DECEMBER 18, 1936
WASHINGTON—The ladies of the Cabinet met with me yesterday and decided on their dates for their afternoons at home. It is very pleasant to lunch together and see each other now and then, but after four years there really is very little that we have to decide. We are simply repeating what we have done before, and I always feel that we must get through quickly for I look across the table at Mrs. Garner whose mind is flitting to her husband's office and then back to Miss Perkins who thinks of a whole department waiting for her attention and know that there is no such thing as being carefree for long!
My mail is full of Christmas appeals these days and I only wish that I could answer them all for every one seems to be worthwhile. I have to stick, however, to those interests which have been mine over many years.
If Christmas Eve were not such a busy and very pleasant day here, I should be very regretful that I can not take my grandchildren to the matinee of Hansel and Gretel at the Metropolitan Opera House, which is being given on that day for the benefit of Greenwich House. There are two women in the City of New York, Miss Lillian Wald of the Henry Street Settlement, and Mrs. Mary Simkhovitch of Greenwich House who must have an even busier Christmas than we have here in the White House, for they mother whole sections of New York City, and enter into the Christmas joy of hundreds and hundreds of families!
I was rereading some passages in "The Prophet" by Kahlil Gibran today and came across something which is particularly appropriate to this season I think and so I quote it here:
"Then said a rich man, Speak to us of Giving.
And he answered:
You give but little when you give of your possessions.
It is when you give of yourself that you truly give."
That is something worth remembering for we will not truly enjoy ourselves unless we give of ourselves.
An interesting letter came to my desk today telling me that in the City of New Rochelle, New York, a Citizens Advisory Committee has recommended to the Board of Education that a study be made of "the special adaptations made for Negro children and youth in a number of cities that have attempted to meet this issue on a high plane." There is apparently a problem in connection with the education of negro children. They are planning a better course of study adapted to them and better education on the part of the community to increase better feeling and cooperation between colored and white people. This seems such a sensible thing to do that I am wondering if it might not be followed out in many other places.