May Baskets

When I was a little girl, we had a raised flowerbed in the backyard filled with lily of the valley and other spring bulbs like daffodil, tulip and grape hyacinth. One of my favorite annual traditions was to pick a few flowers to create a May Basket to leave on the neighbor’s doorstep early on the morning of May 1.

Growing up, I wasn’t a big prankster, but this early introduction to “random acts of kindness” has remained relevant as a way to plan tiny surprises, celebrate spring flowers, and brighten the day, secretly, of friends, family and neighbors.

May Baskets are a creative and open ended craft idea that can be made from what you have on hand or what inspires you. You can make a paper cone basket from scrapbooking paper or cardstock, weave a basket from construction paper, reuse or redecorate a gift bag, sew a simple bag from fabric, or simply leave an impromtu spring bouquet in a mason jar for your recipient.

Your act of gratitude and kindness can brighten someone’s day and you can be part of the May Day tradition of giving baskets of flowers and treats to loved ones and neighbors.

NPR covered the forgotten tradition of May Baskets in a 2015 article on the history of the tradition, and Yankee magazine advocated to Bring Back the May Basket  in a 2010 article. Local bank Azura Credit Union offers a printable template for creating your own May Basket.

Make your own May Day Basket at the library from noon-2pm and 4-5pm on Monday, April 30, 2018 in the Learning Center. All ages welcome!

Teens 12-18 years old can also make a May Basket from 1-4pm on Sunday April 22, 2018 in The Edge Teen Room.

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Lissa Staley

Lissa Staley helps people use the library. She is a Book Evangelist, Trivia Emcee, Classics Made Modern book discussion leader, NaNoWriMo Municipal Liaison, and frequent library customer. She loves her kids, being a librarian, living in Topeka, and helping people form connections and community. (She's the Community Connections Librarian!) She reads a new book every few days, but is enjoying the audiobook of "Empress of Forever" by Max Gladstone, the ebook "When We Were Magic" by Sarah Gailey and is eagerly awaiting John Scalzi's "The Last Emperox" in April!