Eleanor Roosevelt – My Day: February 1-7

February 2, 1938

“WASHINGTON, Tuesday—We had movies for ten very well-behaved children yesterday afternoon. I decided the industry has learned how to appeal to the young, for even the one-and-half year old children sat perfectly quiet for three-quarters of an hour. I learned another lesson, and that is children do not consider they have received a present unless it is wrapped up in paper and tied with ribbon.

Because the children were small, I thought it would be less confusing if I placed a small gift at each place around the supper table. One little girl held hers in her hand, turned around and demanded a present. It was not until her aunt put it into an envelope and tied it, that she was content and seemed to consider it a gift.

I should have had sense enough to realize this, for I know that the outer wrappings are always half the fun of what I receive. We so often make the mistake of thinking children are different than we are, when, in reality, they react in much the same way we do to the pleasures and pains of life…”

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