May Day Baskets
The Best Forgotten Tradition
With April coming near an end, my kiddos and I get to take part in one of our favorite annual traditions: May Day Baskets! Every year we decorate our inexpensive styrofoam cups with dollar store brushes and craft paints. We turn them into small works of art, complete with pipe cleaner handles and little candies inside with a note attached, "XOXO, Them Sargent Boys."
It is such an exciting holiday for all of us and the decorating isn't even the best part!
After we've made our baskets, we not-so-patiently await the arrival of May 1st. This is the day the real fun begins. After the boys get home from school we get to deliver our baskets to neighbors, family and friends. These deliveries aren't your typical , polite greeting though.
As tradition that dates back to the late 19th and early 20th century goes, you leave your baskets on the doorstep of a loved one, ring the doorbell and quickly run away before it's recipient can catch you (The boys and I love to hide, wait and see their reactions). However, you must be careful. If they happen to find you and catch you, they are supposed to plant a big wet kiss on your cheek!
The woman in the photos above is my Grandma B, their great-grandma. She is the one who taught me this tradition as a child. There were an awful lot of us grandkids and only one Grandma B, so some years we would ride with and deliver baskets, other years we were the ones receiving the baskets and trying to catch our cousins. It made an otherwise boring holiday something that we all looked forward to every Spring.
This day is filled with so much excitement and joy, yet every year my heart breaks just a little bit while we are making our deliveries. Since I began this tradition with my children, I have never once seen another child out dropping off goodies and ringing doorbells. I tried to tell myself we were just not noticing them, but upon our deliveries we notice that very few that know of the tradition, try to chase the kids or what to do if you actually catch them (Except good ol' Grandma B. She get's them every year. Although, I'm starting to think they let her. LOL)
This year, I ask you all to give it a try. Even if you only go to one home. Even if you don't have a basket (we used to used paper back-in-the-day). Even if your kiddos use a napkin, filled with an old piece of hard candy you find in the junk drawer and run it over to your neighbors house. Just DO IT!
Tell your friends with kids, Share this blog post and hopefully, I'll see you out there on May 1st. But if not, and someone rings your doorbell, I hope you run as fast as you can to plant a sloppy kiss on that kiddos cheek.
Wishing you all the happiest May Day!