(CNN) — One of Hallmark’s ornaments for the holiday season is snowballing into some controversy following the replacement of the word “gay” while quoting “Deck the Halls.”
The red “Holiday Sweater” ornament is decorated with the lyric, “Don we now our fun apparel.”
The traditional line from the famous Christmas song is “Don we now our gay apparel.”
The change caused one Facebook user to comment on Hallmark’s official page, “It’s OK to be GAY!! Fix your dumb ornament!”
“You can be sure that myself and many others won’t be buying your cards anymore,” another Facebook user complained.
Hallmark defended the change in lyrics.
“When the lyrics to ‘Deck the Halls’ were translated from Gaelic and published in English back in the 1800’s, the word ‘gay’ meant festive or merry,” according to a statement released Wednesday. “Today it has multiple meanings, which we thought could leave our intent open to misinterpretation.”
The Hallmark statement went on to explain that the ornament was created in the spirit of “fun.”
“The trend of wearing festively decorated Christmas sweaters to parties is all about fun, and this ornament is intended to play into that,” the statement said. “So the planning team decided to say what we meant: fun.”
It added: “That’s the spirit we intended and the spirit in which we hope ornament buyers will take it.”
The ornament is for sale on the company’s website as part of the Keepsake collection for the price of $12.95.
Hallmark was founded in 1910 and is now a $4 billion business with greeting cards and other products sold in 39,000 retail stores across the United States and in 100 countries worldwide, according to its website.