My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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HYDE PARK—Friday after seeing my two grandchildren off on the 3:30 train for Washington I went to the Women's Trade Union League to preside at the party started a number of years ago by my two youngest boys and since they went off to boarding school continued by me with the cooperation of a number of my friends. This year I had to have it a whole week before Christmas because so many of the family will be in Washington next week that I could not get away. We have about thirty-five children at the Women's Trade Union League party and they are always accompanied by one or both parents or by some friend of the family. They are chosen because for the moment some financial difficulty is facing the family.

My friends, Miss Cook and Miss Schneiderman, had the fun this year of actually making most of the preparations as I could not get over to New York in time to do it myself as usual. The children began their party with a half hour of entertainment, then there were presents for all of them and ice cream and cake for young and old. Miss Cook and I made the late afternoon train for Hyde Park and were busy all Saturday morning preparing for our party at the cottage late Saturday afternoon. Our guests come from my mother-in-law's place, my sister-in-law's place and include our near neighbors, some of whom work in our industries. With all the children we usually find ourselves around sixty people, and first of all we sing carols together, then I bring them some special message from my husband and his mother, if she cannot be there, and after the presents we all have ice cream and cake together. The children usually have a desperate time trying to sit on chairs and hold their plates on their laps without upsetting them. I always feel like suggesting that the floor is a very convenient place to sit but I realize that that might not be considered the proper procedure at the party.

Today is being spent quietly and peacefully in the country and it is nice to have a little absolutely quiet before the next few days in Washington which will be very busy and very pleasant.

TMsd 20 December 1936, AERP, FDRL