Would you charge family for Xmas dinner?(532 Posts)
AIBU to think you should ask family to pay for their Xmas lunch?
My partner has just told me
Me that his mother who he's having Christmas lunch with said she wants £17 per head from him!I'm going to my family's for lunch so invited him also but he has had it there all his life with his grandparents and siblings too. she said she doesn't want to do It all from scratch and wants to Get it all pre done so it's more money, which I understand but he's gutted and feels like he wants to come to my family now. I can see it from both sides and it's hard work and can be expensive but not like she is financially destitute.
this has never happened before and he has offered to bring the dessert etc but he said handing over cash just feels wrong. As he says it's about family not money but I wanted to see what other people's opinions are ? Or if you do this.
It's really expensive to cater for Christmas dinner for a lot of people.
I did it one year
for my better off than me in laws . It cost me over £400
If we do Christmas with my family, we will share cost of food or all bring different components of the dinner...
Don't think of it as her charging you but instead think of it as you all contributing to the cost of the food.
Personally I wouldn't - I would ask people to contribute by bringing specific contributions to the meal instead ("Uncle Paul is bringing stuffing, Auntie Lucy is doing the sprouts" type thing)
But if someone asked me for cash I'd pay - it's really expensive hosting, particularly at an expensive time of the year. When we have had Christmas meals as a big group of friends, we split the cost.
I'd allocate a dish to each person but £17 a head sounds a lot. Surely it's just a posh roast dinner! What's she buying?? Is tell your bf to come to yours!
I think it’s fair to be honest; why should she have to cover the cost every year when it’s likely to be £100 plus and why should she have to cover the cost of not wanting to do so much cooking.
We don’t actually give money to whoever hosts but do the equivalent really in bringing champagne/pudding/starter but maybe she doesn’t trust everyone to remember/get the right thing and wants to organise it herself.
Also £17 isn’t exactly much; maybe Christmas is breaking her financially and she can’t do it all any more
OMG! No! Fuck, that is horrible.
We host Christmas: buy the turkey and pudding, everyone else brings a dish eg sausages in blankets etc. That shares the cost and the work.
Cannot think of anything less hospitable than setting the menu and demanding your ‘guests’ pay for it.
In our family it's more normal that we all share out the cooking between us so contributions are split like that
It depends if you see it as charging or as chipping in.
We 'host' Christmas dinner every year, but it's only here because we have the space for the tables. So everyone chips in to cover it (There's 29 people this year - no way could we afford to pay for all of that every single year).
BIL's girlfriend refuses to come because we 'charge' - which is entirely her perogative, but the rest of them wouldn't dream of expecting us to foot the bill every year. And it's not like we take all the money - it's just that DH gathers it and works out who is owed what for the trifle ingredients or bits that other folks bring. It's just that we buy the bulk of it because quite a few people travel (and DH does the majority of the cooking) so they can't bring a dish.
Based on how much Christmas costs us I’d say that was a good deal! We tend to have family stay for a week over Christmas due to distances, so rota different people for different meals. But I don’t think asking for a financial contribution is at all cheeky. But honestly until I’d done it myself I was probably a bit naïve to the cost.
I wouldn't charge for Christmas dinner. If she didn't want to do it from scratch, wouldn't it be cheaper to hire a local student to help do it instead?
There's 4 adults(including him)and 1 toddler attending. And if I was hosting I would not dream of Askin for money just bring a bottle.
My point is she don't charge him for a normal Sunday roast and it's just added bits so why can't he bring them ?
No - I would never ask people to pay to come to my house for dinner
Take turns each year or ask people to bring a dish if you are short on cash.
I think it's the terminology that sticks in my throat.
I'd never "charge" anyone for attending Christmas dinner at mine.
Particularly if I was hosting for a large number of people, it would however be reasonable for people to offer or me suggest that they bring a dessert or wine etc.
I definitely would not ask for money and would not ask for food contributions either, but I would hope that my guests would bring some wine and nibbles for supper / snacks.
That’s really tight it it’s just 5 people!!
Tbh it sounds like his mother is just fed up with being the only one organising and cooking the Christmas dinner every year. Has it ever occurred to him to pitch in? To take a dish? Or is it all just left to Mum?
