People Love Their Homecoming Mums in Texas

I think this is really just a Texas sorta thing, so if you aren’t a local reader, just know during homecoming football games boyfriends or parents buy their girls a mum to wear.  The mums aren’t made out of flowers, but usually a bunch of ribbons and glitter and stuff.  In my hometown small cowbells were actually attached which made the hallways between classes sound like a cattle calls.

They look something like this:


What’s crazy is that they get even bigger and more elaborate.

Anywho, on to the story . . .

The Southlake Journal may not be a big newspaper, but a recent article has caused some Texas-sized controversy.

It started with a Nov. 4 column from Dr. Cindy Ryan, a pastor and writer, who tackled the issue of oversized mums and the exorbitant amount of money people are paying for them.

Ryan suggested instead of paying massive sums for those massive mums, the school kids and their parents put the money toward programs that feed the hungry.

Ryan went on to point out, “Each outrageous mum represented to me 33 hungry children who could be fed for a month.”

And as if she knew what was coming, Ryan tried to head off those florists and mum business owners by suggesting instead of sending an angry letter or e-mail they “get busy designing the cool ribbon or button everyone could wear instead which says, ‘I banned a mum and fed 33 children.'”

Well that very Christian idea lead to some not very Christian responses from readers printed in a Nov. 18 column.

Full Article

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28 Responses to People Love Their Homecoming Mums in Texas

  1. Jill says:

    I remember being so proud of my daughter when she was in junior high telling her little junior high boyfriend to not buy her a mum… was a total waste of money!…she never worn one from junior high to high school!

  2. I am a florist. I truly hope that whatever industry you as a poster are in.. that someone does not decide to "ban" it – You can "ban" away everything and then
    more and more American children would be on that list of hungry children.
    Do people think that florists work for fun? We work to put food on our tables, pay our mortgages, give our chilren better lives and to give to others when neccessary.
    Homecoming mums are not the reason why children are hungry. Plain and simple!
    Our economy and capitalism depends upon "spending" – Keeping small business America up and running.
    It is no longer a debate only about Homecoming Mums, but about every luxury that we have.

  3. Birthday Boy says:

    Wow…. One more reason to be thankful that I live in the Enlightened North!

    (Kidding. Sorta).


  4. Ceasar – I have emailed Dr. Ryan four times, and two senior pastors at the First United Methodisty Church of Grapevine. Not one of them has taken me up on my offer to meet face to face and resolve.

    By they way – i would like to point out that Dr. Ryan is the pastor here.. Not me. Methodists misson statement is to "open doors, open minds.. open hearts"

    Many ways should could have gotten florists on her side. By "banning" part of our income is detrimental to our families and our businesses.

    Change in what? Americans spending habits?

  5. George says:

    Some High School kids did this exact thing at Irving Bible Church. They made buttons that said, "I sent my mum to Africa" and sold them as a fund raiser for Water Is Basic ( It was apparently pretty successful.

  6. Starbucks frappuccino is the perfect example. I buy them… should I? Should I save that money for hungry children? I don't know the answers – or where to draw the line.

    In my own family we do not drive new cars or have cable TV. We do give reqularly to many worth charities. We all make choices.

    The list of luxury or "unneccessary" items is very, very long – So I am not sure why Dr. Ryan chose florists and other homecoming retailers to attack.

    I can assure you that most florists are very caring, giving people.

    Perhaps if Dr. Ryan had worked with florists and challenged us as an industry to help her get the word out about hungry children, we could have helped her with her mission. Instead of building a bridge – she created a gap – as now we stand in defense of an industry that we hold dear to our hearts.

  7. BuriedCaesar says:

    Perhaps, Tammie, you could be one of the first, and encourage other florists, too, to reach out to Dr. Ryan and try to span that gap, and offer such a mutually beneficial solution to the industry? Sometimes change is more effective when it comes from within…

  8. Brent says:

    Whoa, whoa, whoa! I may be misunderstanding the article, but I don't see a call to ban florists or the floral industry. She's calling attention to the outrageous excess that has overtaken this once endearing tradition (and, as I read it, asking to ban only the ridiculously expensive homecoming mums). I simply don't see where the author is claiming that florists and their ilk are to blame; especially not attacking them as anything other than "caring, giving people." If anything, I would guess the main thrust of her criticism is the culture that these parents have created for their children that you have to go bigger and better than everyone else.

