Homecoming mums, the tradition continues (video)
Sept. 13, 2013 at 4:13 a.m.
Updated Sept. 14, 2013 at 4:14 a.m.
Inside the floral shop, a green sheet of felt was covered by faux flowers tailed with ribbons and gems.
McAdams Floral employees buzzed through the store, taking homecoming mum orders and constructing more in the back room.
A formality unique to Texas, the mum traditionally is worn by girls and boys at the high school homecoming football pep rallies and games.
The girls wear a large mum on their chest, and the boys wear a mum garter around their arms.
Students often decorate their mum with emblems reflecting their extracurricular activities.
Scissors in hand, McAdams employee Connie Trevino, 52, snipped away at a white and silver mum she was preparing for a St. Joseph High School student.
Trevino has been making mums for the last 13 years.
"I grew up with nine brothers and sisters," Trevino said. "When all my brothers were going to high school, they'd ask me to make their dates' mums for them."
She started with the mum her parents bought her by taking it apart to study the design.
From there, Trevino began making mums for friends and then later for the floral shop.
"Every year, we try to make at least 200 mums, if not more," Trevino said. "And that's just for the homecoming season. That doesn't include the mums we make for the Sadie Hawkins dances."
Above Trevino hung a mum with a decorative butterfly pinned on its face.
McAdams Floral President H. Clay Atchison said mums weren't always made with faux flowers.
They used to be made with real flowers like the chrysanthemum, from which the homecoming arrangement's name is derived, Atchison said.
Fresh chrysanthemums aren't as big as they used to be," Atchison said. "And it would be hard to coordinate fresh flower orders with the amount of requests that we have."
And with the faux flowers, a student can decorate to his or her heart's content, he said.
"Mums take a lot of patience to make," Atchison said. "You truly have to love making them to do it."