May Day Baskets

May Day baskets

It’s that time of year, for May Day Baskets. Every May 1st, or the first Monday in May, is a holiday that children celebrate here in the Midwest with the sweetest custom: they make homemade baskets. They fill them with flowers and candy and deliver the baskets to neighbors. The gift is anonymous. It’s also the only time a child has parental permission to ring a doorbell and run like the wind.

May Day Baskets

You can create a May basket out of empty soup cans or rolled construction paper. On my block, most of us used plastic or paper cups. We punctured holes in the sides to thread through and created simple pipe-cleaner, ribbon, or string handles.


I used jelly beans and M&M’s. A lollipop. Gumdrops. A single stick of Juicy Fruit gum. You only have a small container, so there should be just a few pieces of candy. Think of it as Halloween lite.


Just see what’s blooming around the neighborhood. The flowers that bloom in the spring, tra-la! We had Hepatica, Bloodroot, Anemones, Violets, and Solomon’s Seal flowers. If you can find Lily-of-the-Valley, it adds a fragrant scent. You needn’t know the names of the flowers; pick pretty posies. Feeling generous, you can cut a tulip or two from your yard—a twig of any greening branch. Creeping Charlie exasperates those who want a perfect lawn, but the tiny purple flowers look pretty, and the trailing weed drapes gracefully out of a child’s May Day basket. Any weeds are good. Throw in some grass, too.

Surprise Your Recipient

Children love Mayday because part of the old-fashioned tradition is the unique thrill of getting “caught.” The recipient is not supposed to know who gave this present. My daughter used to be giddy with excitement. As she ran away, she would look over her shoulder as a neighbor would discover the basket and feign enthusiasm at a plastic cup of wilted dandelions.

Celebrate Spring

I loved May Day because it was a fun way to celebrate spring and establish a sense of community. The added plus was that creating a May Day basket was such an easy (and inexpensive) activity for not-so-crafty moms like me. The Mayday basket appears make-do and amateurish. It’s supposed to. The gift itself is a spontaneous and child-like welcome.

Welcome Spring With a Fruit Gift Basket

Here at we celebrate spring with our fruit gift baskets. There’s nothing like the surprise of fresh fruit delivered to their door. Especially when it is a just because gift!



© Photo by Jill Wellington from Pexels