I have noticed that a lot stores had done away with Layaway. However, this year, Kmart has brought it back. With our struggling economy, most of us middle class people are having a tough time of it. Any store that gets that and make it easier to buy things for Christmas gets two thumbs up in my book.
Now, the Kmart Lay-Away program works like this. You pick out the items you want. For example, we are getting Will a train table (and even another train set) for Christmas.
I bring the above items (table and train) to the layaway center and make a down payment on them. I then make payments every two weeks at my local Kmart. Once all my items are paid for, I get to take them home (aff)! It really does not get any easier than this. I love how this allows you not to use your credit cards this time of year. A lot of people get in trouble with that, and come January, they can't pay those off. Layaway allows you to not pay any interest or have to worry about making your credit worse than it may already be. Layaway also allows you to shop early and not have to worry about your kids finding their gifts, since they are well hidden at the store.