DECEMBER 25, 1959
HYDE PARK—First, let me wish to all my readers a very happy Christmas.
This is the season when our minds are turned to peace and goodwill on earth, and I am especially glad that this year we may really feel that the atmosphere around us at least is tending to bring about increased meetings between governments, and people can have a greater hope that we are working toward total disarmament and a peaceful world.
We know this cannot happen quickly, we know that it will require hard work—a will to conciliate and trust each other—but we are hopeful as we have never been before, at least in the last few years.
I don't know how many of you go to midnight services, but I always feel that the Christmas season should really begin with that service. From Christmas morning on it becomes more of a Santa Claus festival and the giving of gifts, the Christmas tree, the Christmas dinner where families are gathered together—all take one's mind away from the religious significance which is so important in the real Christmas celebration.
As usual this year, I spent the last few days before Christmas Eve in New York City, joining with a number of my friends in their own special family celebrations. For many years now I have joined with Mr. and Mrs. Joseph P. Lash and their children in their Christmas festivities and it is always very heartwarming to be with their children.
Of course, I have watched this happen in my own family for a long time, and I imagine our children have carried on many of the things they had done year by year through their growing-up period. Now in my case I see some of the grandchildren carrying on to the next generation the same Christmas customs on which they were brought up. This is the way that traditions are carried on, and Christmas is one of our very nicest and warmest traditions.
No Christmas is really completely satisfactory if you have not made some preparation somewhere along the line to add to the joy of people who for one reason or another would not have the means to really celebrate at this season. I am very glad that there is frequently a way to answer the requests that come to the Post Office Department addressed to Santa Claus. When a little girl wants a doll very much or a little boy wants a baseball, it is a sad Christmas indeed which does not produce it on Christmas morning.
There are organizations to fill these needs, but I think that all of us can find certain unfilled needs within our own surroundings which can add to our own Christmas joys if we can find time to think about them as well as about the more immediate family gifts.
Again, a happy Christmas to all my readers and may your holidays be filled with joy.