Woman's upset when mother-in-law charges $20 per person for Christmas dinner, and she's not poor
A woman whose mother-in-law decided to charge her family for Christmas lunch was surprised by the reaction on social media.
For many people Christmas is the most important celebration of the year, bringing families together in the spirit of love and unity for one traditional meal.
One British woman was horrified when her mother-in-law made a few changes in the plans for their usual Christmas family lunch, and she shared her story on MumsNet.com on November 24, 2018.
She appealed to readers for their opinions and was surprised by some of the comments.
It's not too soon to think of Christmas dinner so give us a call and we can help make it special for you and your family! pic.twitter.com/246ggT8gR5— Baker's Weatherford (@BakersRibs) November 26, 2018
"Do think you should ask family to pay for their Xmas lunch? My partner has just told meMe that his mother who he's having Christmas lunch with said she wants £17 per head from him!"
PUTTING A PRICE TAG ON CHRISTMAS?
The woman's mother-in-law informed her family that she was not willing to do the laborious Christmas cooking from scratch and that she intended to order the meal ready-made.
Since that would imply higher costs, she would be charging her family approximately $20 a head for their Christmas lunch. The husband, who has been having Christmas lunch with his parents, grandparents, and siblings all his life was shocked.
"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."
"IT'S ABOUT FAMILY, NOT MONEY"
Although the husband understands that entertaining the entire family for Christmas is expensive and a lot of work, he feels uncomfortable with the idea of handing over cash. He offered to bring dessert and suggested sharing out the making of the meal to other members of the family.
THE EXPENSE AND THE HARD WORK INVOLVED IS DAUNTING
The woman's story struck a chord, and she received over four hundreds of responses. Opinions varied. One of the comments pointed out that people who saw it as "paying for Christmas" would be shocked, while those who understood it as "sharing expenses" would be amenable.
Others shared the opinion that the work and the expense of entertaining an entire family ranging from 10 to 50 people can be daunting, and they understand the mother-in-law's point of view.
SHARING THE WORK IS THE WAY TO GO
Many revealed that in their family the burden is shared. The work and expense of preparing the Christmas feast is divided among the family members:
"OMG! No! That is horrible. We host Christmas: buy the turkey and pudding, everyone else brings a dish eg sausages in blankets etc. That shares the cost and the work."
Most agreed that sharing the costs and the work is more than fair, but should be done by getting people to bring food and drink to the party:
"Personally I wouldn't - I would ask people to contribute by bringing specific contributions to the meal instead ("Uncle Paul is bringing stuffing, Auntie Lucy is doing the sprouts" type thing)."
The consensus seems to be that it is unfair to expect any one person to shoulder the burden of preparing and paying for the Christmas lunch alone, and in the true spirit of the Season, everyone should participate - either with cash or Christmas goodies.
Read more on Twitter Amomama USA.
PAYING FOR THANKSGIVING DINNER?
This Thanksgiving one Twitter user shared her turkey woes, revealing that her aunt charges $30 a plate for Thanksgiving dinner. According to the user, "my aunt cooks everything and we just eat."
Whereas some families share the preparation of the feast, others just rely on one person who has all the work and expense, with the cost of a Thanksgiving dinner for 8 with all the trimmings coating varying according to where the ingredients are bought, but averaging under $50.
One reader offers a simple but fair solution:
"My family doesn't charge, but whoever made dinner keeps all the receipts and then everyone splits the bill. That still leaves one person/family cooking everything, cleaning, having folks over, so it's not exactly a fair split anyway."
Perhaps if the guests stayed after the party and washed dishes and cleaned up, they would have a better idea of the hard work involved, and be more appreciative of their host's efforts.