DECEMBER 24, 1940
WASHINGTON, Monday—I left New York City this morning and took the 9:50 plane to Washington. The sky was blue and the air was crisp, and gave one a real feeling that winter was with us and we might hope either for snow or skating by Christmas day.
Here I found Christmas packages everywhere and an air of great preparation. The house has been decorated and the lights are in the little trees on the portico, so we look gay at night. Even the President changed his schedule and had not yet left the White House so I had a glimpse of him before he went over to the executive office. His shadow, the little black Scottie, came into my sitting room with him.
I was glad to see the dog back, for he had spent two days before I left at the vets with the usual puppy difficulties. He has returned with a diet. The President, who would hardly be aware of the fact that anybody else in the household was on a diet, spoke to me at once, so that there would be no mistake about "Fala's" food.
I saw the housekeeper and all the rooms are assigned for Christmas and all the meals are planned. Mrs. Helm and I had a last going over of the social functions, because tomorrow I shall be too busy to look at lists of any kind, and she will not have an opportunity until after Christmas. Then I started on my mail, which I don't think I shall finish for a long, long time.
After lunch, I am going to the Dutch shop and to the shop on Connecticut Avenue, where they sell Christmas cards for the British charities. At 4:00 o'clock, members of the executive office force who are off duty tomorrow, will come to the President's office, so that we may have an opportunity of wishing them all a Merry Christmas. After that, several people are coming to tea.
I expect by that time that my mother-in-law and sister-in-law will arrive. It is a long time since I have seen them both, so there will be a real sense of excitement about our reunion. A little bit later, Ethel and little Franklin, III, will arrive and some time this afternoon, I hope Mr. Harry Hopkins and Diana will appear.
I have already received so many Christmas cards that I want to say a word of thanks today. It is very warming to the heart to find that people think of you at Christmas time, and that they so often think of you as a friend. Some of our neighbors near our little apartment house in New York City sent me cards as a neighborly gesture.
From all around us at Hyde Park, cards have come pouring in, as well as from every nook and corner in the United States and from Europe and the Far East. Perhaps the most touching cards have been those with messages written on them in which people say that though in their particular homes, life seems dark and uncertain, the fact that the President is in the White House gives them hope for their future.