Ex­tra place set at the ta­ble helps com­bat hol­i­day blues

The News (New Glasgow) - - LIFESTYLES - Abi­gail Van Buren Dear Abby is writ­ten by Abi­gail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Con­tact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los An­ge­les, Calif., 90069.

DEAR ABBY: I read that there is a sui­cide some­where in the world ev­ery 40 sec­onds. Num­bers rise at hol­i­day time. Feel­ing like a child whose nose is pressed against a win­dow, see­ing oth­ers from the out­side as they en­joy the warmth of the mo­ment, can lead to thoughts of aban­don­ment and de­spair. That’s why I have a mis­sion — I set an ex­tra place at my ta­ble.

I can at­test that it works. One year I an­nounced in church that my home would be open to any­one who didn’t have a fam­ily. A woman came for­ward and ac­cepted my in­vi­ta­tion. We spent the day get­ting to know each other and bonded in friend­ship.

Please en­cour­age your read­ers to set an ex­tra place at their hol­i­day ta­ble. My brother com­mit­ted sui­cide. I move for­ward in his hon­our. — FULL OF GRAT­I­TUDE IN PHOENIX

DEAR FULL OF GRAT­I­TUDE:

Please ac­cept my sym­pa­thy for the tragic loss of your brother. I’m pleased to help spread the word. Iso­la­tion can be a killer, and in­clu­sion can be a life­saver. Bless you for what you are do­ing. I hope other read­ers will con­sider it and fol­low your ex­am­ple.

DEAR ABBY: How can I tact­fully tell an ele­men­tary school teacher in whose class I as­sist that she uses poor gram­mar and words that aren’t words (i.e., “I boughten this yes­ter­day,” or “Her and me went to the soc­cer game.”)? I am fond of this teacher but feel she’s do­ing a dis­ser­vice to her pupils. Other than that she’s a de­voted, en­er­getic teacher. It is re­ally dif­fi­cult to bite my tongue. — TACTFUL IN THE EAST

DEAR TACTFUL: Chil­dren model their be­hav­iour af­ter the ex­am­ple the adults around them pro­vide. That a teacher would con­sis­tently do what she’s do­ing in a class­room set­ting is shock­ing. How could she have be­come a li­censed ed­u­ca­tor with such poor English skills?

Po­lit­i­cally speak­ing, I don’t think that as her sub­or­di­nate you should take it upon your­self to cor­rect the woman.

I do think this is some­thing you should dis­cuss with the school prin­ci­pal.

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