Earlier this week we had reported that card company Hallmark had re-jigged the 200-year-old Christmas carol Deck The Halls for a four-inch “Holiday Sweater” keepsake ornament in the shape of a thick, red Christmas jumper covered with jingly bells. The Christmas sweater displayed the changed lyrics, “Don we now our FUN apparel!” on its knit instead of the traditional “Don we now our GAY apparel.”
The company in it’s initial press release advised concerned retailers that the reason behind the change of lyric was because it didn’t want to confuse customers:
“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,”
Not confirming whom they had most offended by the decision to change the lyrics for their ornament or where the complaints had come from, Hallmark has since apologised for changing the well known Christmas carol.
“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,” Hallmark said in a Twitter post. “We never intend to offend or make political statements with our products, and in hindsight we realise we shouldn’t have changed the lyrics on the ornament.”