It’s been two days since All Hallow’s Eve. So, obviously, the Christmas season is officially underway, and then some! It’s been gathering like gently falling snow for a least a month. Now it’ll blow like a blizzard, if you get my drift.
‘Tis the season to rip your neighbor to shreds and malign his motives. I love this time of year. Is it the cold? The delightful weather? The darkness and the days growing shorter by the minute? This assumes, like me, you live in the Northern Hemisphere, like the big guy himself. Winter is that special time of year when even the Earth is trying to escape the sun to the tune of 23.4 degrees of axial tilt. Now why isn’t something like that commemorated in holiday merriment?
Maybe that’s why we’re filled with the urge to lift our voices in song. I feel like it. Right now. Sing with me, won’t you?
“Don we now our fun apparel. Fa-la-la, fa-la-la, W-T-F!”
Hold your horses there, Santa Claus. I’m offended. Yeah, that word, “Don.” What the hell is that supposed to mean? Is that some sort of veiled reference to Zorro a.k.a. Don Diego de la Vega? Or, perhaps, Don, the guy who punched me in high school?
Either way, them thar is fightin’ words.
Oh, wait. I see what you did there. You exorcized the word “gay.” Ahhhh. How very festive.
As you can see, Christmas is a time of the year when we get touchy with each other, and I don’t mean that in a mistletoe kind of way.
So Hallmark is on a mission to make Christmas less gay. Ho ho ho! I guess if Hallmark ever goes into the analgesic heat rub business they’ll simply call their product “Ben.”
Or, what if Hallmark buys a shampoo company? Will the airways be filled with merry jingles like, “I’m gonna wash that gay right out of my hair!”
We’re not talking about companies like Chick-fil-A, J. C. Penney or IKEA here. Hallmark is not generally known as a company that goes out of their way to make political statements. But here they are, putting out a Christmas ornament with an “ugly sweater” theme, and the modified lyrics, “Don we now our fun apparel.”
What are we supposed to make of an editorial change like that?
Come on, this is serious business. We’re talking about ornaments here, people!!
The story went viral, of course, after comments on Facebook were more anti-festive than Burgermeister Meisterburger hunting down some toys. Many of the commenters leveled charges of “homophobic bias” against the greeting card company.
Oops. Hallmark just stepped in something worse than reindeer poop.
Can you imagine the reaction over at FOX News? It must have been total confusion. On one hand someone was changing the lyrics of a beloved Christmas song. Was this yet another flank attack in the ongoing War on Christmas? (Sponsored by Viagra.) On the other hand, they did remove the dreaded g-word, after all. No, not that G-word. That can’t be a bad thing, can it?
This must have put them into a real tailspin of confusion. This is a merry time of year!
Now, your initial reaction to a story like this might be, “Well, this is Hallmark. Obviously this is all some sort of jolly misunderstanding.”
Nope. By their own admission they deliberately took the “gay” out of the song. As if “donning apparel” is the straightest thing you could do.
In a statement, Hallmark said:
Today [the word “‘gay”] 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.
Yes, it’s Hallmark’s job to improve time-honored Christmas lyrics lest we idiot shoppers misunderstand them. I think that’s part of their mission statement. Fa-la-la, fa-la-la, la la la!
Later, of course, they backtracked a bit. “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.”
I ran that through the Yuletide Translator and got this: “We think you’re a bunch of overreacting babies. We’re not sorry about what we did, just that it raised concern. We love money. We want to play both sides and sell lots and lots of products.”
Well played, Hallmark. You should really think about adding writing to your business model.
I can’t but help think about that one year they released the Galileo shuttlecraft Christmas ornament based on the original Star Trek television series. What kind of statement was that? An attempt to mix science and Christmas? Boo. Hiss!
I guess, in retrospect, something like this was as inevitable as Frosty watering up like the Wicked Witch of the West.
To get in the spirit of things, I’ve decided to put on my R&D sorting hat complete with jingle bells – 50 points to Hufflepuff – and help Hallmark design a new line of politically correct ornaments based on beloved Christmas songs. Come on, it’ll be fun, like a snowball to the groin!
We Three Outdated Imperialist Dogma Monarchs
Duh. The word “King” is sexist.
Away In A Non-Approved Sleeping Area
A manger is no place for a newborn and you don’t have a government-approved crib. Somebody call Child Protective Services. This child is being placed in protective custody.
Hey, buddy. This is America. We have freedom of speech! No one tells me to be quiet! Boot in yer ass. Yee-haw!
We Wish You A Seasons Greetings
Seriously? Do you want a war on your hands? You’re practically begging for it.
Grandma Got Run Over By A John Deer
The ASPCA has a bone to pick with you! Your original lyrics request did not receive their endorsement because it cast a member of the animal kingdom in an unfavorable light.
Frozen Dairy Dessert the Snowman
Sorry. We got sued by Wendy’s. We have no further comment regarding matters currently under litigation.
Marshmallows Roasting On An Open Fire
“Chestnut” is a very unfortunate word. A “chest” or “nut” exposed to a heat source is too horrible to even contemplate. These songs are supposed to be merry, not scary!
Hallmark, give me a jingle! Let me know if I got the job! I’m even available for seasonal work. Ha ha.