The Code of Federal Regulations is 185,984 pages long, according to my colleague Wayne Crews’s Ten Thousand Commandmentsreport. It consists of 50 titles spread over 242 print volumes. Its 1.1 million individual regulatory restrictions cost roughly $1.9 trillion per year. Naturally, some of those rules affect the holiday season.
As a way to spread some holiday cheer, here is a sample of holiday-themed regulations I found in the Cornell University Law School’s Legal Information Institute’s Electronic Code of Federal Regulations database:
- The federal government has a Christmas Tree Promotion Board, as outlined in 7 CFR Subpart A, §§ 1214.40 – 1214.47.
- The Christmas Tree Promotion Board is funded by a Christmas tree tax (“assessment”) that comes with recordkeeping and reporting requirements.
- Christmas tree ornaments must be packaged so that the ornaments are visible (there is a similar regulation for bacon) 16 CFR § 501.2.
- Regulations for Christmas bonuses (cue the Clark Griswold Christmas Vacation jokes) 29 CFR § 778.212.
- Regulations forbid classes from being held on Christmas Day at the United States Merchant Marine Academy, per 46 CFR § 310.64.
- Quarantine notice rules for cut flowers specifically exempt decorative Christmas plants not intended for planting, such as holly, mistletoe, and Christmas trees 7 CFR § 319.74-1.
- If you have a ham for Christmas dinner, make sure it fits the federal definition as given in 9 CFR § 317.8-13.
- Rules for installing a chimney that Santa can shimmy down 24 CFR § 3280.709.
- Eggnog mix is not an egg product, according to 9 CFR § 590.5.
I was also recently quoted in the Washington Times about how these regulations are raising prices at a time when holiday shoppers are already dealing with high inflation. Have a safe and compliant holiday season, everyone!