The tradition of giving ‘May baskets’ to unsuspecting neighbors and crushes is all but gone. This sweet and chaste way to celebrate spring — I won’t get into the debauchery that is the origin of the maypole dance — peaked in the U.S. during the Victorian era and started to disappear after first half of the 20th century. If you’d like to help revive this custom, here’s what you do: assemble baskets of sweets and fresh flowers, leave them on your neighbor’s door, ring the doorbell and run away before they catch you. If you are caught, you’re supposed to exchange a kiss. (To avoid kissing possible strangers — run fast.)
I can’t help thinking what delightful treat this would be for a grandparent or elderly friend, relative or neighbor. A surprise gift of a cheerful ‘May basket’ just might take them on a trip down memory lane. Or throw caution to the wind and leave one on the front door or car of a love interest. Maybe some Beltane fires will spark, if you catch my drift. Here are six of my favorite basket designs (click on the links for DIYs) sure to put a smile on a lucky person’s face.