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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:
mindutopia · 06/01/2019 22:42

Hosting family for Christmas is expensive and I don’t know if I could ask for money, but I’d always willingly pay it (it cost us £800 in food shopping to have everyone here for 3 days a few years ago, which is quite a strain at Christmas time). But certainly when we go to the big family Christmas, we bring a dish and we also pay per head. That includes all food for the day and all alcohol. It’s usually about £15 per head, which is quite reasonable. If my shopping cost £800 for 7 people (granted for 3 days, 3 meals a day), I wouldn’t want to know what it would cost for 40 of us. The hosts are retired too and one is disabled. It’s a blessing they can even have us and it’s only fair to contribute.

But she should have been upfront from the start about the cost and you probably shouldn’t have brought so much wine (or at least have enjoyed it!).

AlpacaLypse · 06/01/2019 22:42

Is it £80 for two nights for two adults? No children? That's actually not at all unreasonable although I would have expected croissants for breakfast

TigerTooth · 06/01/2019 22:43

I'd just pay it and don't do it again.

TigerTooth · 06/01/2019 22:44

You could say "DH will drop the cash off, and we forgot our wine so he'll collect the 4 bottles at the same time".

AlpacaLypse · 06/01/2019 22:48

Also as host I wouldn't have expected five bottles of wine between 2 people for two nights especially as one night you would be arriving late and the other one of you would be being sensible as driving in the morning. I imagine SIL is putting the extra bottles of wine into the same bit of the cellar downstairs that I shoved about seven random bottles earlier today, it's called 'The Emergency Wine Cellar' and is very useful when people turn up unexpectedly or you realise you've epically failed to sort a birthday present 2 minutes after the shops closed.

clippityclop · 06/01/2019 22:51

The whole idea of money changing hands for Christmas entertaining is a bit squirmy to me. We love having family here, most bring a plate of something irva bottle to contribute but it doesn't matter if they don't. Pay up, get your wine back if it doesn't seem it will cause a huge tow to ask for it and make other plans with someone nice next year.

Belindabauer · 06/01/2019 22:52

Id just pay it but would decline any future invites.

Bluelady · 06/01/2019 22:52

It's beyond me how people can have the brass neck to charge their family for feeding them, let alone present them with a bill for a ludicrous amount like that. I'd give her half and never accept another invitation.

Coronapop · 06/01/2019 22:53

I suggest paying £40 and pretending you think that is for both of you, ignoring initial reminders, then finally texting to say 'how on earth could our food have cost £80?' and dropping the subject altogether without ever paying the other £40.

FuckingYuleLog · 06/01/2019 22:53

Tbh I’d want to go and pick up the wine even if the petrol cost was more just so they didn’t get to fleece you any more than they are already.

arethereanyleftatall · 06/01/2019 22:53

Cereal and tinned soup on Christmas Day?!?
Yummy, what a treat.

ThisIsNotMyRealName1 · 06/01/2019 22:56

Cripes! I think I'd pay and decline any further invites.

pallisers · 06/01/2019 22:59

I'd pay it (would be really tempted to say something like "your local butcher and shops seem very dear - food must be ruinous for you during the year") and never accept an invitation again.

Takes some brass neck to want to make a substantial profit from hosting your family for a dinner.

MrsJBaptiste · 06/01/2019 22:59

^ Coronapop I'd do exactly this 👍

sue51 · 06/01/2019 23:00

I would pay up but would cross her off my christmas card list forever.

HouseworkIsASin10 · 06/01/2019 23:01

Lesson learned, I would never go again.
I would never charge my guests for food. This year had 7 for xmas and loved feeding them. I have said next year we will be eating out and as our guests me and DH will be paying for them, no question. They will want to contribute but we will not accept a penny.

JemSynergy · 06/01/2019 23:02

We contributed £10 per person to the family who hosted this year. Drink was provided although I did take some wine too. We wanted to contribute there was about 25 family members attending and I don't feel it is fair on one family to foot the whole bill each year. £40 per person seems a but much to me, I'd pay it but not forget about it.

Returnofthesmileybar · 06/01/2019 23:05

I will bet you £80 that if you question the bill it will transpire she didn't charge the kids OR herself and her dh, because shock horror, they couldn't possibly pay after they hosted Hmm

Bet she can peel an orange in her pocket too the tight bitch

waterplease · 06/01/2019 23:07

I'm another one trying to understand why you'd invite people over for food then charge them for it?? If you can't afford it then surely don't offer?

Seems like she can afford it as she's just bought a nice new big house...

I wouldn't pay OP, and I'd let her know how cheeky she's being. Then again I hate my future SIL.Grin

HopeIsNotAStrategy · 06/01/2019 23:08

The clue is in your opening post OP, “she has a big new house”

Clearly things are tight this year! 😄.

BlueJag · 06/01/2019 23:09

Annoying but just pay it. It's the cost of a hotel night.
Christmas can be awful and maybe next year you stay home and enjoy whatever you want to eat and drink.

Korvalscat · 06/01/2019 23:12

My Dparents always host. I buy extra food and drinks in my weekly shop in the run up to Christmas and co-ordinate with dm so we don't end up with multiple Christmas puddings and cakes - especially as dsis usually buys stuff at the last minute. This year she gave dm cash instead (don't know how much as I didn't ask) as her dd, son in law and dgs didn't come this year. Df came round yesterday with a 12 pack of beer, a couple of bottles of wine and assorted cheese, crackers and nibbles that were left over - some of which I had bought and some I hadn't. I saw another bag in the car so assume he was off to see dsis next.
I probably spent about £120 - £150 (less than that now after df's visit yesterday) and had a 3 course Christmas lunch, buffet dinner/supper, boxing day lunch (dd+ 2dc also stayed for dinner whilst DH and I went to mil's) and went back to collect dd and dgc and had drinks and nibbles. Given all that £40 per head for what you were given does seem a little steep OP.

Mumshappy · 06/01/2019 23:13

I dont think id be able to resist asking for a breakdown of her costs. She clearly hasnt spent £40.00 per adult so id want to see how she justifies this amount.

Carrotss · 06/01/2019 23:16

It's not something I could get particularly upset about. Certainly not enough to start some sort of family drama over by demanding an itemised bill or refusing to pay or whatever. I would just pay it and next time decline the invite, lesson learned.

llangennith · 06/01/2019 23:20

It does seem odd but I think I'd just pay up and it it down to experience.

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