I had a Gingy when I was little. I think my mom says I got her when I was around four. I don’t remember ever not having Gingy. She is a simple gingerbread girl—and sad-looking at this point in her life. Not only did she survive me, but I passed her along to my niece when I was a teenager. My niece gifted Gingy back to me years later when my girls were born. My girls didn’t play with Gingy much, because she didn’t have a lot of play left in her. But she is filled with memories. I’ve been given several gingerbread-themed gifts since, including an early gift this year.
My granddaughter gave me a dancing Gingy. It was supposed to be a Christmas gift, but she kept playing with it. She’d set it on a table at her house and tap it. With its weighted bottom, the rest of dancing Gingy would sway back and forth on its spring. My granddaughter swayed back and forth with it. She introduced dancing Gingy to me when I was at her house before Thanksgiving, and I gave her a new home among my decorations.
Gingy doesn’t just dance when my granddaughter is at my house. Sometimes I give her a gentle tap as I walk by, just for the smile her sway gives me. She is new and full of spring. Her smile is bold. She stands tall and does not slouch. She is firmly stuffed.
She is unlike my childhood Gingy in so many ways yet reminds me of her every time I glance at her. Sometimes the new reminds us of the old, but the new doesn’t stop there. To the memories, it adds excitement and gratitude. It isn’t everything the old was but brings freshness different from the old.
These are just decorations, but they remind me of the connections between the memories and rejuvenations of our lives. Especially around the holidays and other benchmark dates through the year, we have memories that stir up both positive and negative responses. Also, every single day of the year, we get to experience fresh opportunities and relationships. As we do, the old and new mixes—sometimes in heart-warming ways and sometimes in disheartening ways. Whichever it is, we get to choose the find gratitude and joy—even if it is a small spark within a larger uncertainty—or some other response.
I hope there is a memory today that you can tap and sway to, even if only for a moment.