Sooo, you know that parties are kinda “our thing” around here. I mean, broadly speaking, fun is our thing. But parties are, by definition, fun. Ergo, we love parties. Our biggest party of the year is our annual holiday party. We invite guests, we dress up in shiny, ridiculous clothes that we otherwise wouldn’t wear, we do big giveaways, we eat, we drink, we are merry (maybe even The Merriest). It is very big fun and for us, a group of people who mostly don’t share a common physical workspace, it’s a cherished opportunity to all be in the same room together. 

That’s the plan, anyway. 

But, as we all know, life is what happens when you’re making other plans. So last Friday, Life happened instead of our annual party. Just 30 minutes before the party was slated to start, our venue suffered a catastrophic power loss thanks to a very selfish tree that chose to fall on a local transformer.

Such. A. Bummer. 

Phone calls were made, texts were sent, and a few staff posted up at the front door of the venue to intercept those who were arriving in their holiday finery. And then something remarkable happened. Well, it’d be remarkable if Hello was made up of any other sort of people. But because Hello is made up of Hello People, exactly what you’d expect happened. We gasped in disbelief, we lamented the loss, and then . . . we rallied. Small contingents of folks who had been carpooling from different areas of town found seats at some of Portland’s finer eating establishments, while others seized the moment to have special date nights with their partners and spouses, and still others enjoyed an unexpected but very welcome quiet night at home. In other words, we found the fun. 

On Monday morning, our CEO Sharon Soliday wrote the following in a Jostle post about the evening:

“And fyi, the theme of the year is Growing, Stretching, Laughing.

Not Shrivel, Shrink, & Cry.

Even when things go horribly wrong during a workday, our staff never quit.

I wanted us to push forward, too, to capture the holiday spirit.

This is Hello, after all.” 

So that’s just what we’re doing. We made the most of the evening, and we’ve got plans in the works to share the spirit of giving in other ways this winter. And because it’s Hello, there will always be another party on the horizon. That, you can count on.