I have a cousin that works for Wal-Mart. He said he loves working on the day after Thanksgiving, because he thinks it's funny to see people fight over the last one of whatever's on sale.
The good thing about the Wal-Mart back home was that you got the "day after Thanksgiving" flyer about a week early. My best friend would go to the Supercenter, which was open 24 hours, and get the stuff (if it was out) before the sale started and then just walk around the store until the sale began at 6 AM. Then she'd check out at 6AM and get the good price and miss the lines. Of course, she also didn't mind getting up at 4 AM to do it. ughh.
I know that Wal-Mart requires 10% down for layaways. Usually for Christmas stuff, you can leave it on layaway for a little longer. Normally other stuff has to be out in 30 days, but with Christmas stuff, you can leave it for up to 3 months. At least, that's how it was the last time I did a layaway. Hmmm.. I've seen other places that want 5% down, but I can't remember where.
My mom used to put all of our stuff on layaway because they didn't have credit cards, and she never knew what my dad's pay was going to be from week to week. We'd go to the store or look at the catalog and find things that we wanted, and then she'd go back while we were at Granny's one day and put everything on layaway.
The only bad thing about layaway is that some places are terribly
disorganized around Christmas because they have so many layaways. They lost my stepsister's layaway a couple of years ago. She was SO upset. She stood in line for 3 hours waiting to get to the register, and then they looked for an hour and couldn't find it. They told her they'd call her if they found it. They never did. The gave her her money back, but there were some things that she couldn't find in the store after that, because they were popular things that year. So, she had to go out the week before Christmas to other stores looking for these things her kids wanted.
My only suggestion for a thing like that would be, if you can get it out before the last day and you have somewhere to hide the gifts, I think that would help. That way you don't have to fight the long lines. And the people working in the stores are always so confused on the last layaway day. They make you want to kill them, but at the same time you feel sorry that they had to work that day.
Actually, since our budget is tight this year, that's a good idea. DH has a couple of things that he wants. Mostly little stuff, but it adds up... So, I may do that the next time he's out of town or working late so he doesn't see it. hee hee. That way we won't lose a big chunk of money all at once. And if it disappears gradually, he won't notice it. hee hee.