DECEMBER 12, 1942
BOSTON, Friday—On Wednesday evening, before leaving Washington, I attended the concert given by the Don Cossack Chorus. Unfortunately, I could only stay half an hour, since I had to be at the broadcasting station early to rehearse my broadcast. However, I enjoyed the concert very much while I was there. Afterwards, I took the midnight train to New York.
I had breakfast at the apartment and continued by train to Westbrook, Connecticut. There I had time to lunch with my friends Miss Lape and Miss Read before proceeding to Fall River, Mass., where I spoke in the evening for the Russian Relief Fund.
Before leaving Washington, I did manage to wrap up quite a number of Christmas presents. This year I am making it a point to give children, in whom I am interested, ten-cent War Savings Stamps books with a certain number of stamps already in them, so they will be inspired to complete them. To their elders, in many cases, I am giving bonds, where I can think of nothing really useful they might want.
I found I could get very attractive folders, and when they are done up with Christmas cards and ribbons they look very giftlike. I haven't, however, near all my homework done for Christmas, but most of my shopping is finished.
In a way, it is hard to take the usual kind of interest in Christmas celebrations, but this is part of the way of life for which our boys are fighting and I think we should carry it on. The traditions which we have built up in our homes and the little ceremonies which we go through on each holiday, are things which our children carry on in their homes when they leave us.
In many cases, metaphorically speaking, they give us the opportunity to join hands with those we love throughout the world. We know that those who have been with us at similar celebrations will be thinking of us and will probably join with us in thought when we rise to toast the absent members of our families as well as absent friends.
This is a busy day. I started with two guests at breakfast, then the group working for Russian Relief in Boston arranged for two and one-half hours of varied activities. In the afternoon, I go to Radcliffe to speak to the students, and later attend the dinner at which I shall be taken into the Phi Beta Kappa fraternity.
I am very deeply honored to be admitted into this society of the learned and I only wish that I thought my academic achievements would really allow me to make an intellectual contribution worthy of my audience this evening. I can only hope that they will be charitable.
Tomorrow morning, I take the train to Brunswick, Me., where I speak in the evening at Bowdoin College, but I shall tell you about that on Sunday.