There are a lot of Christmas carols out there. Like, karaoke book sections full of them. Thus, it’s kind of hard to understand why Hallmark, when in need of a good song lyric to paste on an ugly sweater Christmas tree ornament, decided to alter a famous holiday line that was sure to annoy just about everyone. The word “gay” was pulled from “Deck The Halls,” changing the wording to “Don we now our FUN apparel!”
Cue the Twitter and Facebook backlash, calling Hallmark everything from homophobic to overly politically correct to just stupid.
Hallmark, which did launch a line of gay marriage cards in 2009, first defended its decision:
When the lyrics to ‘Deck the Halls’ were translated from Gaelic and published in English back in the 1800s, the word ‘gay’ meant festive or merry. Today it has multiple meanings, which we thought could leave our intent open to misinterpretation. … So the planning team decided to say what we meant: ‘fun.’ That’s the spirit we intended and the spirit in which we hope ornament buyers will take it.
Shortly after realizing that that didn’t diminish anyone’s above qualms, the company issued an apology yesterday and pulled the item:
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.
Next time, just stick with “Jingle Bells.”