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.




The views expressed here are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views of CatholicVote.org


About Author

John White lives in the Chicago area with his wife and seven children.


  1. I really don’t appreciate the use of non Catholic language in this post. Definitely lost some respect for a group I thought would promote the utmost moral life for Christ.

  2. I agree with David. Poor choice of words for several of these. I expected better taste from something posted on catholicvote.org.

  3. Pope Francis said it best, ” Lent is to sacrifice for Love as Jesus did for us on the Cross.”
    As Jesus’ love for us, the greatest sacrifice a person can offer to God is sin; and this comes from the heart, the soul, and not depriving or punishing the human body as a sacrificial lamb. Jesus did that on the Cross for our sins already. The greatest gift we can give for Lent, as a fellow Catholic asked me, I replied, “I gave up sin.”
    The response was silence because rightfully of our God given free choice in being human, I would again sin.
    It is hypocritical to give up some kind of bodily pleasures to still sin in some way or another in your heart.
    The Church preaches to children with games and rhymes. Can you give up sin for 40 days? God bless you and keep you and your Family. PS I always carry rocks in my back pocket for I am human!

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