So, what is a homecoming mum? If you just recently moved to the south or you saw one of your friends post online pictures of their high school student you may be wonder just what in the heck is a homecoming mum. When I first moved to Texas I realized in about 2.5 seconds that football is a BIG thing. They eat, breathe, sleep, and poop football. Every high school has a homecoming football game and dance. Generally, the mum is made by the guy and the girl makes the boy a garter. The are exchanged the night before on a Thursday or Friday morning at school.
They will wear the mum and garters all day at school. After school on that Friday is a football game that they are generally worn to also. The next night is a dance. Some dress semi formal to the dance. Most of the kids get dressed up instead leaving the mums and garters and home and go for dinner with larger groups of friends.
Each year the mum and garters grow in size. Freshman generally start out with a smaller single mum top. As they grow to the senior year the top and size should grow also. The senior mum is generally a white and gold or a white and silver. Recently, the tradition for the senior mum has changed a little with some girls doing their favorite colors or animal prints. Some will do the band/color guard show colors they have been in.
The NCAA recognizes the University of Missouri as the official place of birth of homecoming. In 1911, Mizzou athletic director Chester Brewer encouraged alumni to attend the game. He gave them incentive to attend by having a huge celebration around the game that included parades and rallies. After this first homecoming celebration in Missouri, the tradition of a boy giving a chrysanthemum to his homecoming date as a corsage was born in Texas. For decades, mums were simple, comprised of just a small flower with perhaps a few ribbons. Some in the beginning were real flowers.
In the 1970s, homecoming mums became more elaborate and have continued to grow to larger every year. Now they include multiple flowers, tons of large and small ribbons, charms, bows, bells, cowbells, stuffed animals, sports or group associated trinkets, and even LED lights. The boys have what they call a garter. An elastic band worn around the upper arm that has the same features as the mum only on a much smaller scale.
TIPS AND TRICKS:
- Use a stapler that opens up all the way.
- Hot glue gun with a trigger.
- Trinkets don’t always have to be the plastic ones you buy you can make your own.
- Don’t put items that are too heavy on the top or the mum flower will come apart.
- Staple all the ribbons to one backing then use others to cover staples so you don’t get poked.
- Use sticker letters in the sticker section to save money on stickers. The ones for mums are overpriced.
- Don’t hot glue the LED lights in as they are good to reuse year to year.
- Felt makes a great way to make costumes for little bears if you have someone in band or color guard.
- Teachers hate bells so consider putting one bell or bells that can be easily taped.
- Halloween glitter hair spray makes great decoration for mum tops.
ITEMS TO MAKE A HOMECOMING MUM
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