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Even though some laws can be a bit strange or outdated they can sometimes be useful and even entertaining.  We thought we would share our favourite Christmas-related laws to put us in the Christmas spirit but to also keep us out of trouble this festive season.

Find out the truth behind these Christmas laws:

Is eating mince pies on Christmas day illegal?

Oliver Cromwell banned mince pies and other Christmas treats in the 1650’s in order to tackle gluttony. The ban didn’t survive for long and the act of eating mince pies is now just a myth.

Nowadays it is virtually compulsory to eat mince pies on Christmas Day!

Is it illegal to sell Christmas Crackers to a person younger than 12 years old?

Yes, it is illegal: incredibly, they count as ‘pyrotechnics’. The Pyrotechnic Articles (Safety) Regulations 2015 states that an “economic operator must not make a pyrotechnic article available on the market to a person younger than 12 years”.

Is it illegal to place a stamp of the Queen upside-down when sending Christmas cards?

David Brent once told us that it was illegal to destroy an image of the Queen (he was talking about burning money), but he was wrong. Even though the Treason Felony Act 1848 clearly states that any act to depose the monarch is an offence, the Act does not refer to stamps. It certainly isn’t illegal to place a stamp upside-down.

Is it illegal to be drunk on at the pub?

Technically… yes, as weird as that sounds. According to the Licensing Act 1872 “every person found drunk on any licensed premises, shall be liable to a penalty”. It is also an offence under the Metropolitan Police Act 1839 for the “keeper of a public house to permit drunkenness or disorderly conduct on the premises.”

Is it illegal for pawnbrokers to open on Christmas Day?

This law no longer stands, but the Pawnbrokers Act 1787 did prohibit pawnbrokers from opening their shops on Christmas Day.

Can I drive with my Christmas tree on top of the car?

According to rule 98 in the Highway Code drivers must not overload their vehicle or trailer. Objects must not stick out dangerously and must be secured safely. Transporting your Christmas tree by car is not illegal but it needs to be done safely: have a look at this advice from

Are outdoor Christmas decorations illegal?

People all over the UK love to decorate their gardens and the outside of their homes with Christmas lights this time of year. Outdoor Christmas decorations are not illegal, but they can be if any complains are made about the lights.

Christmas lights are deemed a statutory nuisance if the artificial light is unreasonably and substantially interfering the use or enjoyment of a home and if it can injure health or be likely to injure health.


If you have any questions about Christmas related laws, please contact us today! Happy Holidays from all of us at DMA Law.