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AIBU to feel insulted for having to pay for Christmas dinner at my SIL?

360 replies

Headwir3 · 06/01/2019 21:05

My SIL said she would host Christmas this year as she has a big new house and plenty of room for us all. I asked if I should bring something and she said she would just do a shop and split the cost. She did suggest we bring our own alcohol. I thought it was a little odd, as did my hubby but he reminded me that she was cheap and the food wouldn’t cost that much anyway! Best to just agree with it instead of making a fuss.

Anyway we had Christmas, I took up 5 bottles of wine (only drank one and my hubby didn’t drink any). Left them there when we left. We were given cereal for breakfast and tinned soup for lunch and a basic Christmas dinner. No puddings and just a little cheese for desert.

We just got the bill... it came to £40 each! AIBU to feel angry and insulted by this all? It doesn’t seem right to hand over money. Especially to family. Also I feel really ripped off! I don’t want to upset my husband, but his family are a new level of cheap. If I did that to my brother, he probably wouldn’t speak to me again!

OP posts:
dontneedthedrama · 07/01/2019 18:27

Just reply and say great but I'll deduct the 5 bottles of wine from the cost tell her they were £10 each Grin

PennyArcade · 07/01/2019 18:28

You could let her know you won't be paying as you will return the favour next Christmas?

icannotremember · 07/01/2019 18:31

Just reply with "have you read Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married?"

longwayoff · 07/01/2019 18:47

Give the cheap hag the money and never eat at t heir house again. Don't offer to do it in your house next year and don't go out to eat with them.

Headwir3 · 07/01/2019 19:00


I am the original OP.
I whole heartily agree with everything you have said. I am new to mumsnet and put up a post just to check I wasn’t going mad with hurt and shock at my SILs behaviour.

We stayed for two nights, took our own alcohol as requested (and more) and had a great time with family, especially as my son got to play with his cousins. I did think it was odd to split the bill when it was first suggested as I would love to host Christmas next year but my SIL always says it’s too difficult for her to travel with two kids even though they jet off around the world. She has bought a brand new big house with 5 bedrooms so she could accommodate us all versus our small 2 bed flat. In my culture we feed people as a sign of respect. I would have loved to have made something or taken a dish as a contribution and would be happy to spend even more than £80 on food I had bought for the occasion if need be. My issue is that she decided to buy all the food (on the cheap), not serve very much and then charge us for it all over and above what it was worth. I feel mortified for my hubby as he is also in shock. I would happily host Christmas next year but I won’t be charging anyone as it takes a lot of effort to travel half way across the country so to be there is good enough for me. I wouldn’t expect to pay for half their petrol. I won’t be asking for an itemised bill or requesting the wine back as I don’t want to lower myself to her standards.

I just want to say thank you for all the responses as it has made me feel a lot better and reassured me that I’m not going mad! I will let my DH confront her if he feels comfortable and I will have Christmas in my own home this year with or without my SIL.

OP posts:
Delatron · 07/01/2019 19:26

I agree OP but I’m not sure it’s a cultural thing. Most people wouldn’t dream of charging for Christmas dinner whatever their culture. It’s a CF thing!

You are a good person to rise above it. And yes next time show her what good hospitality and hosting looks like, if you do ever have her round.

ChocolateWombat · 07/01/2019 19:29

OP, thank you.
And I'm glad that you feel able to host and to host generously next year, as well as not choosing to take any of the daft options which have been given on this thread, to make a pointed comment about the request for £40 per head.
Have a lovely Christmas and lead by example of being generous, even if others don't always manage to.

Cheerbear23 · 07/01/2019 19:35

It cost me £80 to feed 10 - not including booze. We had full Xmas dinner, lots of choice of different deserts inc Xmas pud and huge selection of cheese & biscuits. Massive amount of left overs too.
£40 each ? She’s having a laugh.

dontneedthedrama · 07/01/2019 19:55

I think most people were joking about the deducting costs etc but to be fair you would think your Sil was joking charging £40 . I would never dream of charging anyone to cook but would happily except a donation like wine or desert . You are right if you did charge you would just be like her .

Willbeatjanuaryblues · 07/01/2019 19:57

Well done op, don't Lower yourself to her awful stingy, scrooge standards.

It's people like that who suck all the joy of giving out of Xmas 😁😁.
Enjoy it without her next year.

dhisannoying · 07/01/2019 20:01

It's was only £70 a head at my local 5* hotel for a 3 course meal with wine! Not to mention staff, entertainment. CF.

