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By Kasey Joyce

Jefferson County (KSDK) - It's one of the hottest holiday trends right now, but you won't find it on any store shelf. This year, some shoppers are paying it forward by helping out other shoppers in need.

"Just knowing that people would help us out as much as they could just makes me happy," Morgan Skaggs said.

Morgan was riding in the car with her stepmom, Deanna, when Deanna got phone call and burst into tears. All Deanna could say to the mystery caller was thank you.

Morgan says she immediately knew the call had something to do with money.

"I knew we had been struggling," Morgan said. "To know that our Christmas is going to be easier now and to see the smile on her face was just awesome."

The call had come from K-Mart. Apparently a secret Santa had been busy this year. The Santa chose four families and paid off nearly $300 worth of layaway charges. Morgan's family was among them.

The mystery shopper wanted to remain anonymous, leaving behind only a note: "Merry Christmas! God bless your family."

"They said they were just blessed this year," K-Mart associate Lola Lemp said of the mystery shopper. "The shopper said that somebody had done it for them a few years ago and so they wanted to pay it forward."

And it seems that idea is catching on. Over the past few days, dozens of secret shoppers across the country have paid off stranger's layaway balances at stores like K-mart and Wal-Mart.

Morgan says she doesn't know why the shopper chose her family, but she thinks it may have something to do with karma. Just a few days earlier, her family bought a Christmas tree and presents for friends who couldn't afford them. They spent almost the same amount that their mystery shopper paid off.

"Seeing our friend's mom tear up because she was happy that we had done all that we could, and then it came back to us," Morgan said. "And we knew how they felt. Because we got that phone call that someone had paid off our layaway."

NewsChannel 5 received an email from one of the Secret Santa shoppers Monday afternoon. She admits to paying off the layaway balances for three families at the Lemay Ferry K-Mart and a store manager said other shoppers have been doing the same.

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