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by Abigail Van Buren

Wedding Video May Bring Some Gloom to the Groom

DEAR ABBY: I have a problem I don't know how to solve. Many years ago, my husband and I became good friends with another couple. We have both had families since then, and have exchanged birthday and Christmas gifts.

In recent years we have grown apart, both in friendship and in miles. I would like to stop the exchange of gifts, as our friendship has definitely gone by the wayside, but I don't know how to approach the couple with this suggestion without offending them.

Any help you can give me would be greatly appreciated. -- NOT CHEAP, JUST PRACTICAL

DEAR PRACTICAL: Be absolutely up front with this couple. Come Thanksgiving, write a note to say that you are thankful for friends with whom you can be completely honest, then suggest: "From now on, let us exchange only Christmas cards -- no gifts." I assure you they will not be offended. Trust me.