Okay...back to what I started a while ago. Several of y'all left me comments on these wonderful things. My, favorites of coarse were those of you who had no idea what these could be, but for the most part the comments were somewhat correct.
Those of you who think these are the "Bigger than life, Homecoming Mum" available only in Texas, are, for the most part, right...These are the "boy" version of the mum. The GARTER. These poor boys have to wear these monsters on their arms!!! They are not pinned, stapled or strapped around their necks like the girl's mums are!!! They have to have the muscles to hold them up.
My favorite comment referenced the mum being decorated with as many trinkets as a florist could apply. This is my favorite because there are no florist here. We run the Mum Shop as a school fund raiser. Raising over $35,000 yearly.
The Homecoming Mum itself came to be in the 1920's as a live mum flower corsage with streamers given from a boy to his date for the homecoming football game. This tradition continued, evolving in the '80's to an artificial flower and streamers to the floor! They showcase the recipient and the giver's interests in the trinkets and decorative additions. Most have a school mascot or a dressed bear in the center of the flower, and all are defined by the noise they make. A girl's mum can hold any number of cowbells, and boy's garter will be weighted down by many, many bells and whistles. Our high school, JJ Pearce keeps the tradition going with underclass men's mums and garters flashing the school colors of red and blue while the seniors are defined in white and silver. There will be individuals who flash bold ribbons of pink, purple or their soon to be college colors, but they are grounded in the senior white and silver. I made the above garter on the right with the bear showcasing my son as a football player, varsity swimmer, his weightlifting and if you look really closely his earring. The one on the left has a deer with a rifle among its streamers. It is amazing the detail that goes into these amazing things!
Back to our Mum Shop... We take possession of a retail space in July and set up shop. Mother's work around the clock cutting ribbons, gluing flowers and making ribbon points. My job? I dress bears and finish. The past three years I have dressed 150 football bears each season. This year? 25 Swim bears!! I like my new job. Once the season is underway, about the second week of school, and the kiddos begin to ask dates to the October 5 homecoming, I will be working non-stop to finish out the mum. I will attach bears, bows, bells and trinkets. Some will take up to four hours to complete. Believe it or not, this is one of my favorite things about our high school. It is so much fun to see the look on the kids faces when they pick up their mums, and to have the dates squeeze your neck in gratitude for the extra effort you give to their flower. Is this really only in Texas?? I can't imagine we are alone, but then again we do stand alone!!! Happy Football Season Y'all!!!
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