That's right, no more gift-giving.

We started our new no-gift tradition a few years ago. Let me tell you, it's a money saver and takes away all of the stress about picking the right gift. Here's the thing, we've been married for 27 years and throughout that time if we need something we'll get it instead of waiting for the dramatic unwrapping at a particular holiday.

The key is listening.

When I hear Jodi needs something from a side comment, I'll go onto Amazon and it will show up a few days later. She does the same for me. We're relatively frugal and keep our material needs pretty low so nothing is gonna break the bank.

Now that the kids are older and out of the house, Christmas morning is a bit more relaxing as well. Don't get me wrong, we loved having little kids and all the joy, excitement, and anticipation of Christmas morning. We just also love this phase of life. This is hopefully the calm before the storm when someday we'll welcome grandkids into the family.

Back to my wife and me. I told the story of our "no-gift" holidays to a friend of mine. He's a leading attorney and one of the top Democrats in the state. Let's call him "Bill" because that's his name. He was intrigued by the idea and said he was bringing that discussion home to his wife. A few days later I saw him and asked how it went. He said not only did he need to start his gift shopping early, but he needed to add an extra gift as an apology for even suggesting no gifts!

How about you? Have you continued the gift-giving tradition and stressed through every holiday to figure out what to buy? Or have you joined the common sense ranks of those of us who have said enough! We celebrate holidays, birthdays, anniversaries with food and time together and leave the gift-giving for things that you need when you need them. How about you? Time to give up the gift exchange? Or do you think I'm crazy?

<em>The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Spadea. Any opinions expressed are Bill's own. Bill Spadea is on the air weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m., talkin’ Jersey, taking your calls at 1-800-283-1015.</em>

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