May Day begins bright and early tomorrow morning! On this day it is tradition to surprise friends and family with a small basket of flowers, a "knot" or "posy" of May. There is also a charming medieval custom which instructs a young maiden to rise at dawn and wash her face in the morning dew; supposedly it will keep her complexion ever-youthful. Well, I'm not sure how well it's worked, but ever since we were first married, Bill has snuck out early on May 1st and gathered a few dewy blossoms to sprinkle over my (hopefully still sleeping) face. Some years it's violets and some years it's just a few tender greens - it is without doubt, one of the sweetest things he does for me. :)
Here are a couple of quick and easy May baskets for you to make with your children tomorrow. The first is just a paper cup (leftover from Easter) filled with garden flowers and a touch of water to keep them fresh. We don't have a lot in bloom right now, but the forsythia is plentiful as are the ferns or, "Easter Bush" and "Our Lady's Hair," respectively. I just hole-punched the edges of the cup and tied a pretty ribbon through them.
If you have plain plastic cups on hand, you could easily decorate them with crayons, markers, stickers or bits of colorful tissue as we did last year ~ an idea we borrowed from my dear and generous friend Alice at Cottage Blessings. These pretty tokens could be left hanging on a neighbor's door or brought to a loved one's bedside - my boys will hand deliver theirs to their CCD teachers tomorrow afternoon.
Another variation on the theme ~ just a plain white doily curled into a cone, held together with a pretty sticker and filled with more blooms. Voila! A simple but sweet May basket.
This one went to our Nana. :)
(And these would be even fancier if made from beautiful scrapbook papers, such as the ones made by Alice's children recently. In fact, just like last year, Alice has many more Marian ideas in store for us this month - do stop by The Cottage and learn more!)
In the meantime, I wish you all a lovely May Day!
The moon shines bright and the stars give light
A little before the day.
Our Lord, Our God, he called on us
And bid us awake and pray.
(From The Bellman's Song, a traditional English May Carol)