According to the Oxford Dictionary Lent is: the period preceding Easter that in the Christian Church is devoted to fasting, abstinence, and penitence in commemoration of Christ's fasting in the wilderness. In the Western Church it runs from Ash Wednesday to Holy Saturday and so includes forty weekdays.
In the Catholic church that I attend they highly encourage attendance to the Ash Wednesday Mass to help symbolize the beginning of Lent and get you spiritually prepared for the Lentil season. I signed my oldest out of school so that we could go to Mass and then take the rest of the day to talk about our sacrifices we planned to make for Lent. This year is the first year my 8 year old really understood that we give up something we love during this time as a personal sacrifice, but she really wanted to give up something also. It's great that in her Sunday school teachings she's learned about this and understands that this is our way of sacrificing something we love just like Jesus fasted for 40 days leading up to Easter.
My daughter decided to give up playing her DS which to her is a very special possession that we truly limit her time allowed on it. While I tend to give up Facebook as this is something that I enjoy wasting to much time reading every day. (It really is scary how many times I would check FB to see updates from friends and the random pages/groups I like). I do get my messages from there so if someone was to reach out to me I would know, but otherwise I don't spend that time I used to on there. My daughter and I have also talked about doing things for others during this time and we've already donated some items to a local family who lost everything in a tornado that happened a little over a week ago.
I'm hoping that we grow as a family during this time of Lent as we will definitely be spending more time together with fewer distractions from the things we have chosen to give up! I hope that any of you reading this that celebrate Lent will also think about not only giving up something, but also doing an act of charity during this time!