If you live anywhere other than near New Orleans, Mardi Gras is most likely not a holiday for you--and that's a shame. If nothing else, it's a few extra days off of work in the middle of a month where you don't have a built in holiday.
Reasons Mardi Gras is like Christmas:
1. Most businesses are closed Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras Day) just like Christmas.
2. Most business, if not closed (see #1) have limited hours the whole weekend and into the beginning of the week (think Christmas Eve and Christmas Day hours--if any at all. I was off work Monday and today) The news was telling people to stock up and be prepared for three days of not being able to get anywhere --like I'm sorry is this an ice storm or Mardi Gras?
3. Christmas presents can be considered almost equal to Mardi Gras beads/throws for some people. People go CRAZY over the weirdest things (beads, stuffed animals, etc.)
4. The anticipation and build up to Mardi Gras is almost as/if not equal to Christmas. People get ready for the next Mardi Gras season right after the current one is over.
5. Mardi Gras brings people together. Sure, it's mostly in drunken revelry, but everyone is having a great time.
Happy Mardi Gras y'all!