Mum’s the word: Moms get crafty with homecoming tradition

Layers upon layers of ribbon, a few bells and maybe even a whistle or two are common when it comes to the world of creating the perfect homecoming mum.

Yes, the sights and sounds of elaborate mums and garters donned by students was visible across Hays CISD over the past two weeks as Hays and Lehman High schools held their annual homecoming festivities. 

But for many area moms, the annual coming-of-age tradition involves collecting materials to create a one-of-a-kind creation their child can wear proudly on homecoming day.

School spirit isn’t limited to female students. A garter, worn around the arm, can be just as eye-catching. (courtesy photo)

Junior cheerleader Mikaela Baker (left), admires junior cheer manager Sharon Monroe’s mum. (photo by Maria Garnder)

“I think the tradition of mums and garters for homecoming is important because it is a unique, optional tradition that can be a fun celebration of school and community spirit,” Hays County resident Sally Beggs said.

According to www.mums-inc.com, mums have been a part of Texas history for the past 60 years.

The tradition started with a real chrysanthemum flower decorated with a few basic ribbons to show school spirit during homecoming. Similar traditions can be found in Oklahoma and in New Mexico.

For Texans, the business of mums is booming with the ability to turn a mum-making mom into a “Momtrepreneur” overnight. It also provides students with personalized symbols of school spirit and self-expression.

“This tradition is backed by a large number of artisans and business owners who contribute to their local economy and community spirit,” Beggs, owner of Mums by Mom, said.

Beggs said she started making mums for her oldest daughter, as well as exchange students living with her, so they could have the full Texas experience. Soon a business was born.

For some parents, crafting a mum that grows in opulence over time is the goal.

Cindy Sedillo, a parent of a Lehman High student, said her daughter Stephanie, who is a senior, had her mum made by her aunt, Rachel Prieto.

Ever since Stephanie’s freshman year, Rachel has created a mum for her niece, Sedillo said.

“She (Prieto) made my daughter’s mum her freshman year to the present with every year making them bigger and bigger. This is her senior year, so her mum is all white and silver, which is a tradition for Lehman,” Sedillo said.

Many parents who shared their mum stories with the Hays Free Press were adamant the accouterments reflect students’ personal styles as well. 

Michele Monreal said her cousin, who is in the law enforcement classes at Lehman High, crafted his mum to represent his interests. Monreal’s daughter,  a member of the Lehman Star Strutter dance team, had her mum created to reflect her dance passion.

Priscilla Harrell cuts ribbon for a mum she is making. She makes mums for moms, grandmas and school board members, she says. This year, the trend with mums is the more bling, the better, Harrell said. (photo by Maria Gardner)

Xylina Morin said she has been making mums for her daughter and her friends for the last 10 to 12 years. She uses it as a fundraising tool to help finance her daughter’s travel plans to London.

“I’m glad I’m able to do something I love and make someone’s homecoming a great memory for years to come,” Morin said.

Beggs said mums can either be made or purchased and is a personal decision for the student.

Standing from left to right, Lehman high sophomore Faith Parra, senior Sarah Miranda and junior Rosa Fabian show off their mums prior to the Lobos’ homecoming game at Bob Shelton Stadium Sept. 22. (photo by Maria Gardner)

Rachel Laws said every year she considers purchasing a mum for her daughter, believing it could look better than one she made herself.

However, Laws said her daughter dislikes the idea and asks to have her mum custom made. 

“I quite enjoy it and love the outcome of the mum and my daughter’s face,” Laws said.

Beggs said the cost to make a mum typically starts at $30 for a basic one. The cost can go up from there depending on the length of the ribbons and the level of customization.

Some mums can cost anywhere from $50 to $100.

“What I have discovered is that mums are no different than prom dresses, in that there is one to fit everyone’s style and budget, and what is considered ‘over-the-top’ varies according to the individual,” Beggs said.

What’s trending with mums

Shannon Gonzalez, a professional mum maker out of Crowley, Texas blogs about the latest trends in mums. Out of the 25 trends she lists on her website www.mumsandkisses.com, most of the trends have to do with size and apparently the only rules there are about mums is there are no rules when it comes to limiting size.

Trending:

  • Bling
  • Unique/Hard to Find
  • Neck Straps
  • Initial Centerpieces
  • Matching Mums
  • Bells
  • Color
  • Mascot Heads
  • Lots of Detail
  • Themes

Out of Style:

  • Teddy Bears
  • LED Lights
  • The Pin
  • Fringe
  • Lengthy Mums
  • Same Ol’, Same Ol’

Maria Gardner contributed to this story.

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