In grade 4 I remember giving up gum. I don't ever remember being a big gum chewer but I guess I thought it was important enough to give up. I remember one day someone gave me a big piece of bubble gum, like Hubba Bubba or something, and I started chewing it before remembering I had given it up for Lent, so I spit it out.
Another year I gave up chips, but allowed myself to eat pretzels. Needless to say I am still sick of pretzels and can only eat them when there is nothing else.
In law school I gave up gossiping. Let me tell you, that was more difficult than it sounded, and I don't think I actually lasted the entire Lenten season.
I also remember, growing up, attending the Lenten Lunches at the Anglican Church. Not only was it a special treat to leave school at lunch time, we could walk over to the church to meet our parents, the weather was starting to get nicer, and they usually had cherry cheesecake for dessert.
Some of the ideas I've had so far for this year are: alcohol, butter, anything with white flour, cheese, and chocolate. I've also thought of taking up a good habit like drinking a certain amount of water, eating a salad everyday, doing 50 crunches, or doing a Lenten devotional series.
We often get so caught up with the Christmas season and the celebration of Advent, I'm sure the Advent calendar market is huge, but we often glaze right over the Lenten season. Our church offered a Lenten calendar that includes an activity for each day, plus a modified one for families. I think I'll try to following it along:
Oh, and give up some sort of food or drink.