DECEMBER 27, 1943
HYDE PARK, Sunday—First, I want to thank all the kind people who have sent us Christmas cards. I think there were more this year than ever before, and so many of them have kind messages written on them. It is, unfortunately, impossible to write to each person who sends in a card, but my husband and I both look them over and they bring us a great deal of happiness each year.
This has been a very wonderful Christmas, for which we personally feel deeply grateful. In spite of hardships and difficulties throughout the world, our men are winning victories and every victory means one step nearer to peace and the happy day when they will be home with us again.
Though two of our boys and our son-in-law were far away, two of them were able to be home. One was here only for 24 hours, but the other one for two or three days. Our daughter was with us and seven grandchildren, besides two old friends, so we felt greatly blessed.
On Christmas Eve, when the President broadcast to the armed forces and to the country, we all gathered in the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library from which he spoke. Some of our neighbors and all the people who are employed by us on the place were with us. The big tree stood where it has stood each year in the middle hall.
We all joined in the Christmas carols as they came over the radio, and then after distributing our gifts, every one had ice cream and cake. There is certainly no dearth of children on our place.
Friday night we had early supper so that as many of our grandchildren as possible could have it with us and listen for a little while to their grandfather's reading of Dickens' "Christmas Carol." He cuts the whole story, of course, but he is so expert at reading it now, he can hold even the small children's attention for a little while.
Saturday we kept entirely for our own family, but today, for an afternoon party, we are having a few of the children from the Wiltwyck School, who could not go home to their own families. Tonight, the first party of 250, including men of the military police school and their wives and sweethearts, will be with us in the library. We have two parties, since they cannot all be off duty at the same time, and this makes it possible to include the wives and sweethearts.
It is the first year since we went to Washington that my husband has not been in the White House. I have been gone twice, once when Franklin, Jr., was in the hospital in Boston, and once when I went to Seattle because Anna was ill. The older grandchildren and our own children were so anxious to be home this year, that I am glad the President felt it was possible to do so.