Here’s why Hallmark removed ‘gay’ from its Christmas sweater ornament

<i>This post has been updated as indicated below.</i>

A Hallmark ornament that reads “Don we now our FUN apparel!” has some people fuming.

By substituting the Christmas carol lyric from “gay apparel” to “fun apparel” on the sweater-shaped ornament, the greeting card company stirred up a holiday storm. “Pathetic” and “Shame on you” were among the negative responses on the company Facebook page.

In defending itself, Hallmark pointed out that the lyrics for “Deck the Halls” were translated from the Gaelic way back when. So the “gay” of the 1800s isn’t the “gay” of 2013. Such “multiple meanings,” the company said in a statement, “could leave our intent open to misinterpretation.”


[Updated, 11:08 a.m. Nov. 1: Later Thursday, Hallmark amended its statement on the ornament controversy: “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. 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.”

Hallmark spokeswoman Linda Odell told the Los Angeles Times: “There’s been more reaction, from more different perspectives, than anyone here anticipated. Lesson learned.”]

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