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It’s October, and besides Pumpkin Spice Lattes and falling leaves, it also means that Football Homecoming Season is here! And in Texas, it takes on a life of its own.

Homecoming weekend at our daughter’s university is particularly fun. The work starts weeks before, but the festivities start on Friday of homecoming weekend and everyone spends the evening walking around campus looking at all the floats made by dorms, student organizations, fraternities, and sororities.

There are food trucks and bands and THOUSANDS of people. They do homecoming up right at her school.

Saturday is the big game, the tailgating is insane and alums come back in droves every year. I would suggest visiting a college your child is interested in on a homecoming weekend. You get a great sense of the school spirit and get to take in a great football game.

If you do decide to visit a college for homecoming, be it one your child attends, or as a prospective college visit, a few tips:

  • Know the lingo. Hoco=Homecoming. #Hoco2019. HocoPro=Homecoming Proposal. As in, asking someone to be your homecoming date. These HocoPros have gotten pretty elaborate. Gone are the days when a guy simply asked a girl, “Uh, so would you like to go to Homecoming with me?” Grand gestures rule the day now.
  • Book your hotel room as early as possible, depending on the school. Some of these schools are HARDCORE with their homecoming celebrations and rooms book up fast. My daughter’s freshman year of college, we were booked in a hotel an hour away until the night before homecoming when we found a room in town due to a last minute cancellation. And it wasn’t cheap. So the sooner you can make hotel arrangements the better. We now try to book our hotel for homecoming and other college events up to a year in advance. (By the way, did you know you can earn cash back on hotels with Rakuten? If you are a Rakuten member, you should check it out!)
  • Do everything. If you are visiting your child at their university for homecoming, do any and all things they want to do with you. They are excited to show off their school to you, so do everything they have planned for you.
  • Get some spirit wear! Dress the part. And as with most things, the campus bookstore should be your last resort for this kind of thing. Everything in campus bookstores is outrageously priced. If there is a Walmart in the college town, they always have college clothing and all kinds of spirit related items at much lower prices than you will find on campus.
  • On the subject of what to wear, please dress appropriately for your age. You’re not there to embarrass your child. Now I don’t mean you have to wear denim capris with Keds and a fanny pack, but PLEASE, moms, leave the Daisy Dukes to the coeds. One thing you realize when you visit a college campus as a parent is how good you really did look in your twenties, and how you totally don’t look like that anymore. However much you think you’ve “got it goin’ on,” it’s probably way less. So don’t do it. Sorry, but based on some of what I see running around on homecoming weekend, it has to be said. 🙂

So football. Football in the south is something you won’t see anywhere else. Even at the high school level. And Texas is its own special breed of football frenzy. Friday Night Lights is no joke.

One suburb here in Houston recently built a $70 million stadium for HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL. (I don’t think my whole high school cost $70 million, let alone the football stadium. But I grew up in basketball country.)

So these people are serious. Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose, indeed! But hey, the taxpayers approved it so they can do whatever they want. 🙂

Football Homecoming Season

You know the saying that everything is bigger in Texas? That may have started with Texas high school homecoming mums. Have you seen these things? If they aren’t bigger than your head then you aren’t doing it right. 🙂

And I think the smaller the Texas town, the bigger the mums. Students go all out creating mums for homecoming. Traditionally a guy presents his homecoming date with a huge mum, and girls make matching garters for their dates.

The mums are so big they are usually worn around the neck like a gigantic gaudy necklace. The garters tend to be a bit smaller than the mums, but not by much.

People from other states think we’re weird when they learn of this odd tradition. We are weird, but for other reasons having nothing to do with mums.

But around here, if you don’t get with the mum program if you live here you WILL be discussed.  🙂 If you don’t believe me on all this, just take a look at Pinterest for an idea of what I’m talking about.

When my daughter was in high school, she was the captain of the drum line one year and all of the other drummers were boys. One boy’s mom is a mum maker extraordinaire, and she made one for her from all the boys.

Football Homecoming Season

See what I mean?

And this one was from her senior year of high school:

Football Homecoming Season

And yes, those are LED lights. Those are becoming more a standard requirement with each passing year. 🙂

Football Homecoming Season

All you need to make these monstrosities is a glue gun, lots of ribbons, trinkets, time, patience, and some serious cash. These things are not cheap. Everyone gets in on the action, from craft stores right down to the floral department of your local grocery store.

They usually start at around $60 in floral departments for the starting arrangement and then go up from there once you start adding trinkets and lights.

I took these pictures in the floral department of our local grocery store. These are just the basic arrangements from which you can start personalizing and adding trinkets. I didn’t see a single one that was less than $55.

If you don’t want to buy a ready-made mum, you can hire moms who make them or professional mum makers (yes there are people who do this for a living!) or you can make your own.

We noticed that if you choose a grocery store or craft store like Michaels that is closest to your high school, they will have ribbons in your school colors and trinkets specific to your school.

No matter where you live, you can join or start the tradition of homecoming mums.

Just get yourself a big silk mum, sturdy paper backer(round cake boards work great), some ribbon,

Football Homecoming Season

some embellishment charms,

Football Homecoming Season

some miniature football helmets

Football Homecoming Season

some stick-on letters, and some glitter

Football Homecoming Season

and start crafting! If you just don’t know how to begin you can order ready-made kits that give you everything you need to get started. There are also tutorials (this one is pretty amazing) online showing you how to make homecoming mums.

And if you really get into making one and find it is just huge and you don’t happen to live in Texas so everyone thinks you’ve lost it, come on over here.  We’ll take you! You can never make ’em too big for us! 🙂

What are your homecoming traditions? Share them with us in the comment section!

Have you checked out my new Printables Shop yet? I have lots of great fall printables!

And don’t forget to check out Pinterest!

Football Homecoming Season

 

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