As we begin a new month, today's post is a short photo journal of the many things we celebrate this next 31 days. Use these memory triggers to write another family story or two or three to add to your Family Memories Book. Or maybe you don't have one yet. This is the perfect time to begin!
Today is May Day. It's not celebrated now as much as it once was. In my grade school days, teachers had us make May baskets of various kinds that we then filled with flowers or candy to present to others. Even when my children were small, the neighborhood kids made constrcution paper cones, stapled a handle on it and filled with candies. Then, they'd run onto a porch and hang their offering on the door handle, ring the bell and run away as fast as they could. What fun they had!
Dancing Around the Maypole
Dancing around a maypole started back in the 14th century as a pagan ritual. It somehow survived but with some adaptations, becoming less pagan and more a celebration of spring. I remember reading about this custom when I was just a young girl and thinking how exciting it would be to hold onto a colorful ribbon and dance my way around the center pole with other girls. The closest I ever got was the High Flyers playground equipment. No ribbons but I thought of the maypole at tiems when I ran fast and grabbed hold of ond of the handles and lifted my feet while I went round and round the pole in the center. I haven't seen a playground with a High Flyer on it for a long time. Must have been deemed too dangerous. Maybe, but it sure was fun!
We also celebrate Mother's Day in May. Hallmark and other greeting card companies sell a zillion cards in May. Telephone lines are buzzing on the second Sunday in May. Families gather in restaurants to give Mom a break from cooking. Children make gifts in school to bring to Mom. One of my fondest memories is of my son bringing me a small paper cup with a tiny green plant imbedded in soil. He must have been in second or third grade. I think the paper cup had been decorated with crayons. He carried it carefully into the house on the Friday before Mother's Day and handed it to me, his eyes shining. I have no green thumb. Every houseplant I've ever had gasps and dies not too long after coming into my possession. When I saw the plant, I thought it would never survive til Father's Day! But that tiny piece of Swedish Ivy lived and grew in my house for more than 30 years after it was given to me with love from my son. It ranks as #1 in favorite Mother's Day gifts.
In our extended family, May is a big month for birthdays, my own included. I've always been happy to celebrate my birthday in May. It's a lovely month. Even the northern states have better weather this month. We celebrate birthdays with cake and candles, gaily wrapped gifts and greeting cards along with family gatherings.
Many graduations take place in May, earlier than those of yesteryear. One more thing to celebrate in this month of May. The recognition of years of work as diplomas and degrees are conferred upon the graduates while their familes and friends watch. Another joyous May occasion.
Honor Those Who Served
Finally, we celebrate Memorial Day on the last Monday of May. We pause to remember those who served and lost their lives while doing so. Ceremonies abound in our entire country on that day. It has also become a time when familes visit cemeteries where loved ones are buried. They place flowers on graves, pause and remember. Others fly the American flag on this day as a sign of remembrance.