To charge for Christmas lunch?

(314 Posts)
katie3677 Mon 14-Dec-09 12:36:48

My parents are away this Christmas and as we are housesitting for them we will for once have space to have all of DH's family over for Christmas lunch (10 adults, 7 kids), so have all been invited. Last year DSIL did Christmas lunch at her house and I helped. We were all tasked with bringing something, and whilst she did the main course, I did starter and Christmas pudding and brought champagne (well, prosecco actually) for Champagne cocktails. DBIL's girlfriend was tasked with bringing wine, but rang me at midday on Christmas day to say could I bring wine as she had drunk it all the night before. She promised to pay me for it but never did.
As a result, I have decided this year that instead of divvying up jobs etc, (which didn't work out fairly at all last year) that I will charge each adult £25 towards the cost, no charge for the kids, and I will do all the shopping, cooking and preparing, so all they have to do on the day is turn up, eat and drink. I thought this was quite a kindness, but DBIL's girlfriend has taken issue with this and I am struggling to get themoney off most of them up front.
We are by no means rich and it would cost me a fortune to do Christmas lunch for this amount of people, so I thought this was the fairest way. AIBU to think that this is fair?

Morloth Mon 14-Dec-09 12:38:32

You can't charge family for Christmas Lunch, you just can't. Either get them to bring stuff or don't have it.

It isn't going to go down well.

traceybath Mon 14-Dec-09 12:40:12

I agree with morloth - I seem to say that a lot smile.

Ask them to bring stuff if necessary a few days before xmas.

Laquitar Mon 14-Dec-09 12:40:18

shock

FiveGoMadInDorset Mon 14-Dec-09 12:40:57

I am not surprised it isn't going down well.

katie3677 Mon 14-Dec-09 12:40:58

Why not? Surely it is fairer on everyone this way, and it means that those that are pretty useless can't get away with not bringing anything, as per last year. hmm

OrmIrian Mon 14-Dec-09 12:41:04

Surely if you get someone to provide the turkey that would cut the cost a lot. And then someone else (more reliable) to bring the wine.

I don't think you should charge them.

MissGreatBritain Mon 14-Dec-09 12:41:09

I don't think it's unreasonable, but I do think it seems "wrong" somehow. The idea of everyone chipping in is great, but seems much nicer if everyone contributes food or drinks instead. And after all, if they don't bring them, then they don't get fed, so it's in their interests, whereas if they don't pay I'm sure you'll still end up providing everything so will be out of pocket.

If I were you, I'd stick to the main course, asking someone else to do starters, another to do pudding (on the premise that it's a lot of work for one person) and then ask each couple/family to bring a bottle of wine. That way, everything's covered.

greenday Mon 14-Dec-09 12:42:08

I wouldn't feel good about charging for X'mas, neither would I feel good about being charged too.

you just can't

no matter how good an idea it seems it appears cheeseparing in the extreme

you can ask people to bring a dish
but thats it

if you can't afford to host that many people you don't invite them
easy as that

It's not really much of an invite if you have to pay for the privilege. If you don't want th feed them all, then don't!

If I wanted to pay for Christmas lunch I'd go to a restaurant, not to visit family.

and £25.00 is a lot-what on earth are youfeeding them?

i would say 'no thanks verymuch ' and have dinner at home if i were them

katie3677 Mon 14-Dec-09 12:45:22

I get what your saying, but last year proved that they just wouldn't do it, and I am a bit of a control freak, so would rather have everything I need there and ready to cook, rather than finding out at midday on Christmas day that someone has forgotten the turkey/ pudding etc. What this offers them is the chance to sit back, relax and get drunk whilst I run around doing all the hard work, I'd bloody pay for that!

Alarmbellsring Mon 14-Dec-09 12:46:55

We have close riends coming round christmas day and boxing day.

I am doing everything. No good asking htme to help - if it doesn't come out of the freezer they don't know how to cook it

They know how much we are spending and how much effort I will put in.

