Hallmark removes ‘gay’ from ‘Deck the Halls’ lyric

Posted on: 10:33 am, October 31, 2013, by

Holiday Sweater Keepsake Ornament (photo from Hallmark.com)

Holiday Sweater Keepsake Ornament (photo from Hallmark.com)

Citing the potential for “misinterpretation,” Hallmark replaced the word “gay” on a Keepsake Ornament that features a line from “Deck the Halls.”

The Holiday Sweater Ornament looks like a miniature red holiday sweater on a hanger, with lyrics from the age-old carol printed on the front.

The traditional lyric is, “Don we now our gay apparel!”  Hallmark’s ornament says “Don we now our FUN apparel!”

A statement posted October 30, 2013 on Hallmark’s website defends the decision.

“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 statement said.