The good news is that contributions to Children's Hospital are continuing to arrive. The bad news is that the spirit of Christmas is no longer upon us, and the pace of the giving has diminished.

It now appears that we will not match last year's contributions to the hospital. It will be the first time in 30 years that we have fallen short of the previous year's total.

If you think I am crying wolf, check the figures for yourself. The Maryland Metropolitan Alumnae Association of Alpha Delta Pi sorority chipped in $25. Employees of the National Automatic Sprinkler Industry got up a kitty of $37.45. The McLean Panorama Patrol of Girl Scout Troop 488 turned over its entire treasury, $37.93.

The 16 people in DOT's Procurement Operations Division decided that "the best Christmas greeting we could give each other would be a donation to Childfen's Hospital," and $61.20 materialized as a result. Employees of the Defense Civil Preparedness Agency Computer Center chipped in $69. Personnel at Systems Technology Associates, Inc., got up a pool of $76.

As usual, there was no intramural exchange of holiday cards in the FDA's Office of the Associate Commissioner for Compliance, and $85.50 was thereby diverted to provide medical help for a needy child. If you'd like to know what FAA stands for, the Office of Systems Engineering Management there says it stands for the Friendly Aviation Agency, and offers $90 worth of evidence in support of that viewpoint.

ERDA, as we have noted, stands for Energy Research and Development Administration, and the Office of the Assistant Administrator for Conservation there raised $95.20 for the ciildren by agreeing not to exchange inhouse Christmas cards. Over in Northeast, the same idea was good for $101.25 when it was used by employees of Art Services. And when Capitol City Glass Co. employees tried the no-cards plan for the first time, they produced a nifty $130 profit with it.

If you promise not to let the Russians know, I can tell you in strict confidence that the information Services Staff at an agency that will not be headed by Ted Sorensen in the Carter administration sent in $150.

To confuse the enemy, we refer to this group as the Child Improvement Agency, but please don't breathe a word of this to anybody - not even to me. They're not supposed to engage in domestic activities.

The staff of the Laboratory for Solar Physics and Astrophysics at the Goddard Space Fight Center conducted a down-to-earth project that put a $189 dent into the built-in deficit. Personnel at the AIRES project, which is developing a computer system for the Defense Intelligence Agency, had the intelligence to refrain from swapping $217 worth of holiday cards.

The Washington Regional Office of GAO also exchanged no intramural cards, and as a result the hospital with the built-in deficit has $225 less to worry about. At Andrews AFB, "Operation Santa Talk" set up direct radio contact with the North Pole, thanks to the efforts of the amsateur radio operators of the Andrews MARS base support team and personnel of the 2045th Communications Group, and $257.42 in rolling.

At its annual picnic, the Youth Advisory Committee of GSA's Federal Supply Service raised $300 for charity. Now, for reasons unexplained to me," the Youth Advisory Committee is being abolished, so this contribution to Children's Hospital will be our first and last."

As you can see, 17 groups have contributed $2,144,95, and 56 individuals have added $967 to bring "today's" receipts to $3,111.95. The quotation marks are around "today's" because there was no shoebox report yesterday, so this is really a two-day total. Together with the $144,219.18 previously in the shoebox, we now have $147,331.13. But this is almost $25,000 short of last year's total, and with only 12 days left before our campaign ends, I think it is clear that we are not going to close the gap this year.