Odd Christmas Laws

22 Dec 2021

It has frequently been observed that some laws don’t seem to make a great deal of sense. With Christmas around the corner it is timely to have a look at some current and past laws that seem to confirm this idea. We acknowledge the College Of Law for these examples.

  • In Western Australia it is illegal by statute to partake in public entertainment or amusement on Christmas Day, Good Friday or Sundays if money is being made from the event. Although the Government can make exceptions this law dates from as recently as 1979.
  • You would think that the celebration of Christmas, closely linked as it is to the birth of Christ, would be a celebration encouraged by ardent Church goers. In fact the celebration of Christmas was banned entirely in 1659 by the Puritans of New England. Contravention of this law carried a penalty of five shillings which was a considerable sum. Any person avoiding work or feasting could be said to have contravened the law.
  • In Philadelphia it is illegal to decorate your apartment with a real Christmas Tree. The ban applies in apartment blocks or brownstones with three or more dwellings. The reason is because of the widespread use of central heating for these apartments and their ability to dry a real tree to a point of volatile kindling.
  • As recently as 2004 the United Kingdom passed legislation preventing shops over 3000 square feet in size from opening on Christmas Day in England and Wales. The law was introduced as a consequence of a vocal campaign from religious groups and workers unions who opposed the increasing number of retailers trading on Christmas Day.

Mercifully most of these laws have either passed into history or don’t apply to our own communities.

We hope that you and your families enjoy a safe and happy Christmas and New Year and have no occasion to be worried about laws, nonsensical or otherwise. If you do need assistance in legal matters over the Christmas and New Year periods we advise that our Sutherland Head office will be open every day except for the public holidays although our branch offices in the CBD, at Pennant Hills, at Merimbula and at Bega will be closed from 24 December 2021 to 16 January inclusive.




Greg Dickson
B.Juris. LL.M.
CEO & Accredited Specialist in Family / De Facto Law
Telephone: 9525 8688
Facsimile: 9526 2608
Email: greg@wmdlaw.com.au



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