Tag Archives: family

Go Ahead, Parents. Encourage Regifting!

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Hello Inksters,

Did you know that December 22nd is National Regifting Day?

Yes, that’s a thing.

In the United States, regifting is usually discouraged, poo-pooed. But I say, why not regift?

Each year, my children give each other presents. Usually, we would give them a few dollars and take them to a favorite local thrift store to shop for each other. Oh the treasures they would find — great puzzles or board games (sometimes with all the pieces), gently used soccer jerseys, and durable action figures. They were all items enjoyed by other children and would be enjoyed again in our house.

Now, I know, technically that is not regifting. This year, though, I’ve asked the kids instead to regift to each other. We save outgrown clothes, aged-out book series and toys to pass along to the next child in line — a sibling, cousin, or friend — when they are ready. So they are visiting our basement bins to find treasures that were loved by them to gift intentionally to their siblings.

Books are particularly wonderful items to regift. A story, after all, is a gift that keeps on giving! Our oldest sifted through her early chapter books, spoke with wistful glee as she rediscovered Ursula Le Guin’s Catwings series (which she’ll give to her youngest brother) and 100 Cupboards (for her middle brother).

Our youngest loves rocks and picked one from his collection to give to his sister. With it, he is giving her his book of meditations we bought for him a few years ago: A Handful of Quiet.

Toys are great regifts, too. Our middle child found his k’nex bridge building kit that he’d used for a science fair project a few years ago that he now wants to give to his little brother who is now very interested in learning about how bridges work. He loved — and still does love — building and is excited to play with this kit with his brother.

Hand-me-down dress-up and everyday clothes are being handed down as gifts this Christmas, too.

Best part of this for parents? Of course, we spend a little less money and we bring things in storage — items in very good condition — back in useful circulation. It is certainly a more “green” practice. Another perk: while the kids were looking through bins, they also noted what they still want to hold on to and what they’d like to let go of, so we have a healthy pile of items in great condition to donate to people who can make use of and memories from them.

But the most important part? We get to listen as our children rediscover items they made memories around — and to hear them want to give the item to their siblings not just to give something, but because they want a person they love to also experience a similar joy as they use the item, or rediscover the story, too. And you actually get to learn what memories stick for them.

So go ahead and regift. It can be its own kind of inkspiration.

A fun additional inkspiration: Write a note to the recipient of the gift explaining why you wanted them to have this particular item.

Happy Holidays!

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Today’s Inkling: Mandala Word Art

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Happy Monday, Inksters!

Welcome to this week’s Inkling — an idea worth writing about! This week we invite you, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, to create your own Gratitude Mandala.

What is a Mandala? 

“Mandala” is the Sanskrit word for “circle.” It is a form of art that comes from Buddhist and Hindu traditions. Mandalas are often made out of sand, but can also be drawn or made out of other materials. I taught at one school where the food donations during the Thanksgiving Food Drive were all displayed in the shape of a bountiful mandala in the school’s entryway. It was such a wonderful display of the community’s generosity. And my son’s class this year drew and colored in beautiful Mandalas with chalk on the sidewalks at school when celebrating Diwali.

For this Inkling, we’ll make our Gratitude Mandala out of words.

Grab a piece of paper and any pencils, pens, markers, or crayons you want to use. Start your Mandala by writing “I Am Grateful for” or “I am Thankful for” at the center of the paper. This is the hub of your Mandala. Then think about everyone and everything you are grateful for:

  • Who do you enjoy having in your life?
  • What experiences are you glad you are able to have?
  • What activities do you enjoy doing?
  • What are you glad or relieved that you don’t need to live without?
  • Who or what do you treasure?

Write your words around the hub of your Mandala. Fill the page. Share it with your family during your time together this holiday.

If you are a pre-writer or early writer (which means your grown-up is reading this!), share what you are grateful for with your grown-ups. They will write your words down for you. Or, pre-writers can also draw or use stickers to show their gratitude and then talk about what they created with their family and friends.

If you love creating graphics on your computer, try creating a Gratitude Mandala in the form of a Wordle. See this Wordle Mandala here and visit the site for instructions:

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If you want to fill in an already shaped Mandala, try this colorful one:

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Or this one. You can color it and fill it in!:

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Enjoy creating your Mandalas. Use them to remember all that you are grateful for. We look forward to seeing your creations!

Happy Thanksgiving! Happy Writing!