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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:
Cattus · 06/01/2019 23:20

Try Coronapop’s idea. Pay 40 and wait and see if she asks for the other 40.

FuckingYuleLog · 06/01/2019 23:22

I agree I wouldn’t ask for an itemised bill. That will just be turned around into you being ungrateful after being cooked for and put up for 2 nights (despite them not letting you know they would be charging form their hospitality).
You have to pay I’m afraid but at least you know for next year. And definitely be petty about the wine!

FuckingYuleLog · 06/01/2019 23:24

Although ‘misunderstanding’ and paying £40 isn’t a bad shout actually. It’s still over the odds for what you were served imo so you wouldn’t be leaving them short. Do you think they’d have the brass neck to say ‘actually, it was £40 each’.
Is there anyone else in the family you could speak to about the cheeky fuckery or do you think everyone else is happy to pay?

muckandbrass · 06/01/2019 23:26

what can you do though? there are many kinds of idiots in this world. luckily for you, they're only in-laws and they live far away.

so, though I would say it is insulting and crass, i'd probably pay up, though I would be tempted to just send £40 cash and when they had the temerity to ask for another £40, say, wow, you're kidding, £40 each for one meal!!!!!!!!!! so you could let her sweat a bit with an explanation, but be all faux innocent charm Smile.

but of course i'd never personally have anything to do with them again .... life's too short.

elvis86 · 06/01/2019 23:26

"Do you think they’d have the brass neck to say ‘actually, it was £40 each’."

Of course they would! That's a crap plan. If you want to object, you'll have to be blunt - CFs like this don't respond to subtlety!

muckandbrass · 06/01/2019 23:31

or just send her the £40 and ignore any further demands for another £40. i mean, who is she gonna complain to, most people will think she's mad.

Or just pay up the £80 and forget it.

looked at positively (there's nearly always an upside) she's shown you her true greedy and selfish colours for the relatively small hit of £80.00. You need never see her or be nice to her or have anything to do with her again. A bargain!!

MumW · 06/01/2019 23:39

Turkey for 10 adults was £25 and lots left over.
SIL hosted (she has space, we don't) but we paid for turkey, stuffing, bread sauce, dessert and a bottle of wine.
She did buffet style tea.
Nothing was demanded of us, we offered as we wouldn't expect her to foot the entire bill.

£80 per family for a very basic xmas meal - she's having a laugh. I'd say that unless she proves why it cost so much, then you'll give her no more than £40 in total, to keep the peace, and that you still feel cheated.

HJWT · 06/01/2019 23:42

We had a big buffet CE a huge dinner on CD with 2 meats, christmas pudding chocolate cake ice cream alcohol lots of left overs and we went to Tesco, we spent £90. Shes ripping you of....

SillySallySingsSongs · 06/01/2019 23:45

You were there for two nights, so it wasn't just Christmas Day.

Waddsup12 · 06/01/2019 23:47

Yeah, but it's not a hotel.

I'd pay it but just never go there again. £80 is lots, I'd spend it on my own meal.

FuckingYuleLog · 06/01/2019 23:47

The op said she arrived late Xmas Eve and left early Boxing Day. They had a bowl of cereal each Boxing Day morning so I doubt that added much to the food bill!

LellyMcKelly · 06/01/2019 23:47

There were 4 of us and our Christmas food bill was just over £100, and that included smoked salmon, turkey, pigsinblankets and all the other trimmings, dessert, cheese, and a nice bottle of wine. My sister hosts up to 20 for Christmas and when we go there (different country) everyone mucks in. Someone brings the starter, someone else the pudding, the cheese, or the port. It’s a real family affair. Nobody spends anything like £80 though!

Katgurl · 06/01/2019 23:49

I would pay the money on this occasion and I would leave the wine but I would be mortified for your husband and would never accept another inivte. Talk about cheap!

It doesn't really matter what would happen in a similar situation with your brother tbh as all families operate differently.

Yulebealrite · 06/01/2019 23:55

It is surprisingly expensive. We only hosted 10 people for 2 days, not including Xmas dinner, and it came into the hundreds but we did have leftovers.
I suspect she just charged for the total cost of the shop but has come out of it rather well because not everything she bought was eaten or drunk.

theworldistoosmall · 06/01/2019 23:57

I reckon shes also charging for new pans, plates, glasses etc.

£40 for
2 x cereal
1 tin of soup
basic Christmas dinner excluding booze

Is a rip-off unless the basic included things like salmon and caviar, which considering soup and cereal was there I doubt it,

hottubhotties · 07/01/2019 00:04

I went away with friends over Christmas, 3 nights, 6 adults, 2 toddlers.
we had dinner first night followed by breakfast, lunch dinner for two days then a final breakfast. one meal was christmas dinner.
I bought all the food and we then split the bill, we paid £25 each, nothing for the toddlers.
everyone brought a couple of treats/snacks and own drink but for £25 each we were very well fed and our christmas dinner with all the trimmings was amazing.

