The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers, Digital Edition > My Day
My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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WASHINGTON, Wednesday—Christmas Day! As I went my rounds yesterday I could not help thinking that for no adults could this day be a completely joyous one, but for children it must be. All the joy that one can put into a child's life, should be there. No matter what the future holds, those memories of childhood will help one through.

Yesterday, I started with a party for the children given at the Capital Theatre by the Central Union Mission. As I go to these parties, I am impressed more each year with the complete tractableness of the children of the poor. They are told to stand thus and so, they are given a bag of toys so a photograph may be taken, and then it is taken away again. They look bewildered, but they never protest. It is a quality of reasonableness better fitted to maturer minds and indicative of much experience that one would rather the children never had.

The first party was at 8:45 and from there I drove to Arlington, Va., where a second party, given by the Kiwanis Club, was in progress. To each group I gave the President's good wishes and my own. I was back in the White House at 9:40, going the rounds of the daily routine.

Diana Hopkins had been busy while I was gone and arranged the little creche from the Greenwich House Pottery Shop at the foot of the big Christmas tree. I hope many children noticed it as they took their toys in the afternoon. Today we have it under our little tree on the second floor.

The singing Trapp family, headed by Baron Georg von Trapp paid me a visit about 11:00 o'clock yesterday morning. After telling me many interesting things which they had learned in their travels around our country, they sang two songs, an American one "Home On The Range," and, then in German, the Austrian Christmas carol, "Silent Night." It is one of my favorites, but I don't think I ever heard it more beautifully sung.

I hope that everyone felt as I did about the few words which the President spoke at the lighting of the municipal Christmas tree. It seemed to me that he expressed for us all, whether we are articulate or not, the feelings we have in our hearts this Christmas time.

We all enjoyed the carols sung by the WPA Negro Community chorus on the White House steps last night before we went into dinner. They sang for fifteen minutes and sent us away more appreciative than ever of the fact that our Negro people have a great contribution to make in the musical world.

Early this morning we were all in the President's room, the children and the puppy the center of attraction. I think the grown-ups had more fun playing with the puppy's stocking than in watching the children. Now we are all going to the interdenominational service at the Congregational Church.



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About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, December 26, 1940

Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962
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Digital edition created by The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project The George Washington University 312 Academic Building 2100 Foxhall Road, NW Washington, DC 20007

  • Brick, Christopher (Editor)
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Digital edition published 2008, 2017 by
The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project

Available under licence from the Estate of Anna Eleanor Roosevelt.

Published with permission from the Estate of Anna Eleanor Roosevelt.

MEP edition publlished on 2008-06-30

TEI-P5 edition published on 2017-04-28

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Transcription created from a photocopy of a UFS wire copy of a My Day column instance archived at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library.