When I was a child, one of my favorite spring holidays was May Day. I loved making May Day baskets filled with spring flowers like lilacs, violets, lily-of-the-valley and tulips, or sometimes homemade cookies. The fun part was taking them to teachers, neighbors, friends and relatives’ houses on May 1, placing them on the doorknob, knocking, and then running and hiding to watch them come out and find the basket.
This tradition seems to have disappeared over the last 20 to 30 years. I never see the kids in my neighborhood run around with baskets and ringing doorbells on May 1 (May Day), and people that I mention May Day baskets to don’t know what I’m talking about.
The May Day basket is a fun celebration of spring that deserves a comeback. Renew this simple lost tradition with your children or grandchildren. Create some simple paper cones out of construction paper or decorative sturdy scrapbooking paper and glue the cones closed. Then decorate the cones with accents such decorative paper, stickers or paper lace. Add a handle for hanging made of ribbon, pipe cleaner or paper. You can even make and decorate Happy May Day tags to attach to the basket. Want to be even more elaborate? Make a cute crepe paper-decorated cardboard box-based May Basket creation a la Martha Stewart.
One the baskets are create, pick some spring flowers and place a small bouquet inside each one. If you don’t have flowers, you can put other items in the basket such as candy or cookies.
On May Day, take the kids with their personally created baskets out to loved ones’ homes. Have them hang a basket on the doorknob – or place on the doorstep if the basket won’t hang. Once the basket is in place, they get to ring the doorbell, run, and hide – and then watch the smiles at this simple gift of spring.