DECEMBER 27, 1951
HYDE PARK, Wednesday—I had a very interesting time during the few hours I stayed in Amsterdam between planes on my way home for the holidays. I am grateful to Dr. A. Plesman, head of the KLM Airlines for taking us to a very delightful place a short way out of town for tea. This was a house built of old brick that had been painted white and turned into a restaurant. It still had the atmosphere of a home but had many copper utensils on exhibition in the different rooms.
Our trip home was smooth and uneventful and we reached New York on Sunday only about half an hour late. I had a glimpse of my three sons as we were sternly motioned toward the proper entrance and I wasn't allowed to speak to them until I had been through the formalities, which however, were quickly accomplished. The press and the radio kept me a considerable time asking me questions, but finally we were off and the three boys and their wives had a belated lunch with me in New York City.
I want to thank all the many kind friends who remembered me with Christmas cards or with a gift. I may not get around to thanking each one separately, but I want to assure you that your thought has been much appreciated.
On coming from the countries of Europe, the ease of life in the United States and the amount of things there are to be enjoyed strike one right away. One is not surprised at the feeling some of the delegates to the United Nations have that this country thinks too much about "things" and too little about its soul.
One of the first things that strikes you is the voluminous size of the daily newspapers here. Six pages is a fairly good-sized paper in Europe, and an eight-to-twelve-page edition is almost unheard of.
It is so difficult to obtain paper of every kind that you are grateful if a friend gives you something in a paper bag so that you can have it to use in shopping. Even today in England at least, shopkeepers would rather not wrap up a parcel and beg you to be prepared to take whatever you buy in your own wrappings and not expect them to provide such luxuries.
It was good to be home for Christmas and I think the children had a happy time. I know that for myself I was glad to have taken the trip from Paris just to be with them at this season.