Bizarre Holiday Laws You Never Knew Existed

In the spirit of the holiday season, we’re sharing some of the most bizarre holiday laws that really do exist. Believe it or not, there are some wild legal do’s and don'ts for this crazy time of year.

Debt Grace Period

In 1837, Louisiana passed a law that made December 25th a debt grace period. If someone has a debt that has come due on Christmas Day, they have one extra day, until December 26th, to make their payment, interest-free. 

Misdemeanor for throwing snowballs

We’d suggest being careful where you chuck your snowballs in Provo, UT. They have a city ordinance that restricts residents from using a snowball or any object that could be labeled as a “missile,” to inflict damage to others’ property. The ordinance states “Every person who shall willfully or carelessly within the limits of this city throw any stone, stick, snowball or other missiles whereby any person shall be hit, or any window broken or other property injured or destroyed or in such manner as to render travel upon the public streets and places of the city dangerous, or in such a manner as to frighten or annoy any traveler, is guilty of a misdemeanor.” 

No live holiday tree? Say WHAT?

New York City has a law that prohibits the display of natural Christmas trees in retail stores. Similarly, Philadelphia forbids the display of live trees in high rise buildings or any building that houses more than two families. The reason being in both cases that the live trees are considered a fire hazard. 

Holiday tree tax

In 2011 a 15¢ tax was added to every holiday tree sold in the U.S. Its purpose is to fund a marketing campaign to improve the “national research and promotion program for Christmas trees” in order to “strengthen the position of fresh-cut Christmas trees in the marketplace and maintain and expand markets for Christmas trees within the United States.” Technically speaking it was never intended to be a true “tax” but rather an approved method to boost the sales of live holiday trees. 

No saving parking spots on snow-covered streets in Philadelphia

You may have a big holiday gathering planned but make sure your preparations don’t include attempting to save parking spots for your guests! Philadelphia residents have been known to shovel out parking spots and reserve them for visitors by placing various objects in the spaces. The local police department has made it routine to annually remind residents that there are “no savesies” when it comes to wintertime parking.

Better take down your holiday lights on time!

Many states have laws that specify when you have to take your holiday lights down. For example, in San Diego, they have to come down by February 2. If they’re not down by then, you may face fines up to $250! In Maine, you may get fined as early as January 15!

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