My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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HYDE PARK, Tuesday—This is Christmas Day, a day which every child anticipates and longs for, far before its arrival. I came up yesterday from New York, having been somewhat busy trying to take care of some of the things which must be done in anticipation of being out of the country for some time.

We arrived in time to have my son and his family lunch at my cottage and then made our way through the snow up the hill to his cottage, which my husband built, and to which Elliott had invited the people on the place for the annual Christmas party. It was my mother-in-law's custom, as well as my husband's, to gather around our Christmas tree on Christmas Eve all those who live here, give them their gifts, sing Christmas Carols, have refreshments and part with mutual wishes for a happy Christmas.

Had I been alone this year, I think I would not have had the heart to keep up this custom in spite of the fact that I am quite sure both my mother-in-law and my husband would want it to go on. So I was particularly glad that one son at least is living here.

Though it was not a happy time for any of us since everyone felt too keenly the loss of the warm handshake and the welcoming smile which they had counted on for so many years, still I think those who could be with us were glad that the old Christmas customs were being continued.

The rest of us had an informal supper at the top cottage and then set to work preparing for Santa Claus' advent. The red stockings which I keep from year to year were all hung up by the fire place in the big living room.

We started early for the night service in our little village church and it seemed a very short time from the hour that we went to bed and the awakening this morning when our young fry in my cottage insisted that we must get up and go up to the top cottage to share whatever Santa Claus had brought. Then we all had breakfast together.

Some old friends are staying with me, Major Henry Hooker, Miss Lorena Hickok, Miss Nancy Halliday besides my cousin, Mrs. Forbes Morgan and her children. My sister-in-law, Mrs. J. R. Roosevelt, was with us in the afternoon and again today for Christmas dinner. The children are, as usual, much too excited really to enjoy their gifts, but that will come in the course of the next few days. After all, Christmas joys and toys have to last for a whole year.

The children had a short rest after Christmas dinner while their elders sat before the fire and talked and then we went back to the top cottage. The Christmas tree was lighted again and we opened packages until the children's bed time.

E.R.

TMs, AERP, FDRL