Christmas Law Breakers07 Dec, 20222 Mins
Want to know who really takes the law into their own hands?
It’s the characters in all our most well-loved Christmas movies. Spoiler Alert!
Every time Santa goes down a chimney, he’s potentially committing a crime.
So, for a bit of festive legal nonsense, here’s our take on the crimes and criminals taking liberties with the law for the sake of some Christmas cheer. There’s one here that even helped change the law 30 years after it came out.
Yep, the most obvious crime-riddled family-friendly Christmas film is Home Alone. For the parents, there could be a case for child abandonment and neglect. Clearly, burglary is an issue for the villains, and they also impersonate a police officer. As for Kevin, he shoplifts a toothbrush, shoots fireworks underage and uses an air gun to assault the burglars. It’s a bunch of illegal activity crammed into a tinsel-filled children’s film.
Surely there can’t be any legal issues in this one, can there?
Well, ask yourself if that orphanage ever reported the missing baby. Was the adoption legal? Isn’t it trespassing to live in a department store? Surely, the only real crime is if you’ve never watched it before.
Miracle on 34th Street (1947 original version)
This entire film revolves around the legality of Santa Claus. Macy’s Kris Kringle is convinced he’s the real deal, but it comes down to a court to decide if he’s real or needs to be committed to a mental institution. It raises interesting legal issues around faith and the ?£??£?law, plus it takes plenty of creative liberties with the actual law. But it’s a thoroughly delightful festive classic. Kris’s lawyer comes out looking like a hero too.
This 80s festive comedy features Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy and plenty of theft and trespassing. But the interesting crime here is the insider trading our heroes use. It turns out this exact type of trading was legal until 2010, when ‘The Eddie Murphy Rule’ was created to close the loophole. Watch it for the legal precedent, or for giggles.
Tell us your favourite Christmas movie and the lawbreaking in the comments below.