If there's 4 adults paying £17 each then that's only £68 all in so it's not like his Mum is spending an absolute fortune and expecting everyone to sub it.
God its hard being British!
I think there are ways of saying it, sometimes people are a bit thoughtless and don't offer to chip in, but saying its a charge would make me think twice - especially if I was paying for certain tiresome relatives company as well as a poorly cooked martyr meal.
£400 for a Christmas dinner?! How many people was that for? We cater for 7 and including; booze selection, cheese board, chocolates and decorations I think I paid 70 quid all in and thought it was steep.
If he thinks it's wrong to charge then why doesn't he/you offer to host and fund it all. Maybe you'll then appreciate what goes into a Christmas lunch with all the trimmings/alcohol etc.
No i wouldnt ask. I might suggest someone bring wine, for example, but i would not ask or want cash from family, or friends.
OBV if you are skint diff story, but no, i prob wouldbt even then!
If you can’t afford it, don’t invite people. Or only cook what you can afford. I’d never charge anyone, far less family, for dinner.
£400 for a Christmas dinner?! How many people was that for? We cater for 7 and including; booze selection, cheese board, chocolates and decorations I think I paid 70 quid all in and thought it was steep
11 or 12 people I think.
I don't see how you can cater for 7 for £70 if you're including alcohol.
Charge family or share costs?
Agree with pp it’s expensive to host Christmas.
Is this her way of saying she doesn't really want to do Christmas in the same way any more? Maybe they'd rather go away as a couple or just not bother with the whole palaver? Would she be bothered if your partner came to your family instead or is it just him wanting to carry on the tradition?
Charge family or share costs?
I think that's the crux of it. People who see it as charging family are horrified, people who see it as sharing costs don't see the issue.
It makes more sense to ask people to bring a dish each and some booze. I can’t imagine anyone in either mine or DP’s family asking for money to host Christmas.
I would never ask people to pay for Christmas dinner. Like many others, my family all contribute items to the meal - dessert, cheese, wine, chocolates, a starter, etc
I gave my sister a £100 M&S voucher when she did xmas a few years ago as my contribution (me and boyfriend stayed a few days). We won't host with a small flat so felt the right thing to do. Seems reasonable if one person always hosts everyone else
Personally I coulden't, if I could not afford to host, than I would not, it is very rude. If your dh wants to come to your parents than he can, he is not tied to his mum, especially when she is charging like that. It just puts a dampner on things and makes it that less special.
It is good if family bring a bit with them though, like one brings, cheese board, one brings a couple bottles or a a pack of beer, another brings dessert etc. I would not mind that one bit.
If he went round and they all had a take away would he feel "funny" about chipping in? Sounds like she is going the M&S preprepared route so very similar to ordering take-out and price sounds about right. Not seeing the issue here.
Actually not keen on guests bringing a bottle etc since none of us drink and any food they bring usually is either to their preference rather than anyone else or excess to add to the pile.
I think most people would offer to take something to contribute : my folks said they wanted to provide the turkey but it ended up easier for them to just give us cash. Don’t forget Christmas dinner is a lot more than just the meal. I expect there will be snacks and maybe Christmas tea too. I assume you take booze.
I think i don’t find your partner very attractive for wanting to come to your parents because his mum can’t cook that large a dinner and wants to have help. How many Christmas dinners has she cooked so far for him? Petty and selfish man. She is probably sick of having to deal with all that while he does fuck all and expects to be cooked a really nice meal for him. I will be upset with him over this and I will not bring that selfish a man to my parents either.
I wouldn't dream of asking for money. How could anyone invite people for dinner and then ask them to pay for it?
Nope never in a million years. Horrifically rude and the epitome of being a tight arse! If you can’t afford to host then don’t host. Asking people to bring a bottle (which people generally do anyway!) is fine. In my family people offer to bring a dish to share the load. I’d never charge them though!!
I think it's fine to all chip in - either bring something or contribute money. But it has to be agreed. So she could say "I can't afford it so I can't have it at mine unless we all chip in" rather than calling it charging. And you can't insist on having it at yours then charge. Maybe she doesn't want to host?
I buy the food for xmas dinner, dm buys wine and prosseco, mil makes a lovely Christmas cake and buys desert (she insists, I don't mind buying it) but even if they didn't contribute I certainly wouldn't dream of asking for any money!
