Posted on December 21, 2022
Are You USCAP-Compliant?
It arrives every year at this time, ushered in with silver bells and stores full of new toys. But there’s a big difference between celebrating the holiday season and upholding its generally recognized ethical and performance standards.
So, before you hang an oversized stocking from the mantel, haul out the holly, slice up the fruitcake, or place a single present under the tree, please acquaint yourself with the current Definitions, Standards Rules, Elf Advisory Opinions, and FAQs found in the newly released Uniform Standards of Christmas Appraisal Practice (USCAP).
This very unofficial addendum to the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) applies through the end of the year. However, despite USCAP’s limited scope, violations can bring some unhappy penalties: candy-cane fines, lumps of coal, or even a place on the naughty list. More importantly, failure to comply with USCAP could trigger an across-the-board decline in Christmas spirit: fewer carolers, more “bah, humbug”-ers, and widespread Krampus sightings, even by children who aren’t misbehaving.
Now, you may be asking: “Who developed these standards, what do they require, and how are they enforced?” All good questions.
The Congressionally authorized Christmas Appraisal Foundation (CAF), a consortium of the jolliest old elves from North America working in consultation with the North Pole’s resident experts, is responsible for the development of USCAP. The CAF’s purpose is to offer guidelines (in a gingerbread framework) of common terms and procedures for developing, assessing, and reporting cheer during the holiday season, roughly defined as Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day. That said, extending these parameters in either direction is in keeping with the generally accepted principle of Joy to the World.
USCAP covers a broad range of topics, from suitable apparel for holiday gatherings to appropriate gift-giving practices and feasting protocols. Moreover, they are descriptive, not prescriptive. The elves who have issued these Advisory Opinions have taken into account that Christmas traditions vary widely from region to region.
For example, paper bag luminarias line the walkways of the Southwest while New Englanders gleefully wrap strings of LED lights around snow-laden firs. Some holiday tables feature a stuffed goose; others serve up clove-studded hams. Whatever the case, USCAP does not endorse one set of traditions over another. They only require that appraisers correctly utilize methods recognized by and acceptable to all stakeholders, holidayers, and holidayees.
We recommend you pour yourself a generous serving of eggnog and follow this link to familiarize yourself with this important document. We’d like to think that your holidays will be merrier and brighter having done so. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from everyone here at LPA!