Internet Displeased With Hallmark For Switching Carol’s Lyrics From “Gay” To “Fun” On Ornament

This sweater is burning up the Internet.

This sweater is burning up the Internet.

In 1794, when “Deck the Halls” was written, if someone said they were having a “gay” time, it meant one thing: Happy. But just because the meaning of that word has changed in the intervening years, many Hallmark customers are not at all pleased that the greeting card company dropped the original “don we now our gay apparel” lyric in favor of “fun” for a new ugly holiday sweater Christmas ornament.

Facebook commentators took up arms against the company’s switch on Hallmark’s page, writing that Hallmark shouldn’t have changed the lyrics in the spirit of being politically correct — and besides, “gay” isn’t a dirty word, said others.

A sample of the outrage:

Don our fun apparel? That’ll be one product I’ll leave sitting on your shelf this year.

Shame on you Hallmark, better start figuring out what you’re going to do with all of those GAY sweaters when they don’t sell.

What’s the matter with Hallmark, changing the Christmas carol to “Don we now our FUN apparel”? Are you worried gays would flock in the thousands to buy your sweater so you’d run out of stock by, oh, November 2? You’re so silly.

“It’s OK to be GAY!! Fix your dumb ornament!”

Shame on you for the new Christmas ornament where you alter the words to ‘Deck the Halls”. It is not politically correct to do so, it is lunacy. Do we ban the word gay from the English language because today it has an additional meaning? Grow up people.

But Hallmark has defended itself by saying it just didn’t want anyone to be confused by which definition of the word “gay” it meant. Or something.

“Hallmark created this year’s Holiday Sweater ornament in the spirit of fun. 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,” Hallmark writes in its history lesson/statement.

“Today it has multiple meanings, which we thought could leave our intent open to misinterpretation. The trend of wearing festively decorated Christmas sweaters to parties is all about fun, and this ornament is intended to play into that, 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.”

Instead of going with that one marketing meeting person who said: “Ooh! This Christmas carol has the word ‘apparel’ in it and we’re selling a sweater! Perfect!”, perhaps it might have been wiser to just assume that most people know that gay also used to mean merry, and go with another promotional tack.

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  1. dan2112 says:

    I do not believe Hallmark should have changed the wording.. However, from a financial standpoint, I can see them being concerned that sales would suffer.

    The common vernacular these days does not equate the word to mean “happy”… It’s used to describe a homosexual male, and very sadly, used to slur someone by calling them gay. To call someone or something “gay” is almost equated to someone using the N word. I imagine their marketing company was concerned that having the word on their sweater would invite complaints from the gay community, the anti-gay community and, at the bottom of the barrel, cause wearers of the sweater to be ridiculed by those who are homophobic or just plain biggoted… There are lot of layers to issues like this, the bottom line, of course, being the bottom line.

    • Scar says:

      I’m glad we have comments again due to comments like this. I understand both sides of the issue. I wouldn’t buy it since they switched the lyrics, but I understand that they’re a business. They need to do what makes more money for them.

    • EducationalGeek says:

      I don’t think they should have changed it either. Too often in today’s society it’s all about not offending someone or a group of people. Their reasoning is misguided.

  2. Raekwon says:

    I am also unsure how I feel about this. People will take it the wrong way regardless of what word is used. Maybe try to find a different song to use.

    • Bullpenny says:

      That particular carol has been around a long time and I’d say most people are familiar with the lyrics. I can’t see many people getting confused by the use of the word “gay”.