DECEMBER 30, 1953
HYDE PARK, Tuesday—Christmas Day is over with all the excitement that children go through at this period of the year. Almost always some of the children are ill from excitement and the week after Christmas is spent recuperating both by the children and their elders. But it is all worth it because so much good feeling and happiness goes into the preparation and finally the culmination of joy on that day.
Now we have the 12 days after Christmas in which we may still enjoy our Christmas tree and burn our Christmas candles. I have never quite lived up to the 12-day period but I always leave our Christmas tree up until after New Year's. We light it every evening as well as burn the lovely big candles which this year we were fortunate in having sent us by different friends.
It is cold and clear weather here in Hyde Park but no snow. In many places there is skating but I think our children would prefer to have it snow.
The picture of the Presidential family in the newspapers was a very lovely picture and I am sure that the President enjoyed this little interlude just as my husband used to do. But the responsibility of the three speeches that must be written during his short retreat must weigh heavily on his mind.
There was also a photograph in our metropolitan papers of the new Mayor-elect, Robert F. Wagner, Jr., and his wife and two boys. Both the President and the Mayor of New York are apt to be a good deal in the public eye during the next years and even family parties will have a certain public interest. For no matter how hard public men try to keep their families from feeling the results of their political position, it is becoming less and less possible to separate the two.
All New Yorkers will feel deep regret at the death of Lee Shubert. He was 78 years old and had built up a vast theatre empire. He was deeply interested in the theatre and his loss will be felt by many people who care about the development and preservation of the live theatre in this country.
I never cease to be grateful that I have so many of my family and always some friends to join me on Christmas Day. We also had the pleasure of talking with some members of our family in Los Angeles. My daughter, Anna, was there and her daughter was here, so it was particularly nice to have the calls come through when we were all together in the afternoon at our Christmas tree and they were gathered for Christmas dinner with my son, Elliott, and his wife.
Our one regret here is that Miss Thompson is no longer with us to join, as she always did, in our celebrations. As time goes on I find how many things we depended on her doing and because she did them so well I almost forgot that anyone had to do them. But now I know and think often with gratitude of an unselfish life that contributed greatly to the happiness of those she was with.
I am looking forward particularly in these holidays to reading a number of books that I have been hoarding for a long time in the hope that an interlude just like this would give me an opportunity to read them.