If you can’t afford it, don’t invite people. Or only cook what you can afford. I’d never charge anyone, far less family, for dinner.
I agree and think it's extremely tacky and cringe making to ask for money. The more acceptable alternative is to ask people to bring a dish and/or a bottle.
Do you and OH not have christmas lunch together?
We split it by people bringing things instead, but I don't see the issue, given how expensive Christmas meals can be. I used to give my mum and dad money for Christmas dinner and food costs when I lived a while away from them and so went to stay for a few days. I had more of it than them, so there was no reason they should pony up. Your DP is being silly at best.
4 adults & 1 toddler-so is that her husband, 2 adult kids & a GC?
Seems odd to me to charge such close family, but it's perhaps the expectation & no help that she's pissed off with?
My husband is an only child, just his parents at theirs.
When we visited with 2 kids, so 4 of us "descending" on 2 of them, seemed odd not to provide cake/pudding/drink.
Something-especially as we would be consumig more of it than them!
I always host due to my brother and Mum living in small flats and my kids partners come to us..it has never occurred to me to charge anyone and there are 11 of us! Db and Mum come on the coach as they live in London and don't have cars so can't carry a load of stuff, but usually pop to the shops when they arrive and contribute wine./beer which is fine.
We aren't well off either but really it's just an extra big roast and nice cheeses, crackers and stollen type stuff here... Aldi is my friend.
I do get a big enough turkey and pork joint that we can all pick bit with cheeses and pickles later and it's fine. It's one big family meal a year and I would never charge. If I really couldn't meet the cost I'd stop hosting!
I think it possibly depends on how you phrase it.
"If you come for dinner it'll be £15 each ta", is different from, " We'd love you to come, but as you know money is tight and it's easier for me to do all of the shopping, so would you mind contributing £15 each please"
I really couldn't afford to pay, but I'm a good cook and enjoy it, I'd serve a lovely meal, but really would need something towards it.
I don't like the idea of the host charging people, and like others I would simply expect guests to bring a bottle, or perhaps some cheese or something for pudding.
However, I actually think that there is something pretty awful about him deciding to go to your parents house instead. If I was in your parents shoes, I wouldn't like to think that someone was coming to my house, not for my company, but just because I was providing a free meal.
If hosting for close family and friends then very mean to charge unless completely destitute.
If hosting for 29 as per above then fair enough!
Is it really that expensive to host Christmas dinner? I'm vegan, so perhaps my perspective is skewed.
I cook dinner at my parents, and I take some of the food down, with the remaining stuff being bought by the others attending, ie we are all chipping in.
Yes its not charging its sharing the cost which can be expensive.
Whenever we have DH family round for Christmas we shared, we did main, SIL did starters and dessert and FIL did dessert
Whenever we went to my grandparents my mum and uncle shared the cost between them they were just on a state pension
A turkey can be really expensive!
I think your boyfriend sounds tight. Why doesn't he give her the money a couple of weeks in advance so that it doesn't feel to him that he's handing over cash in exchange for a meal? Or - hold onto your hat here - he could host himself and fund it all, given he thinks contributions are wrong?
It depends how you're doing it hibbledibble.
If you have a larger than usual chicken, normal-ish roast dinner with a few more sides, a pudding and a couple of bottles of wine then not really. Notwithstanding that some people have such tight budgets that this would still be a lot. If you're getting a posh goose or turkey, smoked salmon, naice cheeses and quite a lot more booze then yes. Both of these are within the range of normal. And a typically sized family Christmas dinner can be anywhere from maybe 5 or 6 to 20. Again neither of these would be unusual.
And if as suggested they're going the M and S preprepared route, not only is that expensive but it would also seem particularly daft to split the order. One person gets the starters, pays for them and has them delivered then brings them, one person gets the meat, one the sides etc. Just get it all in one order then split!
I would never dream of inviting people and then asking them for a cash contribution, as PPs have said, if they offered I will gladly accept, dessert or cheese board, nibbles and wine.
Although SIL will tell people what to bring including the turkey, she generally provides bread sauce and some nibbles.
