In many countries around the world, May 1st is a day to celebrate the arrival of spring (source). To me, May Day conjures up images of children dancing around the Maypole with ribbons in their hands (one end of which is attached to the top of the Maypole) and flowers in their hair. I’m picturing sunshine, warmth, good food and drink, and fun times with family and friends.
The reality? I look out my window at the grey day, the rain hitting the windowpane. My husband is out of the country at a conference, Bean is at school, and El is napping. I don’t mind a little quiet time, but I would have loved to have spent it in the garden, possibly even in sandals! Sigh. That is not-to-be this May Day. Yesterday was cold enough to need a winter coat, and although today is indeed warmer, it’s not exactly sandal weather.
So I’m on the hunt for a creative way to celebrate May Day that doesn’t involve spring-cleaning the garden, or going for a walk to appreciate nature, or even simply having a cup of tea on the deck. On a cold, rainy day this momma needs to find another way to celebrate.
One idea is to buy some fresh flowers for inside the house. On the weekend, Bean picked some flowers (with permission) from my in-laws’ garden. When she brought them home, I let her do the flower-arranging herself. She loved it!!! (And for those of you who are perfectionists, find a way to resist the urge to fix it. The pride they feel every time they see their flower arrangement on the table is worth it.) So I’ve already got that covered. Check!
Another idea is to do a random act of kindness. Traditionally, this involves making a May-day basket of flowers and leaving it on a neighbour’s doorknob/doorstep to surprise them. Again, in this weather, I don’t really want to leave anything sitting on someone’s doorstep or it’s sure to be soaked in minutes (if it’s not blown away by the wind). Bean and I have already planned a random act of kindness to do after school. Check! Yesterday she unexpectedly got a smurf toy from a random stranger while we were out for lunch. (Bean’s not into smurfs — she initially thought it was one of the trolls from Frozen, haha.)
– Mummy, I don’t need this.
– Ok, that’s fine. You don’t need to keep the toy. Can you think of someone you’d like to give it to?
– E. (a friend at school)
– Ok, that’s a nice idea. I’ll bring it when I pick you up after school and you can give it to her as a surprise.
(Bean saw the toy on the counter this morning and made sure to remind me to bring it after school.)
There are a ton of May-day crafts and activities suitable for preschoolers on the internet (check out the good ideas over at Preschool Express), one of which is a paper-May-day-crown. Bean loves crowns and I think she would love this idea too! It’ll have to wait until she gets home from school, but that’s ok. There is enough spring-cleaning (or, if I’m being honest, regular cleaning) to do inside the house in the meantime. And maybe, if I’m feeling up for it, I’ll make a little May day basket to put her afterschool snack in. Just a little something special to mark the day.
So as it turns out, I am celebrating May Day; just not in the traditional sense. Flowers and a random act of kindness (plus a craft or two) seem like a great way to brighten up this rainy May Day. However you choose to celebrate (or even if you don’t), Happy May Day everyone!