Editorial: Kindness in bloom

Celebrate May Basket Day and leave flowers for neighbors

You’ve probably heard that April showers bring May flowers, but have you heard of May Basket Day? 

Celebrated as a festival of flowers, its origins date back to Roman times, as people used May 1 to celebrate the Goddess Flora. Secretly gifting neighbors with small baskets or paper cones filled with treats is a May Day tradition that has continued through the years – mostly in Europe. Think of it as a friendlier version of Ding Dong Ditch: You knock or ring your neighbor’s doorbell, leave the flowers and dash away before they answer.

Sounds like fun, right?

Why not start a new tradition this year and leave May baskets on your neighbors’ front stoops? While you can use any type of basket (a leftover Easter basket, perhaps?), traditionally they are a piece of paper rolled into a cone. Fill them with cut blooms or use a larger basket or pot to gift a plantable flower. This is an easy activity to do with kids, too, not to mention it’s a great lesson in being neighborly and practicing random acts of kindness – two things we can always use a little more of.

It’s easy right now to get your hands on a tray of cotton candy pink impatiens or a bouquet of sunshine yellow tulips. Local garden centers are currently bursting with seasonal flowers, and florists are stocked with colorful blooms. 

Strapped for cash? Check out what’s blooming in your own backyard, or put your crafting skills to use and create a bunch of paper flowers. 

After all, it doesn’t matter where your May Basket Day gift comes from. It’s the thought that counts.