? Now of course everyone knows what a Christmas tree is but only people living in the Deep South have seen a Mardi Gras tree. This is the newest decoration for this festive time of celebration before Lent begins. It started as a fluke when someone wouldnt or didnt want to take down their artificial Christmas tree once the season had passed. So most of the Christmassy type decorations were removed and those including ones of purple and gold were added and voila, the Mardi Gras tree was born. It didnt take long for the new tradition caught on and houses throughout the south began to embrace the newest decoration. Many homes had long had a traditional Mardi Gras wreath but this was a something else, a beautiful addition to any party and gathering. During the two weeks leading up to the big day, green, purple, and gold lights can be seen twinkling in the windows of house all along the gulf coast. Most residents here enjoy looking at the lovingly decorated trees and view this as a way to stave off the dreariness of winter once the joyous Christmas season has passed. Even departments stores have joined in the practice and continue to sell a small amount of artificial trees the Christmas season is over. Of course, the decorations that go on a Mardi Gras tree are a little different from what would go on a Christmas tree, sort of. While the strings of beads that decorate a Christmas tree tend to be strung around the tree, beads that go on a Mardi Gras tree are usually of the necklace variety and are strung that way as well. The garland that goes around the tree is generally hung the same way however, the color is that of purple rather than red. Moon pies that can also be hung on the tree as traditional ornaments are hung on a Christmas tree. The best way to do this is leave the moon pie wrapped in cellophane and use ornament hangers passed through the plastic. Moon pies come in several flavors and provide colorful and tasty ornaments for the tree. The traditional moon pie colors (and flavors) include banana yellow, chocolate brown, vanilla white, and orange orange. These along with various candies and doubloons are also used on the tree. Of course, all Mardi Gras trees are currently artificial because the real ones sold for use at Christmas would have dried out and be brown and wilted. Perhaps sometime in the near future, those who are bringing Christmas trees will see that there is a market for real trees during the Mardi Gras season. For now though southern folk simply adapt and either keep their artificial trees out longer than usual or purchase a separate one just for the season. The folks of the gulf coast take their Mardi Gras season celebrations seriously and all want to make sure their homes and office reflect the festive time for all to enjoy.