DEAR MISS MANNERS: Our father just passed away a couple of months ago. Now that Christmas is coming, we'll be sending our mother cards. One sister wants to address the card to both our parents, but I don't think that's right. What is the correct way without hurting our mother's feelings and not forgetting our father?
GENTLE READER: Your sister wants to spare your mother's feelings by allowing her to believe that you have all forgotten that your father can't receive mail because he is dead?
Miss Manners agrees that this is a really bad idea. But so is lobbing an ordinary Merry Christmas at a new widow. Surely you want to go beyond sparing your mother to comforting her. If you and your sisters cannot be with her at Christmas, you should each be writing her letters expressing how much you feel for her on this occasion and how much you miss your father.