The 2013 holiday season is already proving to be not-so-merry for Hallmark. The greeting card company has come under fire for a controversial Christmas ornament, but the company is still planning to sell the item. The questionable “ugly sweater” ornament features the lyrics to the popular Christmas carol “Deck the Halls,” but the word “gay” has been changed to “fun.”
According to a November 1 report by ABC News, Hallmark released a statement that explained that the while the word 'gay' used to mean “festive or merry,” today the word “ has multiple meanings, which we thought could leave our intent open to misinterpretation."
The company released another statement which said: “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. We never intend to offend or make political statements with our products and in hindsight, we realize we shouldn't have changed the lyrics on the ornament."
Hallmark's website describes the ornament like this: “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.”
According to Fox News, the ornament was designed by keepsake artist designed by Matt Johnson. The item retails for $12.95.
A Hallmark spokeswoman told Kansas City’s KCTV 5 that production and shipping schedules would make it impossible to change the lyrics on the ornament this year. "So it stays as it and remains for sale," the Hallmark rep said.