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Homecoming Mums History Q & A
There are some long-standing traditions that are unique to Texas football, let alone the fans. Take, for example, the high school mom. What is a homecoming mom? You may be thinking that the homecoming queen simply has another name in the South, or that her mother also plays a role in the festivities. Homecoming Queen and Homecoming Mum… would make sense. However, a mom refers to a unique flower collage that is deeply rooted in Texas football history.
This homecoming mom tradition has been alive for many years. So many years, that many teenagers are unaware of the real details that are responsible for the beginning. However, the agreement surrounds the idea that Homecoming moms are a vital part of the soccer season, with the young girls looking forward to the day they will welcome their first Homecoming mom.
The first homecoming moms were handed out in the early 1930s at high school homecoming football games all over Texas. The boys offered real chrysanthemum flowers to their dates in the form of a corsage. A chrysanthemum is a very large, rare, and beautiful flower, and receiving one was a sure sign of flattery, as well as an unusual circumstance in those times. Even early on, girls competed with each other to receive mommies, as they were given out in limited numbers. Moms were a sign of popularity, so the girls who received moms confirmed their social status.
Styles and variety have evolved as silk flowers became available and concerns about flower wilt diminished. Strong silk mums could withstand hot glue, heavy attachments, and more, so adding ribbons, streamers, stickers, and more became a way to personalize a mum for a special girl. The desire to include special details: information about the student, the activities in which she participates, the colors of the school, etc. created a one-of-a-kind masterpiece that could be kept as a special keepsake from high school. With this, moms got bigger and better all the time, and the desire for a personalized homecoming mommy became commonplace.
Understand the current trend:
Most Texans are familiar with this tradition. However, if you’ve recently moved to Texas, or have found yourself examining this tradition in a new light, you may be wondering if, or why, you (or your child) may find yourself under pressure to reciprocate in this tradition. The following topics are intended to shed some light on current return home practices.
Who should give/receive a mom?
With today’s high school students, moms often go from a boy to a girl when they attend the homecoming game or dance together (friends included), or if a boy simply wants to impress a girl for whatever reason. Today, girls often reciprocate with a male version of the mom, called a “garter,” worn on the young man’s arm. He is much smaller than the mom back home. Know that if she plans to gift a homecoming mom, there’s a good chance she’ll get a garter in return.
Many high school students see mom as an imperative in their homecoming attire, and some students would rather stay home than attend the game than attend without her. Remember, the cruel high school crowds can see “not having a mom” as an indicator of social status. So for this reason, moms and friends (whether boys or girls) often give mommies back home too.
The girl can choose to receive a mom of whomever she chooses, and can even accept multiple moms. Homecoming queens are often photographed with multiple homecoming moms, as she is expected to receive five, six, or even seven depending on her social status. However, girls can also reject a mother in the same way that they can reject a date.
Elementary and high school students, parents of soccer players, alumni, and teachers can also wear mom dresses to show team spirit and enthusiasm for the festivities.
When do people wear mom dresses coming home?
Students usually start wearing mommy dresses the Friday before the high school football game. All schools are different, but most students wear them only the day before the game. Students also often wear mommy dresses during the soccer game AND after the homecoming formal. If you are new to Texas, check with a friend about common practices in your community.
I want to impress my date. How should I go about buying a mom?
Current trends include headbands (over 3 feet long) that skim the knee and often include loud noises like whistles and cow bells for use during the football game. More importantly, they include important information about the student receiving it. For example, a personalized mom (and one that a girl would like) could include her name, the name of the school, or the year of graduation. The additional details are likely to describe any “extra-curricular” activities that she and her date are involved in.
Essentially, this is a memory that provides a snapshot of exactly where these two people found themselves during that week of their high school life. If a couple attends as friends, the mom could include general information and be of medium size. Hearts and other romantic details should be avoided so that neither party gets the wrong impression of the event. On the other hand, it’s only fair to go all out with the details above and any other important details for a serious high school couple. Keep in mind that most girls save these afterward and keep them as a keepsake along with their high school yearbooks. You’ll notice if your mother was “mass-produced” at a local grocery store or florist, as well as appreciate any personalized details.
What else do I need to know?
A returning home mom can weigh up to 12 pounds or more! Wow! Often girls take off their mums in the middle of the school day because they are so heavy and tiring to wear!
The only really “down” side of returning home moms is that the traditional materials that are used can fall apart. Traditional gift ribbons and metallic stickers can get an adrenaline rush after being used in the crowded halls and stands of the game. Consider how long you (or your date) want the streamers to be for mom to be functional and comfortable. Any folded or wrinkled tape can take away from the look after the game is over, and years later your memory may not hold up.
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