Christmas Eve, and many, many people will be making plans to spend time with their family. But sometimes, sadly, there are painful gaps in the family circle. Loved ones who have passed away and will only be recalled in memory and reminiscence. We will miss them.
But 'missing' can have more than one meaning. People who go missing are a great fascination for writers - crime writers in particular - a mystery with so many possibilities. In real life the pain of not knowing must be unimaginable.
The commemorations this year for the outbreak of the First World War brought home just how many young men were missing in action - soldiers who have no known grave, commemorated by name only on war memorials.
For those who will be missed - this Christmas.