My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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SEATTLE—I have a great deal to be thankful for this Christmas! There were moments when I was contemplating starting across the continent and during the journey itself when I thought it quite likely I might not reach my destination on Christmas Eve, or for that matter, on Christmas Day.

Everything, however, worked out beautifully, and I owe a debt of gratitude to the various airplane and train officials who made my journey comfortable and agreeable.

Only one other passenger came all the way through to Seattle and on part of the trip she was the only other passenger on the plane. Mrs. Hodges was her name, from Council Bluffs, Iowa, and with the strange familiarity that travel breeds I soon felt she was almost an old friend. In any case, I hope that we shall meet again, for she was a good sport and an uncomplaining traveller.

My son-in-law came for me so early at the train that I had to keep him waiting, but I was certainly glad to see him, and even happier to see a somewhat pale and thin daughter, but one who was evidently on the road to recovery.

The house looked as every proper house should look on Christmas Eve, with wreaths of holly and Christmas greens and mysterious packages behind closed doors.

Anna sat up in bed giving us orders and her small daughter, Eleanor, remarked with an evident gleam of joy in her eye, "Grandmere has to do what Mummy says!" One could see lurking a desire for the day to arrive when Eleanor herself could order her "Mummy" around!

By afternoon the Christmas tree was dressed and by evening everything was ready, and the children hanging up their stockings demanded to know how early they could wake the family, and finally, out of great consideration for their mother, decided on seven-thirty.

The hours on Christmas morning flew by and we could hardly believe it when the call came through from Washington and Fort Worth and we found ourselves talking to members of the family in both places. This three-way hookup occasioned some little confusion, for we were just beginning to say something to Elliott in Fort Worth when Johnny in Washington would break into the conversation. But everyone finally had their say and I was glad to know that the President had read parts of the Christmas Carol to the grandchildren in Washington, as we had read parts of it here to Eleanor and Curtis.

Some friends of Anna's and John's joined us for dinner, and then the children's immediate playmates, those who gather on the grounds every day, came in for the tree. But by four thirty quiet reigned again and the real enjoyment of their Christmas presents began.

Today everybody has been more than willing to rest and think what a pleasant day Christmas is, but how fortunate it is that it only comes once a year, for everyone is so kind we surely would all be spoiled.

E.R.
TMs 26 December 1937, AERP, FDRL