Layaway returns as a way to afford the holidays


Toys "R" Us

and Babies "R" Us are giving Santa (and cash-strapped parents) an early gift this holiday season: Layaway.

Monday the toy store chain announced the introduction of in-store layaways as a means to help customers spread out payments on some holiday purchases.

But, don't rush out to stash Barbie on a back room shelf just yet. Not all items in the stores qualify . "Big gifts" like cribs, car seats, bikes, TVs, dollhouses, karaoke machines and wagons -- those not often stocked -- are a sampling of the things that are eligible. Shoppers wanting to get a jump on summertime can also layaway kiddie pools and water slides to give as holiday gifts.