Storybarn · 07/01/2019 20:13

Good for you op & I'd make a point of inviting and not charging the stingy bitch. Not that a tight fisted cow like hair would get the point. There is a reason why she can afford a 5 bedroom house.....

GummyGoddess · 07/01/2019 20:17

That's ridiculous! We all contribute to whoever is hosting, but a max of £20 per family and good quality food! £80 for a small dinner and cheap breakfast is ridiculous!

Justgorgeous · 07/01/2019 20:29

How can you feed £10 people for £80?? 😲Our turkey was £40.

MyKingdomForBrie · 07/01/2019 21:42

Well we probably spent about £600 all in for food and drink for 15 for a weekend (Friday to Sunday) but that was going all out three big meals a day plus lots of booze snacks etc. Didn't accept any offers of money let alone ask for it!

I think 'going mad with hurt and shock' is a bit ott though, I'd laugh at her being a CF and be a bit pissed off ofc.

Birdshitbridgegotme · 07/01/2019 22:54

I would pay £40 and when asked for the rest act shocked and say u thought that was for u both and how the hell did soup ext cost so much

Cheerbear23 · 07/01/2019 23:10

Justgorgeous yes our turkey was £32, potatoes, parsnips, sprouts & carrots just cost couple of £’s, approx£7 on pigs in blankets and sausages. Stuffing & gravy a couple of £. The rest was spent on cheese, and several deserts, and a couple of boxes of mince pies. Bought from M&S, Asda & Aldi.

Oscarsdaddy · 08/01/2019 17:51

If I invite anyone to my house it’s st our expense, it’s your home not a restaurant or B&B

Never go again

cherish123 · 08/01/2019 17:55

I would never "charge" people for the food they ate in my house. If she can't afford to host Christmas, then they should not host it. Tell her it's too much. If she is brazen enough to ask, just give her a curt response. Alternatively, tell her the bottles of wines should cover your share of the cost. If she doesn't like that, ask for the wine back 😆.

TheCherries · 08/01/2019 18:02

Pay it and don’t have Christmas with them again. You don’t need CFers in your life.

If you choose tomalend Christmas with them again just say you will take the wine and a dessert, or something else of their choosing but you will not be splitting the costs of the food again.

If you choose to host for them in the future ask them to bring a dish and leave it at that. Show them how to be a proper host

caringcarer · 08/01/2019 18:07

This sounds awful. I would pay up this time but refuse any more invites form her. I hosted my dsis and niece and would not dream of charging them money for the pleasure of their company and they stayed 5 days and I payed for activities like ice skating and climbing for child too and spa day for my dsis. I was happy they came. It is ungracious to charge family and friends when you invite them you expect to pay. I would accept wine, flowers or small gift but certainly would not expect or ask for them. This is not just asking for contribution it is making money from family which is disgusting.

HolaWeenie · 08/01/2019 18:11

Just as a different point of view, there’s 16 of us during the day Boxing Day and another 18/20 to the evening. There’s 3 of us that have homes big enough to accommodate, we all contribute because why should it fall solely on one family? We put in £40 per adult and nobody brings a thing and particular alcohol requests are catered for etc, that £40 also covers a big evening buffet for the additional guests. We’ve not itemised and worked out that £40 per adult covers it because some stuff is purchased in the run up to Christmas and not just in one food shop, but we all thought it sounded right.


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MsChookandtheelvesofFahFah · 08/01/2019 18:28

Ok it does seem a lot but just because you only had one main meal and the children didn't eat anything (?) doesn't mean that food and drink wasn't bought to cover Christmas Eve and Boxing Day as well. I also wonder if the bill was split only 5 ways and didn't include sil and oh. So looking at it another way £80 for 3 days food and 2 nights board over Christmas for a family of 4 might be unexpected but not really a huge amount. Just be prepared to say no next year.

FayFortune · 08/01/2019 18:30

It's far from normal though in my experience.

MadMadaMim · 08/01/2019 18:37

I think this depend on families and circumstances.

Our family always try to spend Christmas together and we always split the costs - we include everything so if anyone brings drinks, treats, munchies etc, these are all factored in and then we split.

We do not include any children. My siblings and I always pay for my mum as she is on very low income/pension. If anyone is not working (for whatever reasons), we don't include them when splitting the cost.

TBH, I would never expect any one person to pay for everyone, the same way I know I'd never be expected to pay for everyone.

This year, my brother and I decided to pay for everyone as we were able to. I know that in another year, if I'm a bit strapped for cash, I won't need to worry.

Every family is different.

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