Happy May Day

Happy May Day, everyone! I don’t know if anyone remembers this long-ago sweet tradition, but it used to be a cute thing for a boy to leave a May basket on the doorknob of the house of his sweetheart. The boy would hang the basket, ring the doorbell, and then run off.

Usually the basket contained candies and maybe a flower or two. I was in high school and my then-boy friend used to do this, and it always tickled me. It was a dear old-fashioned gesture, but I loved it.

There are any number of sweet traditions that make our own world a better place, such as Christmas stockings hung on the mantel for the kids. It isn’t so much the gift itself, it’s the tradition (and the memories) that is the real treasure.

I remember the time that my mom discovered a new use for Peeps (remember the sticky sugary chewy little marshmellow chicks that positively crunched with sugar?). She had heard about “Peeps wars” which went like this:

You put two Peeps in the microwave on a paper plate. Put the Peeps facing each other, but not touching. Stick a toothpick into each Peep so that it looks like they are fighting each other with swords. Next, put them in the microwave on high for about 30 seconds. The first Peep to poke the other Peep with his “sword” wins. Silly, I know—but funny!

I think that the best traditions are the ones that families make up themselves, like measuring the kids’ heights once a year in pencil on the doorway. Then the crayon pictures on the refrigerator, the handmade toys and decorations, and so on.

When I was in camp during the summers, my favorite part of our daily routine was Arts and Crafts. I learned how to whittle soft pine wood, make lanyards with those wonderful plastic cords called “gymp,” and more. One year I painstakingly glued red and black beads on an oval beach stone so that it looked like a ladybug. My mother kept that silly thing for decades on her desk.

It is a lovely thing to go back in time remembering all those sweet and long-ago traditions. We may take those traditions for our own families or not, but either way they remain dear memories.

Happy May Day, everyone!


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