May Day—the first of May—originates from European tradition during the Medieval era, celebrating the midway mark of the year and the flora that come with the following seasons; people sent out a floral basket as a sign of enduement.
“People typically do it for sending love and well wishes, so a lot of times people will want to do more than one,” says Tara Carlson, owner of Sweet Peas Floral in Woodbury. “[But] they don’t want to spend a lot of money on them.”
Gifting a loved one a May Day basket has always meant more than the price tag, Carlson acknowledges, because it is handmade, and people love to receive those heartfelt gifts.
After crafting a flower-filled basket, it's also a good call to pen a handwritten note, whether for May Day or Mother's Day—
a holiday celebrated in the U.S. since the early 20th century.
The day originates from the European holiday, “Mothering Sunday”—a religious holiday on the fourth Sunday of Lent, when Christians hosted a special service for children to present their mothers with tokens of appreciation. Now, the day is known for treating mom with something special.
Since Sweet Peas Floral is fully “mom-run,” Carlson’s shop is never open on Mother's Day. So, typically, the shop sees their most traffic the Saturday before.
“Usually, I don’t do much [on Mother’s Day],” says Carlson. “It’s a busy holiday for us, much busier than Valentine’s Day.”
In 2020, Sweet Peas Floral COVID-friendly “Mother’s Day Saturday” was their most sold out in years, with sales rising by 20 percent. She set up tables outside the shop for customers to pick up their orders alongside some of their retail products. And, if a customer wanted to purchase an item, they would wave to Carlson who was stationed inside the shop.
Though Carlson says beautiful flowers will always be the best seller, pampering self-care items are the shop’s second best around this season. Carlson’s favorite is their curated “Treat Yourself” assortment, which comes with goodies including bath bombs, candles, a plant, a scarf and decadent chocolates.
All the curated baskets look different and can be assorted to capture any type of mom. "It’s all pre-done so the dads and the kids don’t really have to think about it,” Carlson says. “It’s like, ‘Oh look! Everything’s there.’”
Before kids, Carlson’s ideal Mother’s Day was brunch with her Mom before some quiet self-care. Now, she usually takes on a morning of excited kids ready to give her a show of affection with a side of burnt pancakes.
“I always give the kids something to get them outside [and] off their iPad,” Carlson says. Two years ago, she ended up buying her kids a trampoline. “I bought them a trampoline and ended up spending Mother’s Day putting it together by myself.” She has since chosen to opt for less labor-intensive Mother’s Day activities.
This year, Carlson hopes to again find a COVID-safe activity for the whole family, while also enjoying the Spring weather with her own family.
“It’s springtime ... People want to be outside and they’ve been cooped up,” Carlson says. So grab the kids, make a fun May Day basket and spread the love with a few flower-filled gifts.