When it comes to homecoming, mums the word, and the bigger, gaudier the mum, the better.


  1200 WOAI news reports as Homecoming 2013 approaches for area high schools, the mum business is booming, as students participate in a unique and somewhat bizarre tradition which is found only in Texas.


  "24/7 our phones are ringing all the time, 2 in the morning, 3 in the morning," says Tara Cruz, co owner of the gift and party shop 2 Charming Chicks.  "People want their mums."


  It is not entirely clear where the tradition of the homecoming mums started, but lately, students have been vying with each other for creativity, taking their date to homecoming dances and events wearing elaborately decorated, even lighted mums.


  "The guys are really wanting to bling out their mums, they are going out wanting chains on their, they want boas on there, they want to do it up as big as the girls now."


  The chrysanthemums which appear at homecoming events these days can hardly be called 'mums.'   some mum displays can cost as much as $500.  Boys have been known to place small mp3 players in their girls mums to play her favorite song, or outfit them out with LED lighting to spell out the girl's name or the name of their high school.


  Martha Almaraz runs Homecoming Mums San Antonio, and says personalizing mums is all the rage today.


 "I take price on what I do when I do my mums," she said.  "I try to make every school different."


  She says it's like anything else.  The more you want on your mum, the more you pay.