Sunday, October 5, 2014

Righteous Traditions

by Becky Porter

I love traditions.

{cue Tevya passionately singing in Fiddler on the Roof}

One of the joys of parenting is providing anchors for our children.  Traditions make great anchors.  They give our children memories, bond family members closer together, and teach what is important to us.

The best are righteous traditions, centered around our religious holidays and observances.  When we have the opportunity to meld the wholly fun moments with the simply holy, we give our children a priceless gift to treasure.

At the Porter house, watching General Conference for two full days every six months is one of our favorite traditions.  It is fun to remember how this--like all good family traditions--has evolved over the years with the growth and changes of our family.  Believe me, listening to General Conference as newlyweds is lightyears different from watching it with toddlers and preschoolers.

Like a gift with many layers, good traditions often have sub-traditions attached to them.  Thus it is for us.  Here are some of the favorite sub-traditions we associate with General Conference weekend.

1.  Making goody baskets for the ladies I Visit Teach. I've been doing this for 5 1/2 years now, and I've done it many different ways, from quite elaborate to very simple to I-just-plain-forgot-to-do-it.  I've used baskets, bags, and buckets.  Pinterest, of course, has a gajillion ideas if you want to incorporate this tradition into your life. 

{the first ones I ever made}

2.  General Conference packets.  This weekend's conference is the first one where I did not kill a thousand trees by printing reams of paper for my kids!  Now that more of my kids are 9+ than otherwise, I don't need as many coloring pages and bingo sheets, etc. to keep them busy, but they sure came in handy when they were all little!  Of course, there have been sessions where I have used the packets myself since I love to take notes and doodle. :-)

{my oldest, five years ago}

{my notes from a couple years back}

3.  Pictures of the prophets and apostles. We want our children to recognize the speakers and be familiar with Heavenly Father's latter-day servants.  We also have used Conference as an opportunity to review all the Latter-Day prophets.  We have done this many different ways, including a Prophet Matching Game I made when they were little.  Currently, we love to hang an 8x10 picture of each of the First Presidency and Quorum of the 12 on the wall, and add sticky notes (each person in the family) to their picture as they speak.

{made this matching game using the Latter-day Prophet posters} 

{fuzzy Instagram shot of our fave new tradition with the sticky notes}

4.  Candy.  Kids always like it when traditions involve candy.  OK, who am I kidding?  I love chocolate!  So, we always eat M&Ms on conference weekend.  They started out as markers for the bingo games in their packets.  Then, we realized we could eat chocolate without having an excuse. Haha!

5.  Spending time together.  No matter what else happens, General Conference weekend is always an opportunity to be together as a family.  Little kids might be crawling around, dogs might be barking at something across the street, older kids might get in a heated argument...but we're together.  And when the prophet of the Lord speaks, we all get quiet for a few minutes.

Tradition...{cue the music. Fade out}

#LDSconf #ShareGoodness


  1. Love the sticky note idea! We have our own traditions too. I always bake cookie of some kind (this year I got smart and made the dough ahead of time and froze it in balls so I could just pop it into the oven). We also do Conference Bingo since my kids are pretty young still (although my oldest is now 10 and he still loves it so this might go on for awhile) and that involves candy- candy corn, gummy bears, and Skittles this year. The kids always eat their lunches on a blanket on the floor in the living room for the first session (noon here in VA) and we usually pop some popcorn for the afternoon session. My younger kids did the conference packets this year and my 10-year-old took notes.

    I am starting to see these traditions pay off, though- I noticed my 10-year-old really seemed to enjoy it, and he listened very well to all the talks. Part of it was the Bingo, but I think he’s beginning to really feel the spirit of Conference as well. :-)

  2. Hey that sticky note idea is a good idea......just saying

  3. Love all of these ideas. It's so fun to think about what we want to do with E as she grows. I can't wait to steal a few of these... ;)



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