Mindy Kaling Wants Her Kids' 'Consent' Before Posting them Online, but 'It's Hard ... They're So Cute!'
Mindy Kaling loves sharing special moments with her kids, and for now, she's happy to keep that all in the family.
The Office alumna and Never Have I Ever creator (who is currently teaming up with Amazon Handmade to unveil an all-new collection of holiday items — including the Specialty Wood Designs cutting board, above) tells PEOPLE exclusively that while she's excited for all the holiday memories she's making with her kids Katherine, 3, and Spencer, 1, she's continuing to keep their faces off social media until they can agree to it.
"I have no judgment for people in the public eye who share photos and videos of their children," Kaling, 42, says. "My sense is that [my kids] have no real consent right now to do that. ... I feel like I might as well wait until they get old enough so they can tell me if they want to be part of my social media or not."
"Sometimes it's just a safety thing. I don't want to be at the airport and have someone be like, 'Spencer, Katherine,' and have them look to the people as though they know them or they're friends. I think that could be really confusing as a kid," she continues. "So that's the reason I'm doing it, but it's hard because they're such a huge part of my life. And I'm like any parent where I'm proud of the things they do. I think they're so cute, and of course, I want other people to see it!"
Kaling's kids are still young — she jokes this year the big holiday decor will be a fence around the Christmas tree to keep Spencer from pulling it down — but she looks forward to incorporating traditions into their holidays passed down from her late mom, Swati.
"The biggest tradition I had in my house [growing up] was that for a holiday like Thanksgiving, we dropped everything and just helped my mom as sous chefs. We would come home, I would sit there with her and I would just be endlessly chopping vegetables and peeling vegetables and baking pies," she says. "And I think my mom, who was a really busy doctor, someone who didn't have a lot of hobbies, she immigrated here and just fell in love with basically all of Americana ... She loved throwing a huge Thanksgiving and preparing for three or four days beforehand."
"So, to me, the tradition of, if my kids go to college and they have the week off for Thanksgiving, they don't come in the day before. I want them there the whole week helping set up, helping clean up the house," she says. "And it's all for a two-hour dinner, but for some reason, it becomes more than that. It's the bonding."
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As an inveterate shopper, Kaling also knows the importance of coming up with a good gift (and avoiding a bad one; the worst she ever got was a weight loss book, she tells PEOPLE) — and that's why she is teaming up with Amazon Handmade to launch an exclusive collection, featuring primarily home decor and select beauty products.
Kaling's taste is so legendary that she once maintained a shopping blog called "Things I Bought That I Love," and she applied that good eye to her collection of extremely giftable finds on the site. Her top tip for making sure what you pick is perfect for the recipient: "It really helps if you've been paying attention to things they're interested in ... I think back on conversations ... and go through their Instagram."
Amazon Handmade highlights unique products handcrafted by artisans worldwide. For Kaling's collection, she helped co-design several featured items — including the Minimalist Green and Gold Porcelain Bud Vase, the Personalized Leather Luggage Tag and the Christmas Tree Cheese Board Set — with six Amazon Handmade Makers.
Kaling says "it was so great to collaborate" with the six selected artists and Amazon Handmade, describing the collection as "cozy, personal and autumn."
"I love shopping, particularly around the holiday time, so that felt really just organic and exciting to me," the Mindy Project alum says. "I'm just super passionate about small businesses and helping them grow and gain exposure."
She adds, "Obviously, I get sent and exposed to a lot of different gifts and clubs and things, and what I liked about these is that they're handmade from local artisans around the globe. I just love handcrafted items."
Kaling's Amazon Handmade Holiday Collection launched Thursday.