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Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
2:38 PM Tue, Sept. 18th

Haddad: What ever happened to May Day?

In this 1927 photo children surprise First Lady Grace Coolidge with a May Day basket of flowers. (Library of Congress)

In this 1927 photo children surprise First Lady Grace Coolidge with a May Day basket of flowers. (Library of Congress)

For centuries, May Day was a festival celebrating the reappearance of flowers during spring. But the tradition was also a fun and memorable way to teach children and grandchildren about giving to others and being a good neighbor.

It is time May Day had its own reappearance.

How many of you remember the excitement of preparing a May Day basket for a friend or neighbor?

I remember weaving colorful strips of construction paper together to form simple baskets. Once completed, my family and I would fill the baskets with flowers or candy and carry them around the neighborhood. Ever so quietly, we would tiptoe up to a neighbor’s doorstep, leave the basket, ring the doorbell and run like the wind. The exhilaration and satisfaction of giving a cheerful gift without getting caught is something every child should experience.

But it seems the custom of taking a spring basket to someone’s door is all but forgotten. Why?

Perhaps what has really been forgotten is the strength that can come from a neighborhood filled with people who know and care for each other. Have we, as a society, become so self-centered that we spend more time watching each other instead of watching out for each other?

What better time to strengthen our neighborhoods and our community than during the spring month of May.

I hope that you and your family will take this opportunity to celebrate the coming of a beautiful month while also telling your neighbors how much you appreciate them. Pick a day any time in May and help restore a forgotten holiday.

For those of you who do not know your neighbors as well as you could, find some construction paper, make a basket, ring a doorbell and run like the wind. It may open more doors than you know.

Richard Haddad is News & Digital Content Director for Western News&Info, Inc., the parent company for Prescott Newspapers, Inc.