To be fair only 4 out of the 7 drink alcohol, so booze wasn't extortionate, plus some bottles we already had in. Our local butchers does a decent turkey crown for £21. Decorations I get from Amazon, stocked up on 2 tubs for £7 of chocs from Tesco. Cheeses was a mixed board from M&S plus £3 cracker box, I make my own trifle. This year we've an allotment so brussels, onions aren't an issue. Pigs in blankets I got 2 for 1 last year. I shop around in the run up for the deals. If I'd bought it all Christmas eve it'd have been nearer £150 to be honest.
Horrible. If you host and can't afford it, ask guest to bring something to eat and a bottle with them. If you host and you can afford it then just ask for the bottle. Or ask for nothing.
Every year I do all the planning and prep for a big family Christmas. I set the menu and send it to everyone, ask them if there's anything else they want to add and then I do an online food shop. I give everyone the password so they can check the shopping and add any snacks etc they want and then we split the cost. Before we did it this way, I used to pay for the main meal and ask everyone to bring snacks and drinks etc. All that happened was that everyone brought the same stuff so we were drowning in Bailey's and Pringles, everyone spent a fortune and half the stuff didn't get eaten. This way we only buy what we need and we all contribute a fair amount. I certainly don't view it as charging my family for Xmas dinner and I'd be happy to do the same if I went to someone else's house.
I wouldn’t but we’re not struggling. Certainly when we’ve taken the family to my inlaws we’ve sent a cheque for £200 beforehand to help. offset costs. I’m not sure it was ever value for money but better than them scrimping or not paying our fair share.
grabem Nearly all you listed as expensive isn't vegan, which is why I don't see Christmas as very pricey I guess.
Christmas meal for me is roast potatoes and veg, stuffing and nut roast. The ingredients for this is well under £5 per person. Sure, there is alcohol on top, but guests usually bring this.
If going down the preperared route them there is far more affordable options than m&s eg Aldi, Iceland
We always offer money at my dsis for Christmas dinner. It's only fair.
It's a bit cheeky to ask. But you should have offered.
Total derail but how much is everyone paying for their turkey? Just curious as it's normally the biggest expense for the meal (alcohol aside).
Really tight and takes the fun out of Christmas quibbling over a bill and food shopping. The only thing that’s ok is to tell family member what to bring. Can say booze to one and snacks to another etc and specify if there is anything others really don’t like, not that difficult. I personally would not ask at all and just not go all out if I couldn’t afford it!
I am gobsmacked at the amount of replies who think this is acceptable. To me it's the height of bad manners. So all those in agreement, are you planning on charging your DCs when they are adults? You may find they would rather not eat with you. I wouldn't go to family who would charge me for it. Either host and pay or don't host.
DH's family used to have 'gatherings' where everyone was expected to bring the main food. Apart from it being at their house, I was confused as to where the hosting was as they didn't supply much. My family would never dream of doing this.
If she is stuck with the expense and inconvenience of hosting every single year then why is it unreasonable to want to share that?
Christmas dinner for a crowd is expensive especially if booze is included. It’s fair to share that cost among the guests.
Not cheeky at all, why should she bear the cost? Surely it's cheekier to expect someone else to pay to feed you every year?
Why is asking people to bring a dish/pudding/wine less cheeky?
I don't think anyone's suggesting M and S is the most affordable option!
It's all very well saying if you can't afford it don't invite people-but what if you want to see family on CD?
I suppose the best thing is to ask who is hosting this year & make sure that you get invited?
I have given my mum an asda gift card I have been saving onto all year to cover some of food for Christmas.
I think if your going to someone else for Christmas then it’s only fair to contribute towards the cost. It’s not fair to expect the host to cover all the costs unless you move between host family every year
He's gutted ?? At being asked to contribute? He's an adult yes? So he should pay his way...should his family pay for him forever???.
We've hosted but would never dream of asking for payment. Don't offer an invite if you can't afford to host, it's very simple.
My Mum cooks each Christmas but my partner and I chip in as it gets crazy expensive. She's never asked us to but I wouldn't feel right expecting her to foot the bill.
I hosted my DPs and ILs one year, 7 extra adults. I asked for a contribution of £10 each. They were happy to pay but I did host for the duration - Christmas Eve through Boxing Day and beyond.
I cannot imagine asking for actual cash , if you can’t afford to host then don’t offer to do so, surely most people who go to family for Christmas dinner offer to provide a course / wine etc which offsets some of the cost .
