Amy Dickinson is a general advice columnist.
DEAR AMY: My father has disowned us for voting for someone other than his choice in the recent election. He sent my sister and me an email saying that the president is destroying the country and that he blames us for voting for him. He said, "I will have nothing to do with anyone who voted for him; that includes both daughters." He will not take emails or phone calls. He has a serious heart condition, and I worry about his health. Can anything be done to salvage this loving relationship?
DEAR DAUGHTER: I think the best thing to do is to ignore your father's statement and do your best to move on, without continuing or inflaming the political conversation.
If you live at a distance, send your father a letter where you convey, "I'm so sorry you feel the way you do, Dad. I can tell you are very upset. But I love you regardless, and I want you to know that I'm on your side, no matter what." You are worried about your father's health, so do your best to nudge the door open and then stick your foot into the opening to try to keep some active contact.
In short, I am asking you to be more forgiving and mature than your father is capable of being in order to have a relationship with him.
DEAR AMY: You're good at suggesting gifts for people. I have a big family and low funds this year. Any ideas?
Struggling and GenerousDEAR STRUGGLING: Here's what I did for my own enormous clan last year: I wrote down a family story, created a fun cover for it, and photocopied it for everyone. This is a low-cost and personal gift.
My daughter gives everyone home-baked cookies.
Otherwise, you can donate your time as a service for your family members, or for others in your community. Make cards for each family member telling them what you are doing and make sure to follow through.