May Day

Confession. I collect dolls. I have collected dolls since I was a very young girl, then I started collecting masks, and then I opened a portrait studio. I seem to be obsessed with faces. One of my favorite dolls when I was very young was from the Kiddie Kologne collection by Matel. Sour apple, Honeysuckle, I had them all, but the one I loved was Lily-of-the-Valley, for her charming blossoms and delicate scent. I still love Lily-of-the-Valley, but today I have to settle for the flowers.

May 1st, 1561, King Charles IX received a Lily-of-the-Valley for good luck. He liked the idea and offered the same flower to all the ladies in his court. It was a very good idea and 500 years latet the tradition seems to have stuck. Probably because the lady receiving the flower is obliged to give a kiss in return, which seems to inspire quite a bit of generousity. Every year, on May Day, the streets of every town are littered with people selling bouquets of muguets, while the forests are full of people harvesting muguet on the one day it is legal to do so and even the chocolatiers get into the act, filling plastic pots with chocolate soil and adding a plastic sprig of the bloom.

When we were first dating Mr French noticed that I like white flowers in general, and I may have mentioned the Lily-of-the-Valley specifically. The weekend before ‘our’ first May Day he showed up for a date with a huge bouquet of Lily-of-the-Valley. No fillers, just lilies. There were probably 200 sprigs in the bunch. It was gorgeous. It swept me off my feet and made me feel like one of Charles IX ladies at a royal court.

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3 thoughts on “May Day

  1. Oh, my goodness…you set me remembering all about Liddle Kiddle dolls! I also have always enjoyed dolls and it seems particularly on Easter (but also Christmas), I would receive a Mattel Liddle Kiddle doll! I started to look up these dolls online (after seeing your post) and found photos, etc…of ones I used to own….(where are they now?) Such as the tiny animiddle (sp?) kiddles (little dolls in animal costumes…did I have the “Dainty Deer”?), Soapy Little Kiddle, Lucky Locket Kiddle (Lou) (Maybe Liz too); and Liddle Red Riding HIddle (of the storybook ones) and goodness…seems I had one with lily of the valley flowers too but I can’t find it online anywhere (to confirm and get the name thereof)…mine was not a cologne kiddle like yours but had orange hair in a top braid…she certainly wasn’t a Dolly Darling, I don’t think..ah well..I know that was not your main point in this post…but what fun to ponder these little dollies that I so loved! (yes, I did get quite distracted on this subject for a bit! ha!)

  2. Okay…sorry…getting off track…from the beautiful lily of the valleys…but I took to investigating where MY liddle kiddies were and they were stashed in my youngest daughter’s (now in college) doll (e.g. Barbies) collection in her closet (some worse for the wear) and voila…I found the wee orange haired doll (braids taken out and wearing some oddly fitting outfit not her own). I saw this doll had more the face of a Dolly Darling than a Liddle Kiddle…looked her up online and there are (Hasbro) flower darlings, but my orange haired one is a Daisy one! Wonder why I recall lilies! At any rate….I do have a life..but this was a fun little diversion…here is a photo of the Daisy wonder (in the middle) :

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