Shoppers using old tool this Christmas

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David MacAnally/Eyewitness News

Indianapolis - No longer a ghost from Christmas past, retailers have brought back an old tool this season.

Lay-away started in the depression and largely Went away for 25 years. Now, with 60 percent of financially fearful consumers saying they'll consume less this Christmas

Store owner Natalie Canull says, "We've done more lay-away this year than we've ever done and I'm sure it's the economy."

At Mass Ave Toys downtown, it's the busiest weekend of the year. They've offered lay-away for years, but now many retailers, like K-Mart are heavily promoting it.

Shopper Linda Porter showed us the mechanical dogs she picked up for Christmas. "They've been in lay-away for probably two months. I pay every two weeks. With the economy the way it is, come in pay $5 a week or $10 every two weeks - couldn't beat it."

Norma Turk raised her kids on lay-away, avoiding credit card charges - key for this year's maxed-out or credit cautious consumers. "You have to pay the interest, the toys are broken sometimes and you're still paying for them," she said. 

But watch out for a couple things. Sometimes you must pay a fee, maybe $10 or a percent of the purchase. Change your mind and penalties could be $25 or $30. And you could miss out on last minute price cuts.

Stores like Sears and Marshals are also promoting their lay-aways while Wal-Mart ended its program.

One shopper says, "They didn't make it easy for a lot of people when the quit having lay-aways."