May Day (celebrated on May 1st) is right around the corner. The earliest celebrations of May Day took place before the birth of Christ, with the festival of Flora. Today, we think of maypoles and hanging baskets on doorknobs — traditions from Old Europe.
My girlfriend Chris keeps the May Day tradition alive. Whether she lives in the neighboring city or many states away — she always delivers adorable May Day baskets (by person or mail). The blue & green basket and the tin cup with ribbon (both pictured above) are from Chris in previous years. (No pressure Chris … you know we’re all waiting to see your adorable creations this year).
It’s fun to keep the May Day tradition alive — delivering May Day baskets to neighbors and friends. If you have children, it’s a fun family project to make May Day baskets to give to neighbors. When I was a child, we would make May Day baskets from the old green, plastic strawberry containers and fill them with flowers (from our yard or the neighbors). We would place the basket on our neighbors doorstep, ring the doorbell, then RUN away, laughing the entire time.
Making May Day baskets can be as simple or detailed as you want. Here’s how to get started …
1. The first step is to select your container. You can use baskets, tin buckets, take out boxes, silver cups, vases, paper doilies or make your own. You probably have items around your house that would be perfect. Be creative. I always look in the Target $1 Bins. All containers below (with the exception of the handmade blue & green basket) were from Target.
2. The second step is the fun part … deciding on the filler for the baskets. Popular choices are flowers and candy, but think outside the box. My girlfriend Chris finds unique, old fashioned candies. One year she sent Zotz (remember those?) For your bird lover and gardener friends, you may want to include bird seed or a potted herb. For your tea drinking friends, add a few tea bags.
I usually find candy and flowers. My candy of choice this season is Trader Joe’s new Salt Water Taffy ($1.99 a bag). The flavors are great: Strawberry Banana, Cherry, Sour Apple, Watermelon and Red Licorice. And, even better — the colors are perfect for spring! Several shades of pink, white, and pale yellow. I also found some adorable flower lollipops at Michaels.
3. The third step is filling and decorating the baskets. Again, here’s where it’s fun to get creative with ribbons, flowers, candy, handmade notes, etc. In one of the baskets below, I tucked in a couple of Forte tea bags (for my girlfriend that loves tea). I cut several flowers from our yard and wrapped them with some pink floral tissue and a white doilie tied off with ribbon.
4. Last but not least, have fun delivering your baskets!
Happy May Day!