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To ask family for a contribution towards Christmas food?

(101 Posts)
Chestnuts33 Tue 06-Nov-12 09:04:59

I have always gone to my parents for Christmas every year until now. This year they are coming to me for the first time. They will be staying for about four days and will be bringing my younger brothers too.

Obviously it's going to be expensive feeding the extra mouths for four days especially with expensive Christmas food - I read somewhere the average cost of Christmas dinner is going to be £90 for average family this year, and I have them staying for four days.

AIBU to ask them to contribute? I was not going to ask for money as that seems a bit rude and they are my family afterall but thought it might be ok to ask them to bring say the Christmas cake or pudding? Or something like Christmas crackers? Or does that seem petty?

Obviously I appreciate they are incurring petrol costs (probably about £50) driving to see me so not as though I'm the only one spending money. Also I have been to my parents every year until now and they have never asked me to contribute grin

Just wanted to know what the done thing was when you are the host for Christmas. Money is a bit tight at the moment however I don't want to be stingy or offend anyone

FreePeaceSweet Tue 06-Nov-12 09:08:57

Ask them to bring chocs and wine.

glentheflamingbattleostrich Tue 06-Nov-12 09:10:01

I don't think it's rude. But then every year we take desert (big Costco cake), wine / beer and chocolates to the families each year. We stay in hotels and generally pitch up for meals so it would be rude not to take a contribution as far as I am concerned.

Mrsjay Tue 06-Nov-12 09:10:12

well your parents fed you all without asking for anything so I think you should do the same tbh you can't really ask when you didnt take anything to theirs can you, although they may ask you if they can bring anything with them and you could say oh yes that would be lovely, and 90 quid for 1 meal really hmm

MoetEtPantsOn Tue 06-Nov-12 09:10:45

I obviously don't know your family but in mine it's very typical for people to bring a contribution. Usually it would be a thing not a cash contribution. So someone might bring the pudding, someone the cheeses, someone lots of wine etc, depending on income/ generosity/ age. I don't think anyone would be offended. Make it fun by giving them all jobs. They might like to feel involved anyway if they're used to making the whole lot.

I would just stock up on basics for breakfast, nice bread and soups for lunches and then stretch out Xmas lunch leftovers as far as possible.

Theas18 Tue 06-Nov-12 09:12:17

We take a case of wine when we to in laws for Xmas for a few days (there are 5 of us incl 3 hungry teens!)

StanleyLambchop Tue 06-Nov-12 09:13:48

I would not ask your parents for a contribution, as you say they have hosted Christmas for you in the past, but perhaps something from the brothers? Unless they will be hosting Christmas for the next few years in return, then they should contribute (depending on age, assuming they are not still children, in which case no, don't ask!) Grown up brothers should be able to contribute.

YouSeveredHead Tue 06-Nov-12 09:13:51

Do you normally pay or contribute?

mmmnoodlesoup Tue 06-Nov-12 09:14:12

Just tell your parents things are a little tight so could they bring pudding/wine? I'm sure they will be fine with it. My mum brings the pudding if she comes to mine for Sunday roast smile

squeakytoy Tue 06-Nov-12 09:15:26

If you have never contributed to all the dinners that you have attended over the years, its a bit cheeky to ask them to contribute to yours.

Paiviaso Tue 06-Nov-12 09:16:16

I think it would be very rude to ask for money. I think it would be fine to ask them if they would make the pud or other dish (they will probably assume it's because of lack time rather than lack of funds!)

But really, if you have invited them to stay with you, you should be able to host them.

AlmostAHipster Tue 06-Nov-12 09:16:39

There was a thing in the paper on Sunday - Morrisons are saying that you can feed a family a Christmas lunch for £2.50 a head so just choose value range stuff so your money goes further. But it's not cheeky to ask them to bring some pudding or nibbles.

WhispersOfWickedness Tue 06-Nov-12 09:17:00

I think it's a little rude if they have always hosted before and you have not made a contribution before. However, I think it's fine to ask them to bring something specific with them, is there something special and homemade that is usually made? Because I thought you could say 'ooo, could you bring some of that special salad/baked something or other/other assorted food, I can't possibly make it like you do!' grin

Onlyaphase Tue 06-Nov-12 09:17:37

My family always come to me for Christmas and as we are all bossy females we discuss who is contributing what, according to means (this bit is in my head only)

So sister brings crackers, cheese and port, father in law brings wine for lunch and champagne, parents bring smoked salmon and cake, SIL makes excellent stuffing for the turkey, she gets asked to bring that. GIL brings mince pies I've generally found guests want to contribute, and actually like to be told what to bring that would help out.

