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Friday, May 1, 2015

How to Have Some Fun on May Day – and the Candy That Will Get You There

may day gift basket
Once a childhood staple, May Day is now one of the country’s most underrated holidays. We think that’s a shame; it’s the only holiday that allows you to get outdoors and brighten up your friends’ or neighbors’ days with surprise flowers, candy, or other tokens of appreciation! We’re here to help you embrace the holiday again with a few suggestions about celebrating May Day at any age.

Pick Some Wildflowers 

The best way to prep for May Day is to get outdoors and soak in the weather. Incidentally, this is a great excuse for a day trip if you have some time on your side! From Texas bluebells to East Coast mountain laurel, the odds are good that no matter where you’re located, you have some beautiful botany available. Is Spring arriving a little late for you this year, or do you live in a rainy climate like the Pacific Northwest? Get a little creative with your bouquets and substitute berries, ferns, and other lush greenery for the traditional flowers.

Put Together Your May Day Gifts: For Grownups

Pick a few of your friends, coworkers or neighbors and create small gift baskets. These can be as fancy or simple as your time and budget allows, but a few staples that are sure to please include:

  • Fruit or a small jar of homemade jam
  • Freshly-picked flowers; or pick up a few small, pre-potted plants or herbs from your local grocery store and substitute these instead. Fresh mint, basil or thyme – especially when it can continue growing on a kitchen windowsill – is cheap and always appreciated!
  • Fun or attractive candy – we recommend something individually wrapped so you can make the most of a bulk purchase while having a clean and easy way to include the candy. For equal parts beautiful and nostalgic, we love the decorative and delicious appeal of our old-fashioned hard candy sticks. These works of candy art come in an array of fun colors and flavors to match any style.
  • A small gift card – for the coffee fanantic in your life, a $5 gift card to the nearest coffee shop can go a long way in putting a smile on his or her face!

The key here is to be inexpensive and creative. These gifts should be fun and thoughtful, and designed to brighten someone’s day. That means just a little can go a long way.

Put Together Your May Day Gifts: For Children

There is nothing more fun for a child than cruising the neighborhood and leaving small gifts on the neighbors’ doorsteps. Personally, we feel this is an appropriate time to use the “ding dong dash” method of ringing the doorbell and sneaking away! Here are some simple, kid-friendly May Day gifts you can help your children put together:

  • Use dixie cups or generic paper coffee cups instead of baskets to keep it simple. The cups can still be full to the brim with fun items, but it’s an easy and affordable alternative to a gift basket. Kids can grab some markers and decorate the cups, or they can create their own cards to include with the gifts.
  • Add hand-picked flowers and fun found objects like shells or colorful rocks
  • If the recipients are other children, delight them with simple late-Spring fun like a box of chalk, a bag of water balloons, or a bottle of bubbles. Actually, even if the recipients are adults, you can still include these to appeal to the child-at-heart in all of us.
  • For candy options, aim for the bright, fun novelty candy that children naturally gravitate to. Options that are especially popular with kids include Gummi hotdogs, candy necklaces, and Fun Dips.

Pay It Forward

For the short on time, there’s one more tried-and-true May Day option: the Pay It Forward strategy. Buy coffee for the person in line behind you or lunch for the car behind you at the drive-thru. If you have a vending machine in your office, one method we love is to tape an envelope to the vending machine with a couple dollar bills in it. It’s guaranteed to make someone’s day.
Happy May Day, and have fun!