Discover Austin: Homecoming Mums - Episode 61

If you aren't from Texas, it's likely you've never heard of a Homecoming Mum. So, for this episode of Discover Austin we're discussing everything you should know about this big Texas tradition.  If you'd prefer to read about Homecoming Mums, the transcript can be found below the video.

Greetings! I’m Craig Smyser with 1835 Realty. If you’re not from Texas you may be a little bit confused about one of our traditions. Well, you’re going to learn all about Homecoming Mums on this episode of Discover Austin.

Homecoming mums are the stuff memes are made of! Some are enormous. Some are illuminated. But many are fairly traditional. Newcomers to Texas are often perplexed when they encounter their first October and experience Homecoming Mums.
Many mums are homemade but there is a whole industry of crafty mum-makers who can do it for you. Charissa Ludlow of Pour Gigi makes mums so I asked her to describe the aspects of them.

“Mums can be definitely personalized, that one of the bonuses of them. Different schools do different traditions, this school does all white for the seniors. They also, it’s up to the girl, if she wants to add color to it. This one, hot pink is not in their school colors, but she added it. You kinda just do that basic solid color school ribbon in the back and then you can get fun with the boas or specialized ribbon. So there’s actually different layers to the mum. They start plain in the back and get more funky and fun up front.”
Now originally, they were actual chrysanthemums that were used, do you ever see that nowadays? “I’ve never seen it. In fact, when I was in high school we always used the fake ones. Now we even have fun iridescent flowers and the last forever.”

The homecoming mum tradition started decades ago so I asked Carla George to share a bit about the history. “Well, in years past, for every football game you’d order a little ribbon and it would have some really mean saying on it like, ‘stomp the… whoever.’ Then for Homecoming it grew into a bunch of ribbons and it had the mum and the florist would make them. The mum would die then you’d hang it on your bulletin board as a souvenir and you’d have one from each year. Usually they were a single mum but if you were really fancy, like the head cheerleader, you might have a double mum.”

While the girls wear mums, the boys wear garters so I asked Carla a bit about that. “I’m guessing the ‘80s was when I first started seeing garters start. They started out, too, small. Just a little, small mum with a few little streamers and now they’ve grown into some monstrosities that are probably bigger than the girl’s mums used to be.”

For a high school dating couple, the boy is to give his girl a homecoming mum. If it’s homemade, it’s unlikely it was made by him. Instead it most probable that the mum was made by the boy’s mother often after consulting with his girlfriend.

Of course, not all high school kids are dating so it is very much socially acceptable for girls and guys to provide their own mums and garters.

The tradition of the Texas Homecoming Mums is one of those things that makes living in this great state so much fun. I’m Craig Smyser with 1835 Realty thanks for joining me for this episode of Discover Austin. And remember, when you are ready to buy or sell a home in Central Texas, I’m ready to help.

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