May baskets were popular in the 1930s when I was a kid. It is a tradition that goes back many years, and Louisa May Alcott wrote about it in chapter 18 of her book "Jack and Jill." In school, it was an art project to learn how to make these baskets. We used colored construction paper, and the easiest were those shaped like a cone that we colored with crayons. We also would cut strips of different colored paper to weave together to make a box type basket. Back then, there were no staple guns available to us, so we pasted everything together, including the handles.
On May Day, we would fill these baskets with fresh flowers and hang them on the doors of people we liked, then run like heck so they would not know who left the flowers. Nowadays, there are so many resources we can use to make these baskets, such as empty cake mix or oatmeal boxes cut in half, or any kind of box; even small paper bags would work. Leftover pre-pasted wallpaper borders or contact paper could make a wonderful covering plus ribbons or yarn to make the handles. In these baskets can be fresh flowers or artificial flowers if no fresh flowers are available, a candy treat or tea bags and tea cookies, or a poem that you wrote or a special message of love. The list goes on and on.
May is a beautiful month filled with new growth and flowers. With the many new friends and neighbors we have, plus friends in nursing homes or homebound senior citizens, wouldn't it be a great project to give out May baskets, not only on the first day of May, but the whole month?
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