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Hallmark Nixes ‘Gay’ From Christmas Carol Ornament

(Photo Credit: CNN via Hallmark.com)

(Photo Credit: CNN via Hallmark.com)

KANSAS CITY, Missouri (KCTV) — Since the 1800s, the world has sung the widely known lyric “Don we now our gay apparel” in the song “Deck the Halls.”

Kansas City-based Hallmark changed the words for one of its new holiday ornaments.

Keepsake Artist, Matt Johnson, designed the ornament, a red sweater, to say “Don we now our Fun apparel.” The ornament’s description on the website says, “When it comes to Christmas sweaters, gaudy can be good! Hang up this flashy sweater to make your tree’s outfit complete. With its catchy phrase, Don we now our FUN apparel!, everyone will be in on the joke.”

The ornament has brought complaints to Hallmark’s Facebook page, like Karl who wrote, “Changing the words to Christmas Carols – REALLY?” You can be sure that myself and many others won’t be buying your cards anymore.” Diane wrote, “If you can’t be original then you are nothing at all.”

KCTV5 contacted Hallmark headquarters about the removal of “gay” from the lyrics on the sweater.

Hallmark sent this response:

“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. 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.”

The ornament sells for $12.95 online.

(By Laura McCallister and Amanda Palumbo)

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