There are a number of traditions surrounding May Dad, and the one I think I most prefer is that it is the albeit “unofficial” beginning of Summer. I’m sure that we all know that Summer really begins on June 21st, but by the first day of May, the weather usually begins to warm up, and therefore it leaves all of us “warmth starved” Summer people feeling just a little bit better. My mom, Collene Spencer loved May Day. I think it was almost her favorite day, and she was definitely one of those “warmth starved” people, as anyone who knew her very well could tell you. Mom was never comfortable in the cold of Winter, and she would finally start to feel warm when the temperature inside and outside reached about 90°. That usually meant that anyone in her house was on the verge of becoming “baked goods.”
Mom always went all out for May Day, and I think the neighbors got to where they expected it. It just wasn’t May Day or May 1st, for that matter, until the Spencer girls made the traditional “May Basket Delivery Run” around the neighborhood. Mom would buy candy, and construction paper, and we would make the baskets ourselves. Then we would full them with candy…just enough for a couple or a small family to have a couple of pieces. Then, we went around the neighborhood, hanging them on the door, then running to hide. The recipient was then supposed try to find us. The goal was not to get caught, and we had a great time trying. In our neighborhood anyway, my mom was always the May Day Queen.
In some parts of the United States, while May baskets are a big part of the May Day tradition, the day can also include activities like a Maypole Dance and crowning a Queen of May. I suppose that in a town where the town government supported the day, such traditions as these would be feasible. It might be fun to have that much participation in the holiday, but sadly, it is quickly becoming a holiday of the past in most places. I suppose it as something that was more from my mother’s era than this one. Those kinds of acts just aren’t common these days…sadly.