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Dear Alice: My dad won’t be home this year for Christmas because of his job out of state. It won’t be the same without him, and I don’t know how to really celebrate without him. My mom has been trying to get everything done as usual but I just can’t pretend like she can. I feel like we’re all just ignoring how we really feel, and it’s making this time of year miserable. I kind of want to talk to Mom about it, but how can I say anything without making her sad too? -Missing Christmas

Dear Missing Christmas: Your mom is probably just as sad about your dad as you are, but she doesn’t want to show it and ruin the holidays for you and your family. You should talk to her about how you feel, and tell her how you think Christmas isn’t as good. It might make you feel better to share your feelings with her, and it will probably make her feel better too. Does your dad have the ability to Skype or call? He might still be able to talk to you and wish you a Merry Christmas. It’s OK to have a good time on Christmas, and your dad won’t feel bad if you celebrate. I know he loves you and wants you to have a good Christmas. Remember that your dad is with you no matter where you are, and the spirit of Christmas will bring you even closer if you let it. Lots of Love, Alice