EverlyNow · 07/01/2019 00:05

She’s overcharging you!! For the sake of family peace, I’d pay, but with a PA message of “Just put through the bank transfer. Lovely to spend time with family this Christmas, but let me send you the link for our online butcher for next year. He’s definitely well priced and you know the quality is excellent” 😂

And I’d never go there again!!

We hosted my Sis/BIL/DN for 10 days and MIL for 5 of those days...I don’t want to think how much it cost us. It was wonderful though

Merryoldgoat · 07/01/2019 00:12

There must be something wrong with me - I can’t believe the people saying they’d pay. No ducking way.

I’d never have agreed to pay in principle and certainly wouldn’t after I was so badly hosted.

Personally I’d ask for a breakdown:

‘Gosh SIL - given the amount of food I find that rather steep. Could you send a copy of the receipt so I can understand how it’s so expensive? The wine I brought was £x a bottle though and we only drank one so could you please put it aside and I’ll collect when convenient.’

Or the less polite version:

‘That’s fucking ridiculous. I’m not paying that and would like to see the receipts plesse.’

trojanpony · 07/01/2019 00:14

She just bought a enormous house, she isn’t that hard up.

If you have the balls ask for the receipt - please do. there’s no way what you describe cost £280 from Aldi and I’d love to see her prove it.

back in the real world where you have to deal with her for the next 30+ yearsOtherwise just pay and never go to here again. Also give her a crappy PA regifted presents going forward.

TheMobileSiteMadeMeSignup · 07/01/2019 00:17

Sod that! £40 each?! We fed 7 adults and our 5yo: turkey crown, ham, all the veg and trimmings, small starter, homemade cheesecake and cooked breakfast for 4 of us the next morning and spent about £100-150. Not including alcohol as we already had plenty in the cupboard and some non-drinkers.

TheMobileSiteMadeMeSignup · 07/01/2019 00:18

Oh, and the meat and veg was local butcher and grocer so not cheap out of Aldi.

Merryoldgoat · 07/01/2019 00:18

And FWIW we hosted dinner for 5 adults. There was food everywhere. A very generous joint of fillet beef, 5 vegetable dishes, a vegetarian dish, two puddings (one homemade), free flowing Prosecco, wine, port, cheese etc. I had laid out bowls of sweets, crisps, snacks, and there was a massive slab of Ferrero Rocher. And my total food and alcohol bill was less than £300 and it would’ve easily fed 7.

My MIL offered to pay for the beef but I fobbed her off.

If you can’t afford to host then don’t.

CantSleepClownsWillEatMe · 07/01/2019 00:22

Assuming the other guests were also ILs and given you say you've spent Christmas with ILs before and not been charged, I wonder if she's billing you and DH @ 50% of the cost and not her parents? I mean surely if this isn't the norm in her family her DPs would find it quite odd?

It's really opportunistic imo and she must have a neck like a jockeys bollox to do it! I mean I can understand if a group of people/family all agree they want to do Christmas together but that it's not affordable for one household to cover all the costs so decide everyone will contribute either by agreeing who's providing what or an agreed amount in advance.

I can't get my head around her offering and then in response to your question 'what can we bring' telling you she'd split the cost. It's pretty difficult at that point to back out because it might look like you begrudged contributing so she kind of had you over a barrel then!

Live and learn Op. I'd be tempted to 'misunderstand' and just send £40 in total but in reality I'd probably pay up and never, ever accept an invitation from her again.

DoggusSausageous · 07/01/2019 00:33

We have 2 massive family dinners over Christmas and kne sibling always hosts, for a range of sensible reasons.
We ‘middle generation’ siblings always chip in, we share the meat and booze bill between us. It is a LOT.

Massive rib of beef from a quality butcher, good free range turkey, good quality bacon and sausage meat, good wine, ‘pudding wine ‘ etc etc.

I wouldn’t dream of letting my sibling bear the whole cost.

But... £40 x 2 for your dinner sounds steep!

OVienna · 07/01/2019 00:34

How much exactly are you being asked for? At least £80 it appears to me. Is she seriously charging you £40 for the toddlers - you say "ours didn't eat much" so you had DCs there. Apologies if you've said, but it seems to me posters are just assuming she's charging for two of you.

You could start with Corona's idea and if she presses you go with an amended MerryOldGoat message.

‘Gosh SIL - given the amount of food I find that rather steep. Can you please talk me through how the expenses reached this scale? I would have been happy to - and preferred to - contribute by bringing some of the groceries with us, had I known. The wine I brought was £x a bottle though (not anticipating costs were going to be so high elsewhere) and we only drank one so could you please put it aside and I’ll collect when convenient.’

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