Hallmark has removed the word "gay" from a 4-inch "Deck the Halls" Christmas sweater ornament and used "fun" instead.
The original lyrics, “Don we now our gay apparel,” date back to 1866.
But now Hallmark is using “Don we now our FUN apparel!”
When the lyrics were written in the 19th century, the word gay meant "happy" and "festive," but these days usually refers to homosexuality.
Hallmark appears to be worried that its customers are uneducated, unaware of the song's history and will be offended.
"Hallmark created this year's Holiday Sweater ornament in the spirit of fun," Hallmark spokeswoman Kristin Ernsting told NBC Los Angeles. "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," added Ernsting. "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.'"
According to UpNorthLive.com, a teacher at the Cherry Knoll Elementary School in Traverse City, Mich. removed the word "gay" from the "Deck the Halls" song in 2011 because some school children were giggling.
Fortunately, the song was restored by the principal Chris Parker, who described it as a teachable moment for both the teacher and students.
However, there will not be a teachable moment for Hallmark customers.
Sources: Hallmark.com, Wikipedia, UpNorthLive.com, NBC Los Angeles