Christmas is fast approaching and so begins the debate over who will be in charge of hosting and cooking the usually extravagant lunch or dinner.
While each family has its own traditions when it comes to hosting and cooking Christmas lunch, there’s always one story that pops up in the media every year about a person (let’s face it usually a mum), who insists the rest of the family pay a small fee to enjoy the delicious meal and help cover the costs of the massive shopping list of ingredients.
Last year it was a 33-year-old mum from the UK who claimed she charges each person (not including kids) £30 [AU$53] for the meal as she is always left out of pocket following the festive season.
Apparently she had tried the method of getting everybody to bring their own dish to contribute, but many had forgotten in the past and so the meal just didn’t cut it.
“They don’t have to come,” she on British morning show This Morning. “The people that come are my grandparents-in-law every year without fail. If they didn’t come they’d be sat at home on their own.
“They pay in November. It comes out of November’s pay packet for them, so they don’t have to think about Christmas money in December.”
This year, the controversial decision has been brought up again by a woman via online forum Mumsnet. According to the mum, her mother-in-law wants to charge £17 (AU$30) per head, which has caused a bit of a dilemma for her husband.
“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,” she explained. “This has never happened before and he has offered to bring the dessert but he said handing over cash just feels wrong.”
Sure Christmas is a stressful time of year with many presents to buy and family gatherings to attend, meaning it’s not uncommon for people to go over their usual spending allowance. But being the season of giving, many are convinced it is just not right to charge for a meal, especially when it’s family.
This can get a little tricky when that person is insistent on taking full responsibility for the meal and would rather receive cash instead of food or drink contributions. Perhaps this is because of family traditions or that they simply don’t want to hand over the ranks. Whatever the reason, it can cause a lot of disputes.