Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, Carnival, whatever you call it, this rowdy, festive day (or season) marks the last hoorah before we begin a somber season of self and soul-improvement. I've mentioned before that I attended a Catholic grade school. One of the perks of said school was that we had a Mardi Gras party every year! Student were encouraged to dress up, we binged on soda, chips, and King-cake, and got to dance and just enjoy an easy afternoon before the entire school was decked out in purple.
If you haven't already made plans for tonight, I want to encourage you to celebrate Mardi Gras in some way. We see this day (with religious origins) perverted into a beads contest in New Orleans and binge opportunity for many at the bars. Consider digging into some Mardi Gras traditions or making your own so that you and your children can embrace their religious culture, away from what popular culture has turned it into.
Ideas for Celebrating Mardi Gras
1.) Brinner (Breakfast-for-Dinner)
Pancakes are a traditional Fat Tuesday meal. Served with a side of bacon and maybe a mimosa or Bloody Mary, you can enjoy lots of what you'll be giving up starting tomorrow! You jazz up your pancakes with chocolate chips, Nutella, or whatever else you enjoy. Have a fun brinner with your family and enjoy the night.
2.) Crank up the music
Have an at-home parade with your littles, let them dress up as wild and crazy as possible in honor of Carnival tradition. Just you and your partner? Dress up and make it a nice night (or down and just snuggle up). Either way, turn on some music and have some fun before entering a somber holy season.
3.) Kings and Queens
Traditionally, the cake would have two little tokens in it that would be baked into the men's cake and women's cake that would result in a crowned king and queen of the party. If you're cooking for a crowd, this would be more a of competition with a prize of sorts. Just cooking for two? King-cake has its own special recipe worth trying for a fun dessert.
4.) Beads, Decor, Etc.
Mardi Gras is a bright, loud, colorful holiday. If you have the time and a little bit of spare change, why not decorate and brighten up your night. You could also just grab some green, purple, and gold sprinkles to add to your pancakes or king cake. Regardless, let Fat Tuesday be a bright and exciting day that celebrates life!
My husband and I have celebrated Mardi Gras since we were dating. One of my favorite memories of him is coming home from a really exhausting day to find him cooking pancakes at my house, wearing cheap plastic beads. I knew I had something special when he was willing to participate in a holiday-not-holiday because I had casually mentioned it.
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1.) Pray the Rosary
2.) Attend daily Mass
3.) Go to confession weekly
4.) Make time to go to Adoration
5.) Participate in Stations of the Cross
6.) Volunteer at your church
7.) Join a Christ-focused Facebook group
8.) Ask how you can pray for others
9.) Spend some quality time with your Bible
10.) Write your prayer intentions
11.) Research about your faith
12.) Find a good daily email devotional
13.) Make time for the Liturgy of the Hours
14.) Wake up a little earlier, making time for God
15.) Watch family-friendly content
16.) Attend a faith-focused meeting
17.) Start a Lenten support group
18.) Dedicate daily chores to Christ
19.) Workout, a your body is a temple
20.) Wear religious jewelry as a reminder
21.) Spend more quality time with loved ones (no devices!)
22.) Invite someone to attend Mass with you
23.) Spend 5 minutes in quiet meditation
24.) Follow Catholic or Christian social medias that build you up
25.) Add an after-meal prayer to your eating routines
Lent isn't just about what we give up, it is also about what we can do to prepare for Christ's return on Easter Sunday. Is there anything you plan on adding that I didn't mention? Let me know in the comments below!