I wouldn't dream of asking my family or friends for money towards it. I feel blessed to have these people in my life and see it as a pleasure to cook for them.
I did clean for a lady who's friends neighbour invited her and her friend to dinner every Christmas, she never took anything or contributed (she's a right tight arse but loaded) I was very no way I would have asked them back.
There will only be 3 extra people with us so I wouldn't. If I was hosting all my family there would be about 20 so I think people would bring things
I would ask people to bring dishes but would never ask for money. I'd just not host if it were too much bother.
I understand the principle, but think it would come across better if she asked people to bring various items rather than charging a flat fee.
Perhaps the woman is asking for money as she's knows that no one will bring anything or offer to?
he has had it there all his life with his grandparents and siblings too
How can that work out to 4 adults and a toddler?
Anyway, if it was just 4 adults I wouldn't expect more than a couple of bottles of wine and some nibbles. However, I often host xmas and boxing day for 16 people (all dh's family) and they traditionally give me £50 per couple. I've never asked for cash but it's glaringly obvious that it costs a fortune, and I'd be a bit pissed off if none of them had ever put their hands in their pockets.
I'm of the opinion that it's contributing to the feast rather than paying for your dinner. I wouldn't appreciate contributions of food because I already have it all organised. There also might be some financial worry that you don't know about.
My son has recently been given a HA flat, he is on UC and couldnt afford to host a whole lot of people for a Christmas dinner, but he is a good cook and has worked as a chef,also loves cooking, so he has asked a few friends round, mostly people who dont have families to go to, and asking them to chip in £5 ,plus bring drinks,
I will make them a trifle, my speciality, hate cooking, and i think that is fair
We take in in turns with my sister to host, normally 20 of us. If my sister is hosting we will bring a case of prosecco, cheese board, grapes , soft drinks and crackers. I will also make some canapés, my mum will cook a leg of lamb and my sister provides the rest. Turkey crown from the farm shop is nearby £70. My other sister who comes with her partner we just tell her to bring a bottle of champagne, brother who is own his own and doesn't drink we don't expect him to bring anything. My sisters MIL makes a lovely selection of puddings, she also comes to us when we host , OHs parents always give us money when we host which we never ask for. They eat with SIL the years we go to my sister then my sister has them all up Christmas evening for tea. Love it that both families get on so well.
£17 spounds cheap to me, i was invited somewhere and they wanted £50 each safe to say i didnt go
I suspect the word 'charge' may be in his head, when what his DM means is 'contribution'. If everyone just turns up every year expecting her to provide a full christmas spread then I sort of see her point. If she's struggling now to do it and has to buy it in, then it only seems fair for everyone else to chip in (as they should have done before.
Our family has always 'allocated' what we should bring. I always get to bring the crackers and bubbly.
I wouldn't dream of asking for money towards Xmas dinner but in the past my parents have offered and I have graciously accepted. It is a big cost but I wouldn't invite people if I couldn't afford it. As it's family I usually ask them to bring something or we split it so my parents might do the starter, I'll do the main, inlaws will do dessert and snacks and siblings bring a bottle of bubbly.
It's really expensive to cater for Christmas dinner for a lot of people.
However, I'm aware that there are family members who need to travel substantial distances in, sometimes, poor conditions, and fork out for accommodation (depending).
I know people who host upwards of 70+ people at big set-piece dinners. They've tried sharing out the load and asking people to bring a dish but this often doesn't work because they're aren't enough hot plates or sufficient oven/fridge capacity. If the hosts try and organise this by stating up front what the available facilities are then this can cause further ructions, never mind if they ask for more vegetable dishes and fewer desserts.
Seasonal holidays and their associated events are expensive for most people and can often lead to ructions. Given what many people report about them and how distressed they can make some people, I'm not sure why they still happen in some families.
It's only 'charging' if she's going to make a profit. If it's going to cover costs I really don't see the problem.
So she's done it every year and nobody's offered any help? Financial or otherwise? Good in her for putting her foot down. Your dh really should have offered something without being pushed!!
I wouldn't dream of asking for money either when I am hosting, but that is because I don't have to host every year. If I am going elsewhere I offer to bring wine selection, dessert and/or starter, crackers, good chocolates for later, maybe organise a game for later etc. If they decline the offer I'll bring a couple of bottles of nice booze for the hosts depending on what they drink (bottle of whisky for my brother and a bottle of good gin for his wife). Will probably spend in region of £50-£60.
