program for Christmas purchases.

K-Mart I know has kept their program in place over the years, I used it a few years back. Other big name retailers didn't have that luxury but Wal-Mart, as of yesterday has their Christmas lay-a-way program open. Toys-R-Us is also another big chain that will have a lay-a-way program for this Christmas.

Lay-a-way is a great way to pay for those larger ticket items over time. Bikes for the kids, appliances, sporting goods or electronics, all would fall under that category. You pay a small "holding" fee or down payment then pay a certain amount usually every two weeks until it is paid in full then you can take it with you.