There are days when I find myself thinking more than normal about one or both of my parents, Allen and Collene Spencer, than normal, and May Day is one of the days that reminds me a lot of my mom. Mom loved the holidays, and while May Day isn’t a holiday, per se, it is a special day, and mom loved it. It was a day that she could give her girls something fun to do, while doing something fun for neighbors and friends too. Mom helped us make May baskets, fill them with candy, and told us to take them to the neighbors’ houses, hang them on the door, knock, and hide. It was the tradition of May Day, and Mom wanted us to know about it. We had so much fun making those baskets, but the real fun was in the giving of the baskets. There wasn’t a lot of candy in them. Just a few pieces, but our neighbors knew that we had left them a little bit of sweetness to brighten their day.

My mom was such a giving person, in so many ways. It wasn’t just May Day, or some other holiday, but really, every day. Mom gave of herself, in the kindnesses she showed, and if someone had a need, she did her best to supply that need. That was how she was raised. Her parents, George and Hattie Byer were givers, helping anyone who had a need. Their children saw that growing up, and it left a lasting impact on them too. Mom not only felt compelled to give, but she truly liked giving…from Girl Scout cookies to church to different causes she came across, Mom was a giver, and I know that she was always blessed because of it. Dad was also a giver, and they were always in agreement of these things. They taught us to be givers too, and we are all grateful for their teachings.

While May Day traditions have rather become a thing of the past, I will always remember them fondly. I think it is sad that the May basket tradition has for the most part ceased to exist, and that makes me sad for the younger generations. Of course, with a few exceptions, most of us don’t often know our neighbors well…unless we have lived in an area for many years. Even then, people come and go, and it isn’t so easy to accept a basket of candy left on your door, unless you know for sure where it came from. It is an unfortunate side effect of the times we live in. I am thankful to have grown up in a gentler time, when May baskets could be given and received without worry about their contents, or the child giving them. Happy May Day everyone.

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