Even with this help, you'll still end up spending a fortune on turkey, stuffing , mince pies etc in the supermarket, plus all the breakfast things, so don't feel bad about asking.

Why not try a diplomatic conversation with your mother to start things off - is there anything she makes really well you could ask her to bring?

thecatsminion Tue 06-Nov-12 09:18:26

Our parents got everything while we stayed at home. Then as we all got a bit older we moved the venue around and people chipped in with starters/puddings/wine/chocs.

I think if you're a bit older and your parents have supplied everything for years then its reasonable to do the same. But if you're in your early 20s or younger then its fine to start splitting.

How old/independent are your brothers? Def get them to bring stuff if they're working.

dysfunctionalme Tue 06-Nov-12 09:18:34

Are they the sort to ask what they can bring? If so, tell them (as you suggest, the pudding or the wine). I think that would be a better way to go than asking.

lindsell Tue 06-Nov-12 09:18:39

My dps are coming this year too and they asked if I wanted them to bring anything, I suggested a selection of cheese - they live in France and think a meal isn't complete without smelly cheese at the end and I'm a philistine and prefer a nice bit of cheddar blush so it seemed an obvious thing ESP as I'm rubbish at choosing cheese.

So if there's something your dps particularly like or are good at - eg your dm's a superb mince pie maker so you could say that you couldn't possible match up to her skills so would she mind making ad bringing some. It's not just about the money then.

MoetEtPantsOn Tue 06-Nov-12 09:19:34

But it's her parents! Surely they haven't fed her expecting a return every year. I'm not chalking up all the meals I cook my DCs for future recompense. I'm sure they wouldn't want to see her go through hardship to provide Christmas dinner?!

But yes, a lesson to offer to bring something or contribute next year, perhaps OP? Just start that tradition this year grin

mercibucket Tue 06-Nov-12 09:19:56

There is no need to spend a fortune - shop at aldi- but normal to ask for a specific item (not the turkey!!). Mind you, if you've never taken anything, sounds like your family don't do it that way. If you do ask, make it a new family tradition

mercibucket Tue 06-Nov-12 09:19:56

There is no need to spend a fortune - shop at aldi- but normal to ask for a specific item (not the turkey!!). Mind you, if you've never taken anything, sounds like your family don't do it that way. If you do ask, make it a new family tradition

whistlestopcafe Tue 06-Nov-12 09:20:35

It doesn't have to cost £90, we don't even spend a fifth of that.

valiumredhead Tue 06-Nov-12 09:21:42

What whistle said.

Jins Tue 06-Nov-12 09:22:46

Buy a frozen turkey now before the prices rocket! The £90 is mostly the price for the turkey.

For the rest of the time you need to maximise Xmas leftovers and seek out cheap ways of feeding people. Make it difficult for people to help themselves to what's in cupboards and plan meals for the four days. Freeze what you can so it's not in the fridge to be snacked on.

Sargesaweyes Tue 06-Nov-12 09:23:27

My family always bring different things and just make sure not one person is footing the bill. We do it off our own backs though and if they didn't offer I wouldn't ask. It's not very festive to ask for cash.

cozietoesie Tue 06-Nov-12 09:24:40

If I was going for a celebration dinner (and stay) like Xmas, I would always take much wine, or a good bottle of spirits, or chocs or........ In fact, I generally take far too much and I don't care if they put bits in the cupboard for another day. I wouldn't worry too much if I were you. Excluding booze etc you should be able to mount the Xmas meal itself for far less than £90 - and if your family ring up and ask if they can bring anything just say 'Oh yes - could you bring some wine/brandy/chocs/whatever'.

I would be highly surprised if they didn't arrive, in any case, with enough comestibles to feed an army. Knowing parents, your Mum will probably be filling the boot to the rafters!

As for the rest of their stay? People are often desperate for simple but good food after the over-richness of Xmas day. As Moet said, nice breads and soups, stretch out the leftovers - and you'll still likely have plenty of chocolate and other nibbles around to make it still festive. Savoury pasta bakes with lots of cheese are what my family seem to crave after Xmas if you want a suggestion for Boxing Day.

Best of luck with your first festive hosting!

smile

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