Floridian Named Lehman Accidentally Buys Swastika Christmas Wrap, Complains to Media
If this happened to anyone else, wouldn't they just take it back to the store for a refund? This woman decides to have a family conference to make sure it's a swastika and then calls the local tv station. They deem it newsworthy. It's November 9th when this story first breaks, and she's already got a Christmas tree in her living room.
A woman in Florida got an early Christmas surprise -- a bad one -- when she unrolled a sheet of "Christmassy" looking green and gold wrapping paper, only to find it covered with swastikas.
Casey Lehman thought she was getting a bargain when she bought the roll of paper at a $1 store, but instead found herself about to wrap a present with a symbol most closely associated with Nazi Germany.
"I pulled it down from the closet, and for the first time saw it and thought, 'Oh wow. That's really inappropriate'," Lehman told Orlando TV station WESH. She added, "If I had sent this out on my Christmas gifts and someone had pointed it out to me I would have been mortified. I would have been really embarrassed."
The swastika symbol has been around for a long time, and hasn't always had a bad reputation. Swastikas appear on pottery and coins as early as 3,000 years ago, in cultures as diverse as China, Germany and Greece, and it remains a sacred Hindu symbol. However, since it was adopted by Adolph Hitler during World War II, you could say it's fallen out of favor as a design element in Western culture.
The pattern on this wrapping paper, in fact, is most likely an ancient Sanskrit symbol for good luck rather than an actual swastika (a dot included in each quadrant distinguishes it from the Nazi swastika). Either way, Lehman won't be using the paper to wrap any gifts this year. She and her mother and fiancé all agree that the swastika design isn't the kind of Christmas spirit they were looking for.
The manager of Dollar Mania, where Mrs. Lehman bought the paper, denied any knowledge of the design before she brought it to his attention -- but he's definitely making sure he doesn't sell any more of the potentially-upsetting wrapping paper.