Tag Archives: changed

Hallmark Controversy: Removing The Word “Gay” From Christmas Carol


Hallmark, a world-renown greeting card company, released a new 2013 Keepsake ornament. The ornament is a Christmas sweater with an altered version of the lyrics to the Christmas carol, “Deck the Halls,” printed across it. Instead of the words, “Don we now our gay apparel,” the ornament reads, “Don we now our fun apparel.” I must admit, I shook my head when I first learned about this. 



A Hallmark Christmas ornament featuring a sweater with the words ”Don we now our fun apparel” is seen in an undated handout picture from Hallmark.



Hallmark’s spokeswoman Kristin Ernestine told The Huffington Post, “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 … 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.” 

Despite this, the change in lyrics offended many people. In a world where everything needs to be politically correct, I think we sometimes get carried away. In this case, the company drew attention to itself by changing the word from “gay” to “fun.” When the song was written, the word “gay” did mean festive or merry or happy. No one was offended by that word in the song and was, honestly, unnecessary. If Hallmark was so worried about creating a controversy, it could have just picked a different song. There are plenty of Christmas songs it could have chosen that are less controversial: “Jingle Bells,” “Winter Wonderland,” “Let It Snow,” “Feliz Navidad.” 

What do you think? Was the change necessary? Do we sometimes get carried away when trying not to offend people? For the full article, click here