Grandma’s decision to charge family for Christmas dinner sparks online food fight

Dec 22, 2023
The 63 year old's unique approach to Christmas dinner has sparked a mix of reactions online, with some embracing the tradition and others expressing bewilderment. Source: Getty Images.

One grandma’s unconventional holiday tradition is making waves online.

Caroline Duddridge, a 63-year-old from the UK has been charging her family for Christmas dinner for seven years, but this year’s price hike has taken the controversy to new heights.

Last year, Caroline charged her two sons a fee of £15 each ($28 AUD), while her three daughters, working part-time, paid £10 ($18.67 AUD). Her four grandchildren aged over five contributed £5 each ($9.33 AUD), and the two under five were asked for a more modest £2.50 ($4.67 AUD) through their parents.

This year, however, Caroline has decided to increase the charges, particularly for her daughters.

In a recent interview with BBC Radio 5 Live, she explained, “I have put the girls’ prices up [this year] by £2 because I did get a bit of stick from people saying I was being sexist – not that I listen to public opinion, particularly.”

‘I’m not sure it will [cover the cost], because when you buy a few bits and pieces it comes to like £30 or £40 and it’s barely a bag full,” she added.

“This is not Christmas stuff either but just general shopping – it’s just horrifying and you wonder where it’s all going to end.”

Caroline defended her unique approach to the holiday season, insisting that it’s a “no brainer” to charge her family for the Christmas dinner.

She sees it as an “important lesson for the kids” about money and the importance of consideration. Despite some disagreeing with the move, she revealed that many people applaud her idea.

It certainly was a mixed bag of responses when the debate made its way online, with some embracing the tradition and others expressing bewilderment.

“I think if I was in her family I’d tell her to stick her Christmas dinner where the sun doesn’t shine,” one wrote.

“Grandma’s are typically on a fixed income. My family wouldn’t allow my Grandma to pay for such a large meal. Be understanding.”

“Just seems tacky. Why not instead just ask people to bring something? Isn’t that what normal folks do?”

“Time for kids to realize that parents and grandparents are no longer spring chickens and might have health problems. Should take turns at houses and bring food! Then everyone can enjoy themselves!!!”

“We had friends who did this with their families. If you’re that cheap and don’t want to host just say so. Make it a potluck, but it’s really tacky to invite people to your home and charge admission,” commented another.

“Good for her. Families seem to automatically assume the parents/grandparents will host holiday events, why? If I had an extended family I would not foot the entire bill for the meal plus cook and clean up…no way. Let them out purchase, prepare and clean up after themselves.”

“Why charge them? Just delegate what they need to bring for dinner.”

As the debate continued, Grandma Caroline’s choice has sparked a bigger discussion on changing family traditions, financial challenges during the holidays, and the real meaning of togetherness.

Whether her Christmas dinner fee becomes a lasting tradition or just a social media trend is uncertain. One thing is clear—this holiday season, the internet is buzzing with festive drama.

Stories that matter
Emails delivered daily
Sign up