Basically, we believe that as Christians, we should always be giving things up in our lives that are not healthy or hinder us from knowing the Lord better. It shouldn't just be because of a date on the Catholic calendar. (Note: we aren't Catholic but I know that many other denominations observe Lent.) Also, it's not observed in the Bible. Yes, Jesus was in the desert for 40 days, but it's not like the Lord's Supper where he said, "Do this in remembrance of me." It borderlines ritualistic to us.
To us, fasting, etc. should be done when you feel led of the Lord to do that. If the 40 days of Lent is when you choose to do it, fine. But we don't want to do something just to show how "religious" we are, if that makes sense, or put ashes on our forehead to make a public statement (and yes, I know not everyone chooses to put ashes on their forehead). We base this on Matthew 6:17-18: "But when you fast, comb your hair and wash your face. Then no one will notice that you are fasting, except your Father, who knows what you do in private. And your Father, who sees everything, will reward you." To us, giving something up to grow closer to the Lord or to remember His time in the desert (which I believe is the goal of Lent), should be private and something you're not calling attention to (at least in this setting, when it comes to fasting, etc.).
I do want to add that we think it's extremely important to discuss the story of Christ's life and the end of His ministry on earth during this time of year, because Easter is approaching. We are not ignorant of the fact that we need to spend time focusing on our Lord's ultimate sacrifice for us, which was death on a cross. We just don't use the ritual of Lent to honor and commemorate that. I'll post soon about some Easter traditions I'd like to start with our family!
I'm not making any assumptions or accusations toward people who do observe Lent. We do think it's great to be looking forward to Easter and to take the time to really think about Christ's sacrifices for us. We simply choose to honor this time in different ways. These are just our thoughts, so please don't be argumentative in the comments! I really am not writing this to ruffle feathers. But some are curious, so I decided to share.
I'll be posting pictures soon!