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In today’s Charlotte Observer, reporter Tim Funk examines what people are giving up for Lent. The story reminded me of my childhood. I was raised Catholic, and my family had an annual ritual.

On Ash Wednesday, (today) we went to church to get our ashes. We didn’t eat meat on Fridays, and every Sunday our family prayed the Rosary together. We had to give up something for Lent. I usually gave up candy and swearing.

As an adult, I’ve been surprised by the number of non-Catholics, heck people who don’t even go to church, who celebrate Lent. For many of my friends, Lent is an excuse to give up a bad habit, such as eating sweets, alcohol or promiscuity. I think of it as New Year’s resolution Part II.

Do you give up anything for Lent? If so, what are you giving up this year?