High School Football Player
It's homecoming season here which means mum making season for all the moms. The local high school football team is gearing up for the "big game".
I'm just realizing in searching the internet for ideas and pictures of mums, that this is a regional thing. I guess I thought everyone made a big deal out of homecoming. I should have known it would be only here in Texas and other parts of the South where we love our football so much.
Here's what Channel 5 from the Dallas/Forth Worth area says about the tradition of homecoming mums:
They’re big, gaudy, and expensive, but what’s the history of the homecoming mum? From its simple start to impressive current incarnation, the homecoming mum is just one of the things that is “bigger in Texas.”
Starting around the 1920s, the original design of the homecoming mum was simply a Chrysanthemum flower attached to a ribbon that allowed the “mum” to be attached to a piece of clothing. Due to the relatively fragile nature of the flower, only minor elements could be added like extra ribbons with the school’s name or colors.
At its start, mums were given by a boyfriend to a girlfriend, and while that tradition continues on today, giving “friendship” mums also gained popularity.
In the 1960s, though, the once small act of giving mums started to become a much larger endeavor as silk versions of the mum flowers were made available. Since then, mum popularity has increased, as has their size.
“The gaudier, the better,” said Gail Currie of ACI Wholesale, one of the largest suppliers of homecoming merchandise in the southwest.
“Mums started in Texas, but we’ve shipped as far as Arizona and Illinois,” Currie went on to say. “We’ve even shipped supplies to Germany.”
Booster clubs and other organizations help students build mums that can last on in time with silk flowers, beads, and all the bells and whistles – literally.
“The girls just want them big and flashy,” Currie said.
Now, it’s rare to see the small mums started nearly 90 years ago, and with homecoming games just around the corner, the mums will soon be blossoming across north Texas.
Here's a picture of a modern day mum and you can find instructions for making one here. Of course the colors and charms will be tailored to your high school colors and mascot.
When I was in high school the mums were ordered from a florist, but now they are often made by the mom of the boy who will be giving the mum. Every craft store in town claims to be "your homecoming mum headquarters".
I know it may seem a little silly to those in other parts of the country, but they are lots of fun to make and I know the girls love wearing them. What other time in your life do you get to wear so many ribbons and bells? :)
I would be very interested in hearing from all of you what homecoming traditions are (if any) where you are from.