With Halloween now history, businesses are revving up the Christmas shopping season, and Hallmark is getting off to a rocky start.
The greetings and gift giant apologized Thursday for one of its intended-to-be-jolly creations: An ornament shaped like an ugly Christmas sweater, adorned with the words, "Don we now our FUN apparel."
That's an allusion to the line from "Deck the Halls": "Don we now our gay apparel." But gay doesn't mean what it did in the 19th century, when the carol's words were written. And some people got upset at Hallmark's apparent attempt to be politically correct.
"To me ... 'gay' still means happy -- joyful -- I refuse to let the word [be] hijacked by the same-sex relationship community," one Facebook commenter wrote on the company's wall Thursday. "I will also avoid Hallmark from this point on."
Another: "It's extremely sad to see a company like this one scared to death that they are not politically correct and change the words to Christmas carol. Wow! Time to buy somewhere else. I don't support fools."
In a statement obtained by the Kansas City Star, Hallmark expressed its regret for the PR crisis.
"We've been surprised at the wide range of reactions expressed about the change of lyrics on this ornament, and we're sorry to have caused so much concern," Hallmark said. "We never intend to offend or make political statements with our products, and in hindsight, we realize we shouldn't have changed the lyrics on the ornament."
War on Christmas: Canceled.