May Day Baskets and Sweet, Easy Love

One way to bring a small measure of simplicity and joy to another’s heart and home.

Posted in , Apr 30, 2015

Spring violets. Photo: Thinkstock.

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. (I John 4:7)

We still make and deliver May Day baskets.

It’s not quite like it used to be. In the old days, when Logan and Grant were small, we lived in a neighborhood. On the first of May we’d fashion baskets made of paper cups with pipe cleaner handles or construction paper folded into cones. We’d pop popcorn, bake cookies, pluck whimsy-stem spring violets from the yard. Then we’d fill the baskets and take off. Sometimes May sunshine brushed our shoulders, but more often we’d come against a cool Midwest wind.

And we’d continue on.

The baskets and a boy would sit in our rusty Radio Flyer. When we’d come to a home, the boys would hold baskets and walk tender-easy up sidewalks or flagstone front walks. Then they’d set the baskets on front porches or steps and bolt back to the wagon. We’d whisper prayers for the family as we ran.

We were anything but stealthy–laughing little boys, a creaky Radio Flyer and a mama pulling protectively to preserve the goods.

These days it’s a little different. We still make the baskets from cups or cones. We still bake cookies and make popcorn. But the delivery has changed. We’re not in a neighborhood anymore. A busy road runs in front of our home and the hills behind us give way to heartland fields.

Now, when we deliver baskets, we take the van. We drive and pull up in front of a friend’s home. The side doors of the van fly open. A jumble of boyhood bursts out. They deposit the basket, ring the bell, and we scramble and pray.

Not quite the same.

Yet the reason we celebrate May Day holds steady.


We still do May Day baskets because it’s an opportunity, a simple-easy way to love someone. It’s a way to reach into a life and say, “Hey, I value you. I’m glad that you’re here.” It’s a way to bring a small measure of simplicity and joy to another’s heart and home.

You never know what may be happening behind one’s front door. As long as we have skin on, we’ll have some sort of struggle. A smidgen of love may be just what someone needs.

After all, who doesn’t need to be remembered and valued?

It’s not about the basket. Or the nostalgia (I’m all about that). It’s the opportunity to say:

You are special.

You are precious in His sight.

You are loved.

The boys are coming close. It’s time to make ready for May Day. My guys have marking pens and scissors and glue. They have the tin that holds the popcorn kernels and pipe cleaners from the closet upstairs.

And they have hearts that want to reach into someone else’s life and day with a sweet, easy kind of love.

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