Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Tradition Thursday - May Traditions

May Day:  May 1st is May Day.  It has always been associated with flowers.  Long ago, young girls would make beautiful garlands out of flowers and take them door to door begging for money.  This day make some garlands or just gather some flowers and give them to friends and neighbors.  For older children, you can all memorize a short poem and recite it when you deliver the flowers.  Here’s a great example:
"Sweet May hath come to love us,
Flowers, trees, their blossoms don;
And through the blue heavens above us
The very clouds move on."
-   Heinrich Heine, Book of Songs
Mother’s Day Program: Prepare a special presentation for Mom.  Each child can prepare a special poem, song or piece of artwork to present to Mom on her special day.  After the program, have a nice meal together as a family but don’t make Mom lift a finger to get any of it ready!
Give Mom a Carnation:   Carnations have become a symbol of Mother’s Day, because in the language of flowers, carnations stand for sweetness, purity, and endurance.  These qualities define mother!  Red carnations are worn to honor living mothers and white ones to honor those that have passed away.
Memorial Day Reverence: "Let no vandalism of avarice or neglect, no ravages of time testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten as a people the cost of a free and undivided republic." -- General Logan - May 5, 1868.        Take the time to display the American flag.  Teach your children to reverence the flag and talk about all of the people who have fought and died for our freedom.  Sing the National Anthem and say a prayer of thanks.
Visit with a War Veteran:   Take a treat or even invite a war veteran to lunch or dinner on this day.  Ask questions and let the Veteran tell his/her story.  At the end of the meal, give him/her a gift or card that has been made beforehand by the whole family.
Clean an Unknown Gravestone: Take some time to tell a story (complete with pictures if possible) of a loved one who has passed on.  If you live near family graves, go and clean the gravestones and adorn them with flowers.  If you don’t live near any relatives graves, find a grave or two that needs some TLC and talk about what life might have been like for the person buried there leave the grave looking clean and well cared for. 

NOTE: To those of you who are wondering, I will be making the BIG ANNOUNCEMENT on Monday, May 3rd!