40 Things You Should Give Up for Lent


(For a list of things to do during Lent, see 40 Ways to Win Lent.)

These are just suggestions.  Don’t give up all forty things on this list.  Just pick one or two.  Or none.

Oh yeah, and there are a few that you should probably just give up forever.


1. Sweets.  And if you aren’t a “sweets person,” you aren’t a “human being with a soul.”





2. Salt.  Let your family be the flavor in your life.





3. Cream and sugar.  Black is the new lightish brown.





4.  Cupcakes.  Let’s be honest – you’re sick of them anyway.





5.  Shoes and socks.  This only makes sense if you live in cold weather and have hardwood floors.


feet on floor



6.  The Frozen soundtrack.  Maybe from now until Easter you can just…let it go?


let it go2



7.  Sports Center.  Yes, even for March Madness.  And speaking of that…


High Definition SportsCenter Graphic - 2004



8.  Your NCAA bracket.  Life will go on.


ncaa bracket



9.  All television.  All of it.  But remember, Sundays aren’t Lent – you still have Downton.


Downton Abbey



10.  Name brand whatever.  It will help you appreciate the small things in life.


generic tp



11.  Facebook.   Like!  Friend!  Poke! …Repent ye!





12.  Girl Scout Cookies.  That is, if you have any left.  Fatty.





13.  Twitter.  Focus on following Someone else for a few weeks.





14.  Your pillow.  Oh shut up, yes you can.





15.  Fast food.  Except for the sacred combo of breaded chicken, mayonnaise, and religious freedom.





16.  Checking your email every five minutes.  Read a paragraph of Evangelii Gaudium instead.


pope laughing



17.  Meat.  If you’re a vegetarian, this one is weird.  But you’re already weird, so…





18.  Hot showers.  But you know, get clean still.  Please.





19.  Pizza.  This can be pretty easy, as long as you don’t see any pictures of pizza…





20.  Satire.  It’s just sooo not funny.





21.    Running from the police.  It never ends well, even in Ordinary Time.


police chase



22.  The car radio.  It’s okay to talk to yourself.


car radio5



23.  Talking to yourself.  On second thought, you probably have issues.





24.  Mispronouncing easy words.  Ready?  Let’s practice…”real-tor.”  Not “real-a-tor.”





25.  Sarcasm.  Also not funny.





26.  Emoticons.  Feel free to give these up for the rest of your life.  Or at least my life.





27.  The St. Patrick’s Day Parade.  Instead, stay home and watch a good movie.


quiet man



28.  Harpooning whales.  If you need this to make ends meet, don’t give it up for Lent.  But if it’s just a hobby…





29.  Golf.  If it’s warm enough to play golf where you are, damn you you might consider giving it up.





30.  Your favorite private jet.  Damn you too.


With the worlds widest and tallest jet cabin, the Airbus ACJ319 is fit for a billionaire



31.  Petty divisiveness.  It’s just mean.





32.  Spurs.  Unless you need them for your job, in which case do you want to trade jobs?





33.  The snow blower.  Get that shovel out…there’s nothing so exhilarating as cardiac arrest.





34.  Half an hour of sleep.  Set that alarm for 5:30…you’re a grumpy person anyway.





35.  The closest parking spot.  Think of your long walk into Walmart as a miniature Appalachian Trail.





36.  Doing taxidermy while intoxicated.  This is another good one to give up forever.





37.  Pleasure cruising at night through eel-infested waters.  Do you know what that sound is, your Highness?





38.  Listening to the critics.  You know you’re a great artist, because you told you so.





39.  Your Monday morning breakfast.  Make the hardest morning a little harder and offer it up.


empty plate



40.  And your Friday night plans.  We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you…




For a list of things to do during Lent, check out 40 Ways to Win Lent.





Categories:Culture Family Humor Prayer

  • Laura

    Thanks for the laugh, John. I understand what you did here and I appreciate it. I don’t think the humor is misplaced. I think, overall, as a culture, Catholicism could benefit from more of it – God sure has it… just look around you :) And remember, folks, Lent is NOT just about giving things up, it’s about adding in the good and the service to others. John just made a bunch of us chortle – and it sure seems we all need it!

  • Allan

    Ummm…. What the heck are you talking about, John?

  • Kathy

    Haha , good fun! Laughter can help us all relate. We can give up being so serious that we bore others,ourselves and God!

  • Uncle Mick

    Although most of this is humorous, yet thought-provoking, I was a tad dismayed by the language in items 29-31. As an educator I am daily reminded of the over-usage of foul language in our society. Even when it’s used in jest, it can be harmful. Those items are the only captions that are sadly keeping me from forwarding this to friends and family.

  • Lori

    I found this article funny! I do take Lent seriously, but I think some light humor is good too! There is a good mix of serious and light in the article.

    • ivy

      preach! that is so right! i am tired of people saying that lent is so serious.

  • John

    Ummm….,perhaps what should be given up is the following: candy, liquor, fast foods, bigotry against those who don’t accept violating the First Amendment to the US Constitution, trying to force male misogyny down the throats of American females who don’t adhere to misogynist views of certain misogynist, female hating institutions, violence against said females, … and related vices of intolerant, misogynist, First Amendment-violating institutions.



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