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Homecoming Mums History Q & A
There are some longstanding traditions that are unique to Texas football and even more so to the fans. Take, for example, a high school homecoming mom. What is a homecoming mother? You may be thinking that the Homecoming Queen just goes by another name in the South, or that her mother also plays a role in the festivities. Homecoming Queen and Homecoming Mom… would make sense. However, the mum refers to a unique flower collage that is deeply rooted in Texas football history.
This homecoming tradition has been alive for many years. For so many years, that many teenagers are unaware of the actual details that lead to initiation. However, there is agreement around the idea that homecoming moms are an important part of the football season, and young girls look forward to the day they get their first homecoming mom.
Homecoming mothers were first awarded at high school homecoming football games in Texas in the early 1930s. Boys gave their dates real chrysanthemum flowers in the form of corsages. A chrysanthemum is a very large, rare and beautiful flower and receiving it was a sure sign of flattery as well as an unusual circumstance in those days. In the early days, girls competed with each other to get mums, as they were given in limited quantities. A mum was a sign of popularity, so girls who received a mum confirmed their social status.
As silk flowers became available, styles and varieties developed and concern about fading flowers increased. Heavy silk mums can withstand hot glue, heavy attachments and more, so adding ribbon, streamers, stickers and more became a way to personalize the mum for a special girl. The desire to include special details- information about the student, activities they are involved in, school colors, etc. created a unique masterpiece that can be preserved as a special high school memory. Because of this, mothers became bigger and better all the time and the desire for a custom homecoming mother became common.
Understanding Today’s Trends:
Most Texans are familiar with this tradition. However, if you’ve recently moved to Texas, or you’re examining this tradition in a new light, you may be surprised to find that you (or your child) may be pressured to change this tradition. The following topics are intended to shed some light on current repatriation practices.
Who should give/get mother?
With high school students today, moms are usually given by a boy to a girl when they are at a homecoming game or dance together (friends included), or if a boy wants to impress a girl for whatever reason. Today, girls are often replaced with a male version of the mum, called a “garter”, which is worn on the young man’s arm. It is much smaller than the mother back home. Know that if you plan to give a homecoming mom, you’ll get a garter in return.
Many high school students consider mom essential to their homecoming attire, and some students prefer to stay home rather than attend sports. Remember, going “mum-less” can be seen by the cruel high school crowd as an indicator of social status. So, for this reason, mothers and friends (be they sons or daughters) often give to mothers back home as well.
A girl can choose to be mothered by anyone she chooses and can also accept multiple mums. Mycoming queen is often photographed wearing several homecoming dresses, as she is expected to receive five, six or seven depending on her social status. However, mothers can reject dates in the same way that girls can reject them.
Elementary and junior high students, parents of football players, alumni and teachers can also wear homecoming moms to show team spirit and excitement for the celebration.
When do people wear homecoming mothers?
Students typically start wearing homecoming mums the Friday before their high school football game. All schools are different, but most students only wear it the day before a game. Homecoming mats are typically worn by students during football games and after their homecoming formal dances. If you’re new to Texas, check with a friend about common practices in your community.
I want to impress my date. How do I go about buying mom?
Current trends include ribbons (3 feet long) that graze the knee and loud noises such as whistles and cow bells for use during football games. Importantly, it contains important information about the student receiving it. For example, a custom mom (and a daughter would like) might include her name, school name, or year of graduation. Additional details might describe any “extra” activities in which she and her date are involved.
Essentially, it’s a memoir that provides a snapshot of exactly where these two people are during that one week of their high school lives. If attending as a couple friends, the mother may contain general information and may be medium in size. Hearts and other romantic details should be kept under wraps so that neither party gets the wrong impression from the event. On the other hand, it’s fair game to go all out with the details above and any additional important details for a serious high school couple. Remember, most girls save them for later and pack them with their high school yearbooks as souvenirs. She’ll notice if her mom is “mass produced” at a local grocery store or flower shop, just as she’ll appreciate any personal details.
What else should I know?
A mother returning home may weigh 12 pounds or more! Wow! Often girls leave mom halfway through the school day because they are too heavy, and tiring to wear!
The only real “down” side of being a stay-at-home mom is that the traditional materials used can be disruptive. Traditional gift ribbons and metallic stickers can deliver an adrenaline shock when worn through crowded hallways and game stands. Consider how long you (or your date) will need the streamer so that mom is functional and comfortable. Any bent or stretched ribbons may disappear from view after the game is over, and your memory may not last a few years.
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