Mardi Gras is strongly associated with debauchery in secular culture. The excesses and abuses of this holiday go without saying.
However, Mardi Gras, also known as Shrove Tuesday, is a long standing Christian tradition which marks the day before the entry into the contemplative period of Lent, with its focus on fasting, repentance, and spiritual growth. There was a time when Christians engaged in a period of serious prolonged fasting during the Lenten season; Mardi Gras came to be a time for sumptuous feasting before entering into the fast. (My hat is off to the Orthodox who have stood their Christian ground and still keep the fast.)
There is something to be said for shaking things up before you straighten them out. Contrasts can help emphasize seasons...in the church year and in life.
We have a couple of choices as Christians. We may let secular culture consume our traditions, and allow them to be corrupted, without a fight....or, we may embrace them as ways to enrich our Christian walk.
If your family chooses the latter, here are a few resources:
Here is a nice, brief article about the holiday from the Huffington Post.
A mardi gras mask tutorial from Cherished Hearts at Home can be found here. While you are visiting her, scroll down on this page and take a look at her awesome Mardi Gras cupcakes.
As usual, Catholic Icing has some great ideas here.
For the Anglicans among us, we cannot forget that the traditional food for Shrove Tuesday is pancakes. Here is a fun slide show of some toppings for the Fat Tuesday delicacy.
Eat, drink, and be merry friends, Our Lord lives!
...And on Wednesday...things get serious, as we begin a period of examining and improving our lives, to make ourselves better disciples of his.