I can’t even believe myself right now, it’s the middle of April and I’m actually getting my DIY post out before the end of the month. Woot! Woot!
This month we’re going to work through a DIY that will be for the benefit of next month—May Day Baskets!!
Anyone remember those?
I felt like I needed to do some research and provide just a bit of background info on these little “forgotten” about gems and here’s what I found out:
According to NPR.org May Day Baskets used to be quite a thing with a history clear back to the ancient European pagan festival of spring known as Beltane. When the continent became more Christianized some of the more rowdy aspects of the celebration faded out with May Baskets managing to remain.
In the 19th and 20th centuries May Day Baskets made their appearance in the United States signifying and celebrating the welcoming of Spring time. A person would collect goodies in a basket and then secretly deliver them to a neighbor’s door on May 1 as a special treat.
In some communities May Baskets provided a chance to show romantic interest. The giver would place the basket at the door, knock and run off…however if the receiver was able to catch the “basket-hanger” it was a chance to steal a kiss from him or her.
In more recent decades, for whatever reason, May Day Baskets have lost their luster.
I’ve joked in years past that May Baskets should be a thing again because maybe when they faded out is when the world got so messed up and maybe if they made a come-back the world would be a little bit brighter…super far stretch from reality but we could try!!
Here’s what you’ll need if you’re interested:
A basket of some sort (even a paper handmade cone-shaped one will do)
Here are some examples our family came up with:
For neighbors with kids we put in a box of crayons and printed off some coloring pages, added fun-size packages of skittles, a packet of Kool-Aid mix, flower seeds, little Easter ink stamps, and a bottle of bubbles.
For neighbors with no kids or widowed we included bags of tea, flower seed packets, hard candies, and we’ll add fresh-cut flowers (the day of) if my flower garden cooperates.
I also had some little plastic cards that have a scripture printed on one side and then a note of encouragement on the backside and I included one card per basket.The Easter candy, ink stamps, crayons, and bubbles came from Walmart at 50% off since it’s after the Easter holiday, so the total for everything was under $10 and we’ll have plenty to cover our seven baskets.
A good finishing touch would be to simply tie/attach a note stating Happy May Day!
OK and if I didn’t mention Coronavirus I guess it would feel uncanny to me so with that I would suggest this year (out of respect for your neighbors etc) to maybe include an extra note on the outside of the basket reading something like this:
Happy May Day! Here is a gift for you filled with goodies and cheer; if you have any concern over germs please leave this basket sitting outdoors for three days before bringing into your home! Wishing you a very Happy Spring!
**And I realize some of you live in places that are in strict quarantine where delivering May Day Baskets wouldn’t be an option this year. In that case you could always find a ‘flower meme’ and text it to a friend, neighbor, or family member, with the words ‘Happy May Day, thinking of you!!’**
Once you’ve decorated and filled your basket(s) wait until May 1st and then deliver to your neighbor’s doorstep…ring the doorbell or knock…and then take off!
Most people probably won’t be familiar with the tradition of the kissing part so I don’t think you’ll need to worry about that, but just in case maybe you should wear your running shoes!
Have fun and enjoy!!
Matthew 22:39 says, “…love your neighbor as yourself.”
We’re limited to what we can do these days so I hope you’ll join me in creating a May Day Basket, letting your neighbor know they’re loved and being thought of!
**and don’t forget to message me and let me know if you end up making one or if you have extra ideas for treats and goodies to fill them.