Hallmark has removed "gay" from the lyrics of a popular Christmas carol. The song Deck the Halls traditionally included the line "don we now our gay apparel." Hallmark made the unusual decision to replace "gay" with "fun."
The lyrics are printed on Hallmark's Holiday Sweater Keepsake Ornament. The ornament features a colorful sweater, complete with tiny jingle bells and a large gold bow. The sweater is displayed on a tiny hanger, which doubles as an ornament hook.
The ornament's description suggests artist Matt Johnson was trying to be funny:
"When it comes to Christmas sweaters, gaudy can be good... With its catchy phrase, Don we now our FUN apparel! everyone will be in on the joke."
As reported by ABC Los Angeles, Hallmark removed "gay" from the lyrics to avoid confusion. Spokeswoman Kristin Ernstring pointed out that the definition of gay has changed since the original Christmas carol was written:
"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.."
Vicki Haile Hillman said changing the lyrics was "... a bad decision... downright stupid." She also said she will not be shopping with Hallmark again.
Steve Massy said his "wife is now banned from Hallmark stores." He said the company "is out of touch with reality" and "trashing meanings to be politically correct."
It is not clear exactly why Hallmark edited the lyrics to remove "gay" from the ornament, but it was likely an attempt to be politically correct. Unfortunately, the decision led to a lot of harsh criticism. Despite the backlash, the ornament is still being offered on the company's website for just under $13.