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<p>I am thinking of giving DS $10 and sending him shopping with a friend to get a gift for me for Christmas.  He is only 3.5, but he is very interested in what I like, what he can do for me to be helpful/make me happy, etc.  I think he would have a great time thinking about what I might like rather than what he would want, but at the same time, I don't want to promote rabid commercial Christmas consumerism.  We are very low income too, so $10 is a pretty decent chunk of my discretionary income, but is doable if I really want it to happen.</p>
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<p>I am just wondering if anyone else does anything like this?</p>
 

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<p>I remember taking my friend's little girl shopping for her Mom.  It seems to be the norm in my circle for if the parent's are separated, that a friend takes the child shopping for whichever parent it is.  I think it is a great idea!</p>
 

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<p>Yes.  We've  given our preschool children $5 and let them pick out something for us at the thrift store  or dollar store for a Christmas present for us.   Never occurred to us to send them with someone else - we wait by the door and pick a store that is not too big for us to be able to keep track of the littles. And have a gift bag handy so they can "wrap" it right away. We have received sparkly mardi gras beads, tensor bandages, a spatula, a small snow globe, a pretty plate....all things that spoke to us of the love our children have for us and of what they like/think we would like.  All the small objects have either been used (if practical) or became part of our Christmas tradiion,  So we always have the mardi gras beads hanging on the tree every year now.</p>
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I wouldn't invest more than $5 per gift in this project.  And it won't be kept a secret from you if a 3 yr old is involved, ime, so be prepared to not be surprised, lol!</p>
 

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<p>Oooh!  I love the idea of a gift bag ready to let him "wrap" it immediately so I won't see it.  I figured I won't send him until a week or so before Christmas so he won't go bonkers with anticipation of giving it to me.  Last year I asked him what Santa would be bringing me and he said he thought I would like a stuffed bunny.  :)  I gave a friend $10 and sent her to a toy store to buy a stuffed bunny and had her wrap it so I wouldn't see it until Christmas morning.  He was amazed that Santa had brought the stuffed bunny to me!   This year I think it would be fun to let him pick whatever out.  I also love the idea of the item being something useful or becoming a part of our Christmas tradition.  Thanks for the ideas!</p>
 

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<p>My friend and I take each others child shopping and help them do a nice art project to go along with the gift for birthdays and Christmas.  We try to take them places where there is stuff that adults will like and guide their purchases towards that area, but they have final say.  When dd was little she usually got me a doll or something, after about age five she started getting me coffee cups, rings, and pretty figurines.  She is always very proud of her choices.</p>
 

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<p>Can you swing it so that he "earns" the ten dollars (maybe a little at a time.)  That way you aren't just giving him the money for your gift.  If he uses "his own" money, then he gets to truly <em>give</em> it to you and not just pick it out.</p>
 

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<p>Not a single mom, but yes, DH and I take turns taking DD1 out to shop for the other parent. Last year I got a hot pink snuggie and hot pink socks and DH got a pair of nerf foam swords so they could swordfight together.</p>
 

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<p>When I was single with my oldest ds (single mom for the first 7 years), I occasionally would ask a friend to take him shopping for me with a few dollars.  I usually ended up with pink sparkly gigantic earrings or some such thing.  More often, I ended up asking a friend to help him make me a card or something handmade so that he felt more invested.`</p>
 

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<p>I agree that it is ideal to have your child make something/earn money to buy the thing - if he is old enough to do this/understand money.  I think some preschoolers would be.</p>
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<p>Our thrift store shopping trip has evolved to a craft store shopping trip with my kids now that they are older.  All gifts given by them are now handmade.  It is not cheaper than thrift stores at all, but we like it and feel it's worth it :)</p>
 

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<p>We all go together to the Target dollar spot, and then we swap kids to have everyone pick out something for everyone....so, DH takes DD to get something for me and DS while I take DS to get something for DD and DH, then we swap kids to finish for the other parent, and we loop around by the registers, have everything shoved into bags and it's all done for under $10.  The kids LOVE picking things out for each other and us now (we started 2 years ago when they were 2-1/2 and almost 5) and we always find something we like or could use there, whether it's socks, or a notebook or sparkly headband or whatever....so it's more about the thought and process, and  less about the price.</p>
 
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