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CANCELING RESERVATIONS: Two perennials of the holiday season have been cancelled because of the poor economy: The Estee Lauder Cos. annual Christmas party and the Conde Nast lunch at the Four Seasons. The Conde Nast lunch is usually thrown in early December and hosts nearly 100 of of the company’s editors and publishers (the seating chart is dissected endlessly by media watchers to determine if proximity to chairman S.I. Newhouse Jr. indicates anything). Chief executive officer Charles Townsend informed his executives Wednesday afternoon, via an interoffice memo. “Given the times we’ve decided to forego our traditional holiday lunch,” he wrote.

Meanwhile, Estee Lauder cancelled its holiday party for the media, which was set for Nobu 57 on Dcec. 1. “After much thought and consideration, we have decided that, at this moment in time, it is more appropriate to thank you and celebrate in another way,” the company said. “To express our gratitude for your support and to recognize our invaluable, deep relationships, The Estée Lauder Cos. will be making a donation in your honor to Dress for Success. So, although we will be cancelling the party, you are very much in our hearts as we give to others less fortunate at a time when many are in even greater need than ever before.”

The two firms aren’t alone. Hearst Magazines had already cancelled its holiday party at the Hearst Tower, while Marc Jacobs International also dropped plans for a “rock ‘n’ roll circus” themed holiday party.

— Stephanie D. Smith

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