Secret Santa surprises IHOP waitresses with early present

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SHAWNEE, Kan. -- 'Tis the season of giving and a few local waitresses say they're still in shock after receiving one early present.

Secret Santa has popped up once again; this time at this Shawnee IHOP. The generosity of this mysterious customer left some waitresses with a tip they'll never forget.

"We don't expect more than a couple dollars," said Brittney Boffman, who was working the graveyard shift at IHOP, like usual recently, when she waited on what seemed like any other customer.

"Casual, you know, plaid t-shirt, jeans, boots, he looked like a regular old dude," added Boffman.

Turns out he wasn't a “regular old dude.” It was secret Santa.

"I said ‘secret Santa from where?’ And he said ‘the North Pole,’" said Ashley Martinez, who has only been working at this IHOP for two weeks.

She waited on this man the night before, and figured he was a regular.

"He asked me how I was doing, he was standing, and he asked me to get up and stand with him, and I asked him ‘are you getting my boss, is something wrong?’" Martinez said. "And he's like ‘yes your boss is coming,’ and so I got really nervous I didn't know what was going on, I thought I was in trouble."

No, she wasn't in trouble, in fact, it was quite the opposite. He asked Martinez, Boffman and another waitress to come with him.

"He told us, well, I'm secret Santa, and I would like to give you these, $100 each," said Boffman.

"Secret Santa from where? Like where could this money be coming from and who has $300 to just give to three random women working in IHOP," said Martinez.

"I just started crying," Boffman said. "As soon as he said that he was secret Santa, I just started crying."

Their boss, Imad Elqadi, has been a manager at this IHOP for nine years, and says he's ever seen anything like this.

"Sometimes they get a lower amount of tips and they don't bother to complain, and sometimes they get good tips and they are happy and they are hard workers," said Elqadi.

"Usually something that nice never happens...especially to me," Boffman said. "Nobody gives them $100 just for being nice."

Martinez says she wouldn't have been able to buy a certain gift if this hadn't happened.

"I bought my son a toy that he wants, that he's really been wanting," said Martinez. "So I was happy. It's absolutely amazing."

They both say this shows there are still good people out there.

"For someone to actually have that much kindness in their heart, I mean, you don't see that a lot," Boffman said.

All the waitresses say they respect secret Santa's wishes in wanting to remain anonymous, but they wanted to express how thankful they are.

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