Dear Abby

DEAR ABBY: My husband and I were married for 35 wonderful years, and Christmas was our favorite time of year. As I sit here this morning, I remember all the time we wasted worrying about getting the "perfect" gift for everyone, when in reality the most perfect gift you can give is yourself and your love.

We had seven beautiful kids, 23 beautiful grandchildren and five adorable great-grandchildren, so it took a lot of time to shop for everyone. I realize that the most perfect gift would be to have my darling husband here with us. He passed away Oct. 10, 2003.

I now understand that the perfect gifts were the love and closeness we shared together, and you can't buy that in any department store.

So, Abby, please suggest to your readers that when they're agonizing about finding the perfect gift, they should look right under their own noses. They may find they already have it. -- MISSING HIM IN OHIO

DEAR MISSING HIM: Thank you for the poignant reminder that too often we take for granted those intangibles that are the most precious. You and your darling husband shared a life together filled with an abundance of riches. I hope that knowledge will bring you comfort during this time and for the rest of your holiday seasons to come.

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DEAR ABBY: Please warn your readers that their Web pages and blogs could stand in the way of securing a job! Just as employers have learned to read e-mail and blogs, they have learned to screen candidates through their sites.

Many people in their 20s and 30s wrongly believe their creations are entertaining and informative. Employers are not seeking political activists, evangelizers, whiners or tattletales. They do not want to find themselves facing a lawsuit or on the front page of a newspaper because a client, patient or parent of a student discovered a comment written by an employee.

The job market is tight, and job seekers must remember their computer skills can either help them land a position or destroy a job prospect. -- CHICAGO EMPLOYER

DEAR EMPLOYER: You have opened up a line of thought I'll bet a lot of job applicants -- and future job applicants -- have never considered. Googling a name isn't difficult, and it could lead to an applicant's blog. Most bloggers write to be read, and invite people to comment. Thank you for the reminder that those who blog should remember that they are open to public scrutiny, and that if they apply for a job, everything about them will be considered -- including their blog. Prospective employers are certainly within their rights to make decisions based upon what they read.

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DEAR ABBY: Last week, my family suffered the loss of my grandfather. He was Catholic, the only Catholic in our immediate family, and his funeral was held in a Catholic church as he wished.

When it came time to receive communion, a family friend encouraged my grandmother and the rest of the non-Catholic family members to receive communion. Should we have received communion out of respect for our grandfather, or was it right to stand by our own beliefs? -- GRIEVING IN VIRGINIA

DEAR GRIEVING: You showed respect for your grandfather by attending his funeral. Communion is a sacred rite in which only practicing Catholics participate. You were correct to refrain from doing so.

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Good advice for everyone -- teens to seniors -- is in "The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It." To order, send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $5 (U.S. funds only) to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)

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