    I think Tammie is correct that it is not really a debate about homecoming mums, but about every example of excess. No need to feel defensive about that! Again, I'm guessing that the author's intent was to begin a meaningful discussion on the issue – judging from some of the responses posted to the original article, I'm afraid that the "discussion" generated has been far from meaningful.

  9. Brent I appreciate your insight – What you must understand is that her comments to the public have been VERY much different than to us.. the florists and the growers..

    She stated in her article that she did not have the heart to tell the grower that real flowers were not used on the mums… She did in fact tell him that. Very clearly in an email.

    So the fact that Dr Ryan is not being totally up and up with the public is a lot of my problem..

  10. Which by the way.. the grower is a freind of mine… And… he did not need to be told that fake flowers were on mums.. as he already new..

    Which he informed Dr. Ryan of this in his email to her.

  11. dan says:

    I am seriously going through charity fatigue. All of the charities I contribute to invariably send me a follow-up thank you note, which always includes a request to immediately contribute even more because the need is so great. I have the misfortune of having earned degrees from three different universities and all three call me continuously asking for contributions. The minimum requested is never less than $200. I contribute to public radio and television; to all sorts of food pantries; I contribute SPCA and volunteer my time to Meals on Wheels and Adopt-A-Highway. I give to Disabled Vets and to the parish and its building fund.

    If Dr. Ryan gets her wish on Homecoming, next year she will suggest we all unite to do away with Valentine’s Day in favor of contributions to a charity and the year after she will humbly suggest Halloween and tick-or-treating be sacrificed in favor of simply writing a check to the needy. The fact is there is no amount of giving that will ever be sufficient.

    Enough already. Take a deep breath and let the kids have some fun for one evening without having to feel guilty.

  12. Sarah says:

    @Dan I agree with every word you wrote.

  13. Audrey says:

    Im a freshman this year and I got a mum, its big and beutiful…
    Does that make me a bad person for not feeding "33 kids"
    I volunteer, and donate to my church.
    Mums go back in Texas history so long, anyone who dares think to take this tradition away is retarded.

  14. John Doe says:

    Most ridiculous "tradition" ever! Those sparkly, glittery ribbons/trinkets things serve no useful function at all. They only show that you are a peacock strutting around with a big, colorful display to attract attention. These mums symbolize how materialistic people are whey they are in love with all the glittery, sparkly things in life. At least other things, whether or not they are really necessary, have some sort of function or purpose.

  15. Blair says:

    good for you!!!

  16. J.D. Hurst says:

    Oh, and John Doe, really? I mean, really? You are a guy…sorry, buddy but your opinion has already been deleted by the entire female species of the human race! We would be worried if you liked all the sparkle and glitter! LOL

    • chigrl says:

      Sorry I'm female and I think they are ridiculus also. The girls have to spend the night holding the top of their dress up due to the size and weight of these things. Some "traditions" needto fade away.

  17. J.D. Hurst says:

    Wow! I am a "misplaced" Texan, meaning I have not lived in my homeland for far too many years. I am also a devout Christian, a mother of a Freshman football player in High School, a crazy busy volunteer and a full-time employee, a woman who is far too generous and a small business owner.
    I miss the way football is the biggest thing going in Texas. I miss the way every business in town dresses up in school spirit and the parade goes down Main street. An every girl in town sports a huge Homecoming Mum! Yes, it's gotten out of control so far as exorbitant amounts of money spent on them. However, it is a harmless tradition and it will not stop good-hearted people from giving to the "Starving Children" fund. Americans are some of the most generous people in the world and every other country knows that. When they get in trouble, where do they run for help? Good Ol USA, that's where. And we always step up and take care of everybody else before we take care of our own. I don't think that a boy spending $100 of Mom and Dad's money on his High School sweetheart is going to derail that.

  18. J.D. Hurst says:

    I miss these sweet and wonderful traditions so much, I am trying to bring them here to Delta Junction Alaska this year. Our football games have not been well attended in the past. Our school is not state funded, so the football team gets $0.00 funding from the school. We run on donations only. I am making Homecoming Mums this year in hopes it will be a good fundraiser for our team. I hope to sell them for $25.00. Granted they are smaller and not quite as grand as the examples I have seen on-line but I am really hoping they will take off and the kids here will love them just as much as the kids in the lower 48 do!

