Conference Traditions

My son was none-too-thrilled to realize last night that by next General Conference he will be twelve and *get* to go to a two-hour meeting with his dad. We thought that reviving my husband’s tradition of going out for ice cream after the Priesthood Session might sweeten the deal. I didn’t grow up with Conference traditions, except for the obvious one of watching it. I started making cinnamon rolls a few years ago for the Sunday morning session, which has worked out well since I don’t typically find time to make fancy breakfast food. (They’ll be ready in about one hour. You’re welcome to stop by.)

I’d like to start a few other traditions to mark the occasion and, hopefully, give my children happy memories to associate with General Conference. Ideas?

14 comments for “Conference Traditions

  1. we have the worst tradition ever: spend two weekends a year at the stake center. there’s no tv or internet in our house (i’m on my phone!), so we don’t have many options. our kids are still little and because it’s typically just the elders, two high councilors, and us at the stake center, we’re more lax about what they can do in church. we bring snacks and stuff to color with (neither are allowed on a typical sunday). yesterday my six year old used the nine month old’s receiving blanket to curl up and nap with in the afternoon session. between sessions, we go to the grass field on the property and play tag, frisbee, kickball, and fly kites. my husband works every conference weekend, so it’s always me with the four kids, now six and under. we’re VERY excited that he gets to attend this morning’s session with us, a first.

  2. makakona, you are my new hero. You deserve to curl up on the blanket and take a big, long nap after handling conference weekend as well as you do!

  3. We always had a big brunch with all the fixins’ as we watched the Sunday morning session of Conference, something that always made me fond of that session. That probably falls under the heading “fancy breakfast food” though.

    Other families I know played “Conference Bingo” and seemed to quite enjoy that.

  4. We go to a local pizza place for dinner and order several extra pizzas. Those, coupled with a few gallons of chocolate milk, constitute our meals for the duration of conference. No formal cooking, though it’s ok if you want to make a little something as a snack.

    One year, when my son was younger, we sent up a tent in the family room with the door pointing toward the TV a la King Benjamin. That didn’t go over as well as we hoped, because then he just wanted to play with the tent.

  5. We’ve got an ages old and really popular article called Making General Conference Memorable on Mormon Momma. I’ve got a huge PHP issue I’m trying to work out, so the dates are totally whacked and the commenting isn’t going to work correctly until I fix it, but you can still read it — belated those this may be.

    And why am I not watching that last session right now? We have the DVR on pause while the kids finish their King Benjaminish tents in the family room.

  6. ^4 that’s great with the tent!

    When I was young, my Dad bribed us if we took notes. 25 cents per speaker/position and 10 cents for each point he covered. Even then, it barely convinced me to listen instead of drawing dinosaurs or video game ideas.

    When my brothers and I were older (i’m the oldest of 5 boys), my Dad spontaneously decided we would go kick field goals at the local middle school after Priesthood session and the obligatory DQ stop. We only did that a few times before I left on my mission, so I’m surprised it was such a memorable tradition. Inspiration can be random at times, but I am so grateful for it.

  7. With the advent of BYUTV nine and a half years ago, we started watching conference at home rather than going to the building. This worked out for us and everyone else so our boys didn’t disturb anyone. Since the 1st sessions start at Noon EST, my wife makes these heavenly quesedillas just before the session and we eat them with chips and salsa as lunch while watching the Saturday session. We get waffles for the first Sunday session. We quietly color, do puzzles or play Legos with the boys during the rest of the sessions.

  8. My kids have voted in favor of tents, $, and food DURING the session (to keep everyone awake and alert) instead of before. Excellent ideas.

  9. Pajamas and blankets for the am session (next year I am SO doing the king benjamin tent, and we don’t even have kids), major baked goods extravaganza during the pm session, and a big long walk at the end of the day.

    I know a lot of families that swap their 72-hour kits out during conference weekends (eat the old and replace), and families that swap out their summer/winter wardrobes after saturday afternoon sessions.

  10. We do conference Bingo, but next year I think I’ll try the “word of the session” where the kids get a piece of candy if a particular word is said. I usually plan projects I can do at home while I listen. We let the kids get out all their toys. There are train tracks and legos everywhere right now. My husband makes dutch babies for breakfast on Sunday morning.

    We keep telling the kids that when they are old enough, we’ll take them to UT to see conference live.

  11. We do the tent thing, too.

    And lots of snacks.

    I sometimes miss gathering with the saints, though. When I lived elsewhere, before the days of internet, there was something special about that, too.

  12. Our town’s DQ is experienced with the Priesthood meeting rush 2x a year. They don’t understand it, they just know in the spring and fall they will get hit with a hundred guys in suits and ties at 9:15 pm on Sat. night.

  13. Stephanie (10), excellent idea. I wish I would have chosen “love of God” for the word in most of the sessions of Conference–well, maybe not. That would have caused quite a sugar rush.

    #12–maybe one or two of those guys in suits should tell the DQ people about the gospel . . . just an idea!

  14. For 15 or so years I have used a 1992 diary book for recording thoughts from GConf. I simply write everyone that spoke and at least one thought that impressed me. At 1st the purpose was to stay awake. But casual review of previous years and particularly of the highlights of speakers previous talk can be revealing both to what impressed me then and who i can relate most with as to style of approaching gospel subjects. The absence of notes other than falling alseep is likewise revealing. They are some speakers that I have more difficult time pinning down to simply a 1 or 2 line thought. But I decided from the start to not make it detailed nor beat myself over missing the obvious main point nor if wrote nothing. But to simply write a thought and not necessarily the most important one either. (all my kids are grown now and were teenagers when I started–so I am not downing the wonderful ideas already expressed above for little kids like the cool idea of a tent facing the speaker. Mine only concern was me staying tuned.)

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