His mum asking for cash and him feeling pissed off over a measly £17 sounds like she is feeling taken for granted now her children are adults. Unless his dessert is more than picking something up worth a couple of quid it isn't really contributing/showing his appreciation is it?
Think of it as buying the Turkey ar a piece of meat rather than being charged for the meal itself
If she’s insisting she’s the one to host, then it’s cheeky.
If everyone else insists she hosts/never offers to host, then it’s not.
It is her choice not to do it all from scratch, which is fair enoughbut she could have asked if people wanted to help cook on the day or contribute by making a dish.
And it depends how it’s said. If it’s “Everybody has to come to mine, but I’m doing everything it’ll have to be bought in, that’ll be £17 please’ very cheeky.
If it’s “Ah, ok, I see it’s down to me again, happy to do it but I’m working Xmas Eve, can anyone help cook? No, ok, I could order it from Markie's, how’s £17 a head sound?” that’s fine.
Is she maybe dropping a heavy hint she’s getting fed up doing it (maybe to herself as much as anyone)?
It's not something I'd do tbh. If you invite people over for a meal you can't charge them imo. We're hosting this year and it will be an expensive day for us but at the end of the day we invited people knowing we'd pay for everything.
I think it depends on the circumstances of the person asking, tbh. Growing up, my parents or my aunt and uncle used to pay for everyone, turn about. They could afford it. Then when we grew up they didn't want to do it any more, so my cousin and I started doing it together. But at this time we were in our early 20s, just graduated and neither or us could afford to make a Christmas dinner for 15 people. So we split the costs between us. It´s all very well saying that you don't invite if you can´t afford it, but what if there will be no dinner at all if you don't share the cost?
I am all for splitting the cost if that can be managed.
We usually pay circa £90 for a turkey here. Then smoked salmon, booze, puddings etc. That is usually 5 adults and a couple of DCs. So Christmas dinner is often a few hundred pounds. The other adults are my parents and ILs so we DON'T split that cost, we pay it because they are our parents and have certainly done enough for us over the years...but if the other adults were siblings etc then I certainly would probably prefer a contribution, either in providing food, or alternating hosting each year.
My DM's family are in Australia and i recall one year we were over there and were asked to pay $20 a head. My DM was horrified before that.... but on the day the Christmas feast was all scallops, lobster, prawns etc. It made sense. If families are getting together then it is sharing, not hosting if that makes sense.
It's unusual but not unreasonable. It had been on her mind so she decided to be straightforward about it. I hope your DP isn't put off going there because of it. £17 is a bargain.
Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.
It's only 4 people - like a normal Sunday meal. Cringemaking to charge for that - people could just bring a bottle.
If you invite people you bear the cost. If its just expected that mum will cook and host then why shouldnt you share the cost.
£150 for lunch and you have to be apart from DH at Christmas! That's shocking and can't believe they expect you to do that. Surely you could just meet up for drinks after lunch or the next day.
No I wouldn't charge
But if his mum doesn't want to cook from scratch and you're going to your family's lunch anyway, why doesn't your partner host Christmas lunch at yours?
That could be a good compromise.
Barbeito why the actual fuck didn't your DH just say "No thanks, we can't afford it"?
@Barbeito You and your husband are spending Christmas Day separately because his parents want an expensive meal that you can't afford? Why not say that neither of you will be there and you'll both go to your mum's? I'd be embarrassed and realise I'd made a huge mistake if I was your MIL.
PIL made the executive decision that they want to have Christmas lunch at a fancy hotel. £150 a head just for lunch - no stay included! DH and I can't afford for both of us to go (can't afford for one of us to go, really). So he is going to have lunch with them while I go to my family
After Christmas where my in laws came round, brought nothing and it cost us £400 we said that the next year we'd go out for Christmas lunch to the pub. The cost of this for us was cheaper than us hosting. They were invited with the expectation they'd have to pay for their own pub lunch. Funnily enough, they declined based on cost. So it was totally fine for me to shoulder all the cost of hosting but perish the thought it might cost them something. If they were hard up, I'd understand but they are much better off than us
Join the discussion
Registering is free, quick, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Get started »
Please login first.