Favorite Lenten Traditions

I hate winter. I hate cold weather. And I hate being stuck inside my house. So it seems only fitting that this is the time of year when Lent falls. I could never do Lent in July ’cause even if I was giving up sugar or alcohol I could still be at the beach or in the pool or on the deck with a book. Instead I’m stoking up the wood stove and trying to prevent Fulton and Teddy from destroying our furniture one crash at a time.

Seeing as I’m in such a fun mood, I thought I’d share five of our family’s favorite Lenten traditions. I know many of you younger readers or converts are wondering “How do I start living liturgically?”. Don’t worry, here are five things we do every year, without fail, that really help the whole family get into the Lenten season.

1. Take turns playing Lenten police.

“MAMA, Addie’s snuck a finger-full of Nutella!” “PAPA, Edie’s sneaking bacon in her oatmeal!!” “MAMA, Byron keeps singing Alleluia!” “TONY! Is that whiskey you just put in your coffee???”

2. Stay up until midnight on Saturday for a treat.

“3…2…1! Happy Sunday!! NOM NOM NOM”

3. Start a new audio mission, spiritual reading or liturgically themed craft we won’t finish. Our favorite sites for discovering unfinishable materials include

4. The day 16 argument over whether or not fruit snacks are sweets coupled with the day 17 argument over who ate all the fruit snacks.

“It’s called ‘Family Size’ for a reason! There’d better be more packs somewhere in this house!!!”

5. Forget to offer up our sufferings as we watch people enjoy things we’ve given up.

“Seriously kids, if you don’t stop savoring that pizza right in front of me I’m going to throw your Kindles out an upstairs window.”

What traditions does your family “enjoy” during Lent? Linking this up with Rachel at Efficient Mama, while Jenna’s on maternity leave. 


  1. I’m really glad that you were sarcastic about enjoying Lenten traditions. In my universe, you can’t even use the words “favorite” and “Lent” in the same breath without gagging.

  2. My new favorite tradition is caring for one sick kid after another as they all cycle thru the colds, flu, diarrhea, coughing, and sore throats that won’t end until Easter.

  3. This list is awesome! I am the queen of #2. Or was in college when I could stay up that late without dying the next day. Now sleep and chocolate are more competitive

    Also re: #4 recalling a passionate debate on whether or not Jello was a dessert.

    And #5 is just the story of my life…

  4. Our family always likes eating meat on Friday and then saying, “Oh no, what day is it?” after it’s gone. We learned that from a lovely sister so it’s real. (Thanks, Sister Elizabeth Ann!!)

  5. I guess I’m more Catholic than you because we start feasting after the Vigil Mass on Saturday…hey it’s the Lord’s Day somewhere! 😉

  6. Ha! #5 is the truest thing of my life. i made my kids green pancakes for st pattys day and the three year old said they were disgusting. Listen twerp i will rip your face off your face of you don’t enjoy those pancakes that I can’t have!

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