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Whether you like Christmas or not, we think the majority of us will agree that Christmas dinner is pretty darn great.

With that in mind though, preparing said feast is easier said than done, and surely its more than understandable for the chef to expect a bit more back than just the food.

Surely, helping with the dishes or the pudding would suffice, but one woman is seeking something a little more solvent for her efforts.

In a lengthy post on Mumsnet, a woman shared a story about her mother-in-law's vision for this years Christmas dinner.

Rather than ask her relatives to bring along a side of a bottle of wine, she wants them to pay £17 a head for a specially catered dinner.

The user, going by the name Staceyjas, appears to have not been invited to the dinner, but her partner was and has been left in two minds on how he feels about the situation.

The post read as follows:

AIBU to think you should ask a family