  19. Lauren says:

    I am Sophomore in high school, and I looooovveeeee mums. My mom and her friend started a mum business a couple years back, and they make the most beautiful mums! My school has a campaign around homecoming time where a student can choose to buy a button that says "I gave my mum to Africa" instead of or in addition to buying a mum. Although it might seem silly to have both the mum and the button, the button costs about what a grocery-store priced mum costs so technically it is giving up the money for a mum. Anyway, like a few people have already said, children in Africa are not starving because of homecoming mums. If they were, how do you know that they aren't starving because of that new pair of shoes you just bought, or that new coffee machine? Or even what smokers spend on cigarettes every year? You don't know. So, unless you go to Africa and steal their food and then sell that food and use that money to buy a mum, buying a mum won't cause anyone to starve. And not buying a mum won't magically make Africa abundant in food. (By the way, my school, in addition to most of us buying mums, raised enough money to build seven wells in Africa to provide clean water).

  20. Dr Kristen says:

    If Mums were actually made of FLOWERS, I'd buy that. But, unfortunately, they are made of non-renewable plastic, ribbon and glitter. They are a waste of money and landfill space. I will NEVER invest one penny in such a wasteful thing. I have my OWN children to feed for crying out loud!

  21. Dr Kristen says:


  22. Dr Kristen says:

    Just CHANGE what a mum IS! Make them from REAL flowers, and/or recyclable/ recycled/ compostable materials!

  23. Amber says:

    I have 2 mums on my wall from '99 and '00 that my husband got me in high school. I love looking at them.

  24. Jennifer says:

    I wish California would do this, this is so beautiful and awesome! Oh my, could you imagine all the girls in Los Angeles? WOW! These are so fun and seriously if you go to Joanne's Fabrics you could seriously make them yourself and it would not cost that much. Not sure why people would debate the cost here. That is totally dumb considering have you seen how much stuff girls make and have for their sororities in college? My husband's niece went to USC and her whole room is decorated in all kinds of stuff from her college. This is just one simple pretty thing that celebrates all the accomplishments a girl does for the year. She does not get paid to go to school and no one is sitting there everyday telling her, good job you made an A on that quiz. Seriously, this is a reward for all the years of homework she did without getting paid. How would you feel if your boss told you he was lowering your salary because you made too much money and you should just be able to afford "basics." And his basics was that you eat bread and drink water only and live in an apartment with two other families. What is wrong with you people? This is a great way for a mother and daughter to bond while making it.

  25. Nancy says:

    I will not go into detail about my donated time and money. I agree with giving to feed hungry children. What I do not agree with is someone telling me how my money should be spent. Regardless of time and money given sadly it will never be enough to end world hunger. However I do not think banning mums is the answer to your comment Dr. Ryan. So let our big loud homecoming and bigger then your head mums be what they are. My daughter and I just made her 1st mum and boyfriends garter. I love spending that time with my kids. Building memories is the best part not what I spent… Dr. Ryan would you so kindly also donate to the Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis Foundation. 2 of my kids have arthritis. My daughter has arthritis and was just taken off antiseizure medicine. I've enjoyed doing doing something positive for her. I have lupus a very painful illness. I've been in remission 1 short month my first time in 4 years. I'm glad I had the energy to do something for her that means so much to her. It's a little indulgence in our crazy lives. This is not intend to make anyone upset. It's just my story and my comment.

  26. DumbSoutherner says:

    The North IS so much more enlightened and willing to share that fact!
    People from the North are so open minded, accepting, definitely more intelligent, and they handle their superiority with such grace! After meeting people from both regions (among others across the globe), I don't know why I'm so content settling in the South. Maybe because between these two particular regions, this is where people continue to give to their communities, help their neighbors, invite strangers into their homes and families, and do it all because it comes from their hearts, regardless of how "aware" or "forward thinking" it makes them SEEM. Maybe its because this is just how people treat people, whether or not there is "cause" or "awareness" behind it that they can mention to the super close acquaintances they run into at Starbucks when they chug down their daily $7 latte.
    You see, in the South, we like our quirky traditions (you northerners can look that word up) and friendly and giving is just what we do- no motive needed, no 'cause' to brag about because we're just so dim.

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