President Reagan and his wife Nancy sent a large bouquet of roses -- as did several other political leaders -- to Augusta, Maine, Monday to help celebrate the 90th birthday of former senator Margaret Chase Smith, who adopted the flower as her symbol. Smith, a courageous political voice, was the first woman elected to both houses of Congress and in 1964 became the first woman to have her name placed in nomination for president. She was also there in 1950 to stand up in the Senate and speak out against the tactics of Sen. Joseph McCarthy and his investigating committee.

A number of the state's political leaders showed up at a reception to raise funds for the Margaret Chase Smith Library Center in her home town of Skowhegan. Among them were former governor and senator Edmund S. Muskie, Sens. George J. Mitchell and William S. Cohen and Gov. John R. McKernan Jr. Muskie said he had always been proud to come from the same state as Smith, adding that her reputation still lingers in Washington. At the end of the evening, Smith quipped, "I'm wonderful. I know it ... It's been a little hard to take and still keep my feet on the ground." Out and About Moves to help the homeless and the hungry at Christmastime are well under way in Washington. More than 800 children and their parents were served a Christmas dinner Monday at the National Building Museum, often the site of fancy, expensive dinners. The event, sponsored by the Christmas for the Homeless Committee, occurred the day after the NBC "Christmas in Washington" taping at the building museum, which was attended by the president, and NBC left its Christmas decorations behind for the committee to use. More than 90 Washington-area restaurants and businesses joined together for the celebration, which included such celebrity guests as Redskins Charles Mann, Keith Griffin, Raleigh McKenzie and Steve Hamilton, as well as Washington Bullets Manute Bol and Moses Malone. Among the nonsports celebrities were Santa and Mrs. Claus, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Frosty the Snowman ...

Political satirist Mark Russell, on learning that Gary Hart had decided to get back into the presidential race, first worried about how much rewriting he was going to have to do for his PBS television special tonight. Then he thought about all the new material he could get out of this new development and decided, "My cup runneth over. Gary Hart has given me a Christmas present" ...