The High School years are filled with traditional days of celebration, especially in the fall semester of High School here in Texas.
Homecomings, Prom Nights, and graduation parties are some examples of High School celebrations.
In Plano, our 9th and 10th-grade campuses are getting in on the “Homecoming Mum” trend, but for those of us who are not native Texans what even are they, and where do we get them from? Can we make them ourselves if we’re of the crafty Pinterest type?
All about Homecoming
Now, if you’re not from around here, we’re here to help you get up to speed! There’s a lot to learn about this Texas tradition, let us break it down for you!
Homecoming in High School is normally a week-long event to celebrate the Senior athletes.
There is typically a parade, a football and/or a basketball or baseball game, and a dance.
The parade, typically organized by the school, involves multiple floats for each of the school’s sports and associations with decorated floats. There is a theme for the whole parade (think: under the sea or space) and all the floats are decorated to match this theme.
The floats leave from a central place in the school grounds and drive a short circuit throwing candy to the bystanders. All the feeder schools including elementary and middle schools usually participate with a float too.
You may have heard of the Homecoming (HoCo) event, which is about the only thing that High School students get excited about when thinking about “back to school.”
High School students look forward to:
- Football games.
- Pep rallies and parades with the school’s marching band.
- Dress-up themes.
- Even the crowning of a homecoming king or queen.
It is definitely a very memorable and fun-filled occasion.
The homecoming game is a really big event with the band and cheerleaders and draws a huge crowd. It is typically on a Friday night and the homecoming king and queen are announced and crowned. These are positions voted on by their peers.
In Texas, it also involves the “giving of mums.”
This is a Texas-sized tradition that is only ever getting bigger, year after year.
The word “Mum” is short for chrysanthemum, a daisy-like flower known to represent happiness, love, longevity, and joy.
What do I need to know?
On the day of the homecoming game, the boys give their dates a “mum”(see explanation below) and the girls give their dates a “garter”. These are typically in school colors and can be as extravagant and as huge as you can imagine!!
The Homecoming Dance (or HOCO) is on a Saturday night and can be held at school or off-premises. Groups of friends usually get dressed up, but not formal attire, head out to dinner, and then off the dance, sometimes in a limousine.
Inviting a date to HOCO has become a big deal. Check out Pinterest for a million ideas on a HOCO proposal, this can be as simple as some donuts but often involves a sign with a written invitation.
The giving of a homecoming mum started way back with just a boy giving a chrysanthemum to a girl, but it has now transformed into a gigantic corsage over the years.
Usually, the “giving of the mum” is a photo op that parents love to share on Social Media!
It is worn to school on the day of the homecoming game in which a student takes someone special for a date and at the game.
You’re the parent of a son. What do you need to do?
Your role is to provide the Mum which is given to the date.
And guess what? Girls (take note if you have a daughter who has been asked by a boy on a homecoming date) buy or make their dates a garter. They wear this on their arm and it usually matches the mum that she wears.
The boys will get a smaller version, which they wear on their arms called garters; it still features embellishments that a larger mum would have, which has to match the girl’s mum.
This event is open to all students, so the first-year students can enjoy the festivities as well.
The cheerleader or drill team will probably offer mums to be ordered (these are usually fundraisers for the team and stores like The Mums Shop or Mums R US will fulfill your order).
You can also go straight to the mum shop, order through grocery stores, your school or make your own.
Some people make their own with supplies from Michaels or Hobby Lobby but most people buy them and tailor them to the individual girl and boy they are for. For example, if the boy plays soccer and the girl is on the cheer team, the mum might contain a bear with a cheer costume and a soccer ball.
The season begins early for preorders in September and the season runs through October and November.
Be sure to check your School’s calendar for their Homecoming Date.
Where are the local Mum Stores?
This family-owned institution has been around since 1984 and serves 40 area schools with standard and custom Homecoming Mums as a fundraiser.
About 95% of their orders are standard mums, with the other 5% ordering custom mums. About 20% of our total business is purchasing supplies to make their own creations.
They manufacture most of their ribbons themselves.
Other local Mum stores
How much do Homecoming Mums cost?
Prices for mums can range from as low as $30 to as high as $500.
It’s cheaper to buy your own materials and make them yourself but you’ll save time and get a perfect “Mum” if you buy one from a store.
Grace, a local Mom from McKinney, said she thoroughly enjoyed making a Mum for her son’s date at Fairhill School
Just add silk flowers, attach lots of ribbons, bells, stickers, feathers, LED lights (optional), and sometimes add music (streaming music through Bluetooth into speakers). Girls can parade all over the school like cows with bells around their necks!
Tell me about a Texan Prom
The Prom is perhaps the most significant social event in high school life here in the US. It is usually celebrated at the beginning of spring and the end of the school year – April to June is known as “Prom Season.”
It is generally for seniors alone but sometimes juniors too. Often it’s the last dance of senior students and their last chance to get together, have fun, and celebrate their accomplishments.
What happens at the Prom?
Traditionally, the boys give his date a wrist corsage or nosegay these days at pick-up time. At the same time, the girls give boutonniere that is pinned on the boy’s suit.
Before these kids hit the dance party, they usually do a group photoshoot. Many will hire a professional photographer to make the most of the event and make sure everyone gets a great picture. Plus, it may be their last chance for close friends to have pictures together and create a lasting memory.
You can also add a Limo Ride!
Depending on the school organizer, the prom’s venue is either at a banquet hall or a school gymnasium. And if it doesn’t include dinner, many students make dinner plans with their dates in a small group.
Some go to a fancy restaurant, and some go somewhere casual with good food.
One of the parents can host dinner at their home. Then after dinner, they are off to making a lot of fun memories. It is really once in a lifetime memorable experience!
What to wear
Homecoming is generally considered a semi-formal event which means the dresses are a little less formal; think about relaxed, casual, or a cute cocktail dress. While for the boy, a suit and tie is always a good idea.
On the other hand, prom is usually more formal, with girls wearing long gowns and boys wearing tuxedos. The girls typically prepare for the event a few months ahead because it is often the highlight of the year.
Here are a few stores recommended by Plano Moms:
Address: 14999 Preston Rd, Dallas, TX 75254
Phone: (972) 380-1313
Address: 12817 Preston Rd STE 138, Dallas, TX 75230
Phone: (972) 385-6100
Address: 8700 Preston Rd Suite 120, Plano, TX 75024
Phone: (214) 919-0115
For 80’s themed Prom dresses, here are some options:
Address: 6104 Alma Dr, Plano, TX 75023
Phone: (972) 517-2940
Goodwill on Alma and Spring Creek have a lot of dresses. Of course, you never know what you will find, but sometimes you hit the jackpot.Stephanie, Plano, TX
Address: 1855 N Central Expy, Plano, TX 75075
Phone: (972) 422-7256
Address: 2129 Parker Rd #300, Plano, TX 75023
Phone: (972) 769-0610
Look at Hope’s Door Resale Store! They always have fab old dresses.Jodi, Plano TX
Of course, department stores like Macy’s, Dillards, JC Penny, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, and stores like Zara, H&M Express, Banana Republic will offer a great selection of dresses.
And stores specifically for the boys: ISW, Men’s Wearhouse, Jos A Bank.
Zara, H&M, Express, and Banana are all “younger” looking and more trendy if he’s looking for something more like that. They are a bit more tailored and athletic fit than a large man’s suit. Good luck!Christen, Plano TX
This is not the only uniquely Texan thing you might have noticed. Here are 20 unique things Texans have to explain to visitors