Thursday, May 01, 2008

may baskets

Yesterday my mom asked me if we were going to hang May baskets. She asks me this every year. When we were kids we used to painstakingly decorate a basket, fill it with candy and little gifts, and "hang" it on a family's front door on May Day. Then we'd knock on the door and run. The children of the family are supposed to capture the kids who hung the basket and then everyone gets to share the treats. I think my mother must have explained this beforehand to the participating families so they'd know how to play, because I don't think it was commonly done.

Every year I tell my mom no, we did not do May baskets or no, I do not plan to do May baskets. I'm sure this is disappointing, because obviously it is tradition she wanted perpetuated throughout the generations. I just never think of it. Or maybe I don't feel like it. Do my kids really need more candy? I know, just call me Scrooge.

So yesterday, feeling like a major party pooper, I told her no, Mom, we are not doing May baskets. I've told her before that people around here do not even know what May baskets are. They are Scandinavians, not English.

Tonight when I got home from taking Lidia to dance class, lo and behold, my children were making and hanging May baskets all over the neighborhood. I looked incredulously at my mother, who was on the phone. Bernie and Marcus were busily filling a paper bag, which they informed me was their next May basket. It contained one laffy taffy and two baggies filled with Cheetos. Marcus grabbed the bag and dashed out the door. Eventually I learned the whole story, and no, my mother was not to blame. The next-door neighbor boy had hung a May basket on our door as well as two other neighbors' doors. This set off a frenzy of May basket giving. We got Chinese White Rabbit candies from the next-door neighbors. When my mom got off the phone she said that the first May basket that Marcus and Bernie had made up contained one yogurt and one can of Spaghettios. J had said no to that one, so Cheetos, almonds, Saltines, and stray candy went into the subsequent baskets.

My mom's pointed look at me contained a major, "I told you so." "Next year you'll have to be prepared!" she said gleefully.

7 comments:

Cocoa said...

You'd think we learn that Mom is always right. :D

Auntie Lee said...

That kind of thing is what Grams are suppose to do...DUH. :D
She made a memory.

spagettios...hee hee...I like that one.

Anonymous said...

We did a May basket for the neighbors last year, but I was too busy this week to do it. Lmx doesn't remember. I always used to pick out circus peanuts to put in our basket when we were kids, and shrank from your prefered hersheys chocolate bars.

ML said...

I love this story! We hung May baskets when I was a kid, and my older kids remember making them, but my littles don't. Maybe next year.
I love your masthead picture, too. Yum!

ML said...

Ha ha! I just read over my comment and now you'll have to do a post on "The edible flora of Maine"! Ha ha ha!

Gabriela said...

:), isn't it annoying when your mom is right?

We've never done May baskets, but I bet my kids would like it.

Karen ~ said...

Oh my goodness I am laughing at yogurt and spaghettios!!!!

And for the record, I lived almost my entire childhood in this miserably cold land of never-ending rotten weather (oh, sorry, there got off on a rant) and we DO know what May baskets are.

So there!