Friday, May 1, 2015

May Day Baskets

We moved to Des Moines last spring in March. A few weeks later, on May 1, the doorbell rang. I was by the door and opened it right away. Outside was a kid running away, and a paper basket on our deck filled with candy. The kids mom was there and said, "Happy May Day!" I was puzzled. "What's this?" She had to explain to me the tradition of May Day baskets, which I'd never heard of before. She said people leave little baskets of candy for friends and neighbors. They ring the bell, and they're supposed to run away so you don't catch them. I later read that the old tradition used to include flowers. Here, it seems to involve mostly popcorn, plus a little candy.

This year, I decided we'd take part in this new-for-us tradition. I was telling Oliver all about it this morning when our doorbell rang. He looked so excited. I tried to calm him down, "It might not be a basket!" But not to worry. It was! His friend left a cup of goodies on our doorstep.
Oliver really liked the idea of trying to run away so people don't catch you leaving goodies at their door. He told me it would be smarter to hide than run, though. We got to work on our baskets, and then we saw our neighbor walking up our driveway. "Uh oh," I told Oliver. "I think Eli is coming to give us a basket!" Oliver ran to the door and flung it open and teased his friend with glee, "I caught you!" Haha. More goodies! The kids were thrilled to find juice boxes inside.

We got to work on our baskets. Oliver wrote math problems on one and drew a monkey on another. Jo requested I draw a fox on hers. I made one into a basket weave, but that was too hard for the kids. Then we walked over to the convenience store to pick out treats. I saw some dog treats, too, and decided to get them for the neighborhood dogs. Here are our baskets!

The kids were thrilled to deliver the baskets. Oliver would ring the bell and run! Jo would laugh and squeal as she tried to run away, too. Our neighbor who we caught delivering baskets to our house caught us delivering to their house! Uh-oh ;-) When we got home, Jo realized we no longer had the baskets. Her little heart broke, and she cried and cried. I had to talk to her about how those were presents we gave out, but to remember her friends gave her some gift baskets, too.

Next year, maybe we'll plan a bit ahead and make some cookies or something for the neighbors, but our first year participating in May Day was easy & fun!

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