Mardi Gras Decorating

Last year, I was introduced to the fabulous idea that I could redecorate my Christmas tree for Mardi Gras. This year, as I realized how long the Carnival season was going to run, I bought a fake tree in anticipation of my second annual Mardi Gras tree. The Saints fell out of the playoffs just before Twelfth Night, so I didn’t have to wonder when to redecorate my Who Dat wreath (photos available at

Last year, my Mardi Gras tree started with about 6 old strands of Mardi Gras beads from years gone by. I made some ornaments of Sculpey clay and paper masks decorated with beads and added them to the sparse collection. It was a bit half-baked, but I enjoyed having the tree around through Fat Tuesday.

Last Carnival, I attended between 26 and 29 parades (lost count) and caught about a million beads as well as toys and cups. As some of you may know, there is a hierarchy to beads and ones with medallions are considered pretty cool. I saved the ones I caught and have added them to my ornament collection. Some of the medallions are easy to remove and ready to hang on the tree. Others require some ingenuity and crafting wire. All of them were lagniappe (free) and hold memories of the parades. This year, I’m ready to yell out, “Throw me somethin’, mister!” when I see those medallion beads getting tossed. I’ll remember last year’s lessons – eye contact with the people on the float, bring a bag for cups and toys and excess beads, don’t pick up beads from the ground during throwing and always protect your head.

Before Christmas, I added Who Dat and Saints Sculpey ornaments and despite our dashed 2 Dat dreams, I’m proud to keep those ornaments on the tree through Fat Tuesday (photos at Bless our boys!

After the wealth of ornaments on my Christmas tree, my Mardi Gras tree seems barren in comparison, but I look forward to loading it up with new memories every year. Ditto with my Mardi Gras wreath.

Next up – bead the fence lining the front of the house with last year’s purple, gold and green throws.

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Filed under decorations and costumes, free events and lagniappe, Mardi Gras 2010, Mardi Gras 2011, parade, Super Bowl 2010, the Saints

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