A Banner Month

The season is the reason to decorate, and February has a multitude of reasons
at-homeIt’s February and we have a lot to celebrate! This may be the shortest month of the year, but we have four banner days coming up in short order: the 7th, the 14th, the 15th and the16th. Each of them calls for their own special decorations.First, there’s the Super Bowl, which demands a plethora of black and gold; Valentine’s Day beckons Cupid’s arrow, romantic flowers and chocolate; Presidents’ Day is hot on its heels with red, white and blue; and Mardi Gras sees the requisite purple, green and gold.
In a town like this, people love to decorate wherever they can, from doors and dining tables to balconies and front yards. So the question is, how can you be a quick-change artist and decorating wizard and have a grand time doing it?
Here are some ideas to make the transition from celebration to celebration in no time flat:
n Reuse, recycle. Dig out your green Christmas wreath from the attic (unless you still haven’t taken it down!) and make it the base for
Mardi Gras colors; just add some purple and gold and you’ll be good to go for the whole season.
n For Super Bowl Sunday, pull out your Saints flags, black and gold beads, and “Geaux Saints” banners. As the pièce de résistance, add an absolutely tacky, huge blow-up Saints football player to the front lawn (à la Santa Claus).
n For February 12, find a photo of Honest Abe and put a mask over his eyes. It’s his real birthday and savvy folk will pick up on your humor.
n Hit a costume shop and use a Lincoln-esque stovepipe hat as a repository for carnival beads or as a centerpiece of your Bacchus/ Endymion/Thoth day party.
For February 14, put a huge heart-shaped wreath on the door, or get a big box of Valentine’s Day chocolates, take the candy out, eat it, then mount the box on the front of your door.
n On February 15, remove any Cupid, bows and arrows, add a bit of blue and a few American flags and voilà! You are ready for Presidents’ Day! At midnight, rehang the Mardi Gras paraphernalia.
n Bunting draped across porches, balconies and doorways gives a lot of bang for the buck and can be used year after year. This year, alternate traditional red, white and blue (which can be used again on Flag Day or the Fourth of July) with purple, green and gold.
n Chef Glen Hogh of Vegas Tapas Cafe creates carnival themes with fruits and veggies. His rustic mix of green peppers, yellow squash
and miniature eggplants in a huge wooden bowl is a sophisticated contrast to typical glitter and beads. For Valentine’s Day his romantic side takes over with red velvet cake sprinkled with fresh rose petals.
n Tiny terra-cotta pots of daffodils and pansies can be placed in a row down the center of a table, across a mantelpiece or going up a stairwell for another urbane take on Mardi Gras themes.
n If you are really cleaver, find or make a heart-shaped decoration of purple, green and gold, which could symbolize a love for both Mardi Gras and Valentine’s Day. Now there’s a two-for-one solution!
Whatever you do, have fun! And enjoy these quickly changing holidays!