My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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NEW YORK—A little girl with black curly hair was standing up with the magician doing some trick when I reached the Women's Trade Union League at 247 Lexington Avenue yesterday afternoon. Whatever it was seemed to delight the children for peals of laughter rang out. A little later the magician collected gold pieces in a bowl from the youngsters' ears and noses and collars and sleeves and again they were overjoyed. I thought I saw a gleam of wistful desire on the faces of some of the mothers as these gold pieces dropped with a clink into the metal container. None of us grown-ups had seen so much gold in many a long year and I looked apprehensively around for the Secretary of the Treasury or one of his representatives. Then I went up to thank the magician to tell him how much we had all enjoyed his performance I found that his name was Simms, and that he had grown up on our cousin's place at Barrytown. He told me he knew all the Delanos very well and tried to go up at least once a year. What a small world this is, —full of strange coincidences!

While we were talking, ice cream and cake was being handed the children and in the front row sat some very wee boys and girls. The cakes were in paper containers and I suddenly saw the smallest child in front of me eating her cake, paper and all! I decided that another year I'd take the papers off the cakes and if possible, buy the ice cream in cones, for the children have a terrible time eating with spoons and the slabs of cream slide off the plates onto their laps, and then onto the floor.

I find that every year as you give parties you acquire new ideas. This year the giving out of presents was so well arranged by Miss Rose Schneiderman and the staff at the League that everything went with absolute precision, nobody was forgotten, nobody got the wrong toys, and happiness seemed to reign. If we go on long enough perhaps we will even get the food exactly right.

I was back at my apartment by six and spent a very happy evening with a friend. We always try sometime before Christmas to get together for an evening, but I find that these traditional fore-gatherings are not always the happy occasions which you look forward to! One or the other may not be in just the mood for a pleasant dinner and an evening of conversation, and then the whole party is spoiled, but last night all went well and I felt the true spirit of Christmas reigned with us.

An hour with the dentist this morning, and that certainly isn't in the Christmas spirit, but one must go when one can, and now I am just waiting around to meet my brother's steamer. He will probably get off and leave before I can even find him, but I am going to make the effort and if I miss him I'll just come on back to the apartment and hope to find him there.

E.R.
TMsd 21 December 1937, AERP, FDRL