The holidays are a time for celebration — except when you feel there’s not much to celebrate. Public relations firm LaForce, who boasts a diverse client list ranging from lifestyle brands Target and Banana Republic to luxury brands Swarovski and Perry Ellis, have chosen to cancel their annual holiday party based on the recent results of the U.S. presidential election.
“Make America Merry Again”
The party, which has a history as being a raucous celebration of the holidays, was a themed affair, with invitations pre-printed and sent before the results of the presidential election on November 8th. The invitation contained an illustrated depiction of Hillary Clinton, wearing a Santa suit and waving a flag, above the caption, “Make America Merry Again.” Guests were told to come attired “patridiotically.”
When the election results returned, publicist James La Force and husband Stephen Henderson were traveling in Japan. In touch with employees of their New York-based firm who were in tears over the results, the duo thought of immediately returning to the United States. “I felt so bad. We thought of cutting our trip short,” LaForce said to Angle News.
Calling it off
The party, which was scheduled for December 19th at the Irving Plaza, had an expected guest list of over one thousand invitees, and was set to feature thousands of feet of red, white and blue bunting. However, after taking time to reflect on their feelings after the election results were finalized, the couple chose to cancel their party instead. “We just decided we couldn’t go through with it,” LaForce told the New York Post.
In a letter announcing the cancellation, invitees were told, “We envisioned an extra-cheerful celebration of Hillary Clinton’s presidency […] Alas, Election Day did not go as we’d hoped. So it’s with deep regret that we are canceling this year’s party.”
“As Hillary said in her concession speech: ‘Let us have faith in each other. Let us not grow weary, let us not lose heart, for there are more seasons to come,’” the letter finished, containing a teaser for continuation of what has become an industry tradition, just “not in 2016.”
Where the budget is going
LaForce informed invitees that the remainder of the budget from the party would be given to charity, specifically to Planned Parenthood, Housing Works, and the Stonewall Foundation.
When asked if he was worried that there would be ramifications from some of his Republican clients, LaForce indicated that he wasn’t. “Everybody gets where we are coming from,” said LaForce.
While one party does not come to pass this season for political reasons, many others are quietly hoping that there will be more to celebrate next year, once uncertainty has passed and futures seem more assured.