Of all the fascinating things I've learned about from Apartment Therapy commenters, my favorite just might be the Mardi Gras Christmas Tree. Here's how it works: when Carnival season arrives on January 6th, Christmas-y ornaments are removed, lights are kept on, purple, green, and gold elements are added, and the celebrations continue through the Mardi Gras season. Fabulous!

In the comments for Keeping the Tree, Losing the Christmas, a couple of commenters shared their charming Mardi Gras tree stories — but I'd love to hear more! There is very little information online regarding these trees, but I did find a few tidbits. The writer of My East Texas, a former resident of New Orleans, writes, "As the Mardi Gras season starts in Louisiana there are numerous parades leading up to Fat Tuesday. Parade attendees collect their beads during this time and take them home to further decorate their Mardi Gras Tree." The Advocate of Baton Rouge, LA discussed the phenomenon of Super Bowl Trees, "which after football season can become the traditional Mardi Gras tree, then the traditional Easter tree, etc. My favorite quote was from Judy Nelson of Bayou Blue, LA who told the Tri-Parish Times, "They ask me, ‘Why do you want to keep that old dead Christmas tree?’ It’s my old, dead Christmas tree, and I’ll do what I want with it and make the tree last a little longer.” Here are a few photos, but please share your own!

  1. A Brighter Side Of The Grave features a tree decorated with crowns, fleur de lis, voodoo dolls, and masks, along with gold snowflakes, and purple, green, and gold beads.
  2. I love the explosion atop this Mardi Gras tree at the Carriage House Bed & Breakfast in Jefferson, Texas. A few lengths of purple, green, and gold ribbon go a long way towards transforming the tree.
  3. In Lake Village, Arkansas, the Paul Michael Company shop has bedecked a tree with so much Mardi Gras swag that you'd never believe it was recently decorated for Christmas. You could totally recreate the fleur de lis ornaments at home using pipe cleaners.