May Baskets: An Old Tradition Makes New Friends

Officially, May Day is the 1st of May, but really anytime during this splendid spring month is a perfect opportunity to share small gifts of the season with everyone: teachers; friends; neighbors; and family. You can do that with May baskets—a wonderful, old-fashioned tradition.

Be creative during this merry month of May. You can either pick up baskets at the discount stores or thrift shops or make your own from paper, recycled, or natural materials. Bright ribbons will dress up your gifts. As to what to put inside—a few fresh flowers from the family garden are free and perfect (do ask first—unless this is a Mother's Day surprise!), and those are enough to be plenty cheerful in a May basket. But if you don't have real flowers, you could make some from tissue or colored paper. Perhaps you'd like to bake some cookies to tuck inside, make clay figures or bracelets, write a short poem, or include treats for their pets.


Check out the list below, which gives books and Web sites that include ideas for baskets to make, crafts to try and stories that explain generosity to young ones.

Cecelia and her kitty Chica put together a special basket for her great aunt that is filled with good memories.


Learn "the language of flowers" where each blossom has a meaning and try making some traditional recipes and gifts. Ask a grown-up for help if need be.


Tuck a paper apple, an elephant or something else that's wonderful into your May basket.


In the city is a gilded statue of a prince, trimmed with jewels. It is so handsome, the people think he must be happy, but he is not--until a faithful, little bird helps him to give joy to others. A classic and deservedly so.


Dozens of sweet gifts that kids can make and share with others--their friends, their family, and their pets.

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