They have offered us £50 towards the food and alcohol. We are very grateful and everyone is happy.

They don't feel like they are taking liberties and we feel pleased they care enough to offer.

Does anyone think this is wrong?

Kathyis12feethighandbites Mon 14-Dec-09 12:46:59

You don't invite people and then charge them - you just don't! You shouldn't have invited them if you weren't prepared to bear the cost.
However if they have any manners at all then they should bring something. Maybe the trick is to make sure that everyone knows who is bringing what so there will be the risk of public opprobrium for anyone who doesn't do their bit.

Arsed Mon 14-Dec-09 12:47:22

a £250 Christmas dinner..

What are you serving ?

AmIreallysayingthis Mon 14-Dec-09 12:47:31

I know you are struggling with I dilemma, but your post made me chuckle...

I really don't think it's very festive to levy a fee for Christmas lunch. Some of them (your BIL's girlfriend clearly) might rather not be there at all and will resent having to pay for the torture! Asking everyone to bring something is the only way to do it if you don't feel you can/want to cover it all yourself. Unless you are Gordon Ramsay or something, charging £25 a head for your cooking is a bit hmm Although your "kids eat free" deal is very reasonable... They are right to be miffed about it and YABTU.

For goodness sake, don't invite them. Sounds like it's been spoiled now anyway and you're better off all doing your own thing and getting together for a drink in the evening (bring your own bottle, of course).

I'm teasing hun, but you deserve it.

katie3677 Mon 14-Dec-09 12:47:46

Ah well, maybe it is a bad idea, but it's done now, so if anyone objects then they can just not pay the money and not come. It would cost them alot more than £25 to do it all themselves...this lot drink ALOT, most of the money will be spent on booze.

Kathyis12feethighandbites Mon 14-Dec-09 12:49:13

What Alarmbells describes is different because they have offered, she hasn't set a rate.
Maybe rather than say 'It will cost you £25' you need to encourage them to chip in by saying 'It is costing us £200 all told (or however much) and we would appreciate any contributions you care to make.'

greenday Mon 14-Dec-09 12:49:21

And what if they didn't enjoy the food, or thought it wasn't enough, or thought the wine wasn't that nice, or that the service was crap ... are they entitled to have a refund? Or complain to the 'manager'?

morningpaper Mon 14-Dec-09 12:49:33

tee hee!

Unfortunately, when you say "I will host....X event" you need to realise that you are committing to a cost of several hundred pounds (which it always costs). That's the way it works.

Personally I would tell them that you haven't got ANY alcohol so can they all provide what they will drink. That will save £150 or so.

mistletoekisses Mon 14-Dec-09 12:49:37

TBH - yes it is fair; but I wouldn't dream of asking family to pay for anything of this sort. I guess it isn't the 'done' thing.

I do feel for you. My BIL and SIL bought a lot of food when we had a big family Christmas one year. We took care of all the drinks - wine/ beer/ soft drinks/ champers and it evened up - we offered as we would not have expected them to pay for it all. But if they had asked us to pay per head, I would have been a little shock

Why dont you instead offer to take care of the food and task everyone with bringing alcohol. And warn them that if they dont, there wont be any booze on the day.

katie3677 Mon 14-Dec-09 12:50:29

Hmm, maybe £25 is alot, but have ordered a 15lb turkey and 10lb ham, so am reckoning the food is going to cost £150 and £100 on booze, crackers etc There are 17 of them for Christs sake!

Laquitar Mon 14-Dec-09 12:50:36

Not only it is shocking and mean but it is scary too.

If you charge £50 per couple you will have to provide something really high standard. With my cooking abilities i wouldn't dare grin .

MissGreatBritain Mon 14-Dec-09 12:53:21

*"so if anyone objects then they can just not pay the money and not come"*

That's the spirit of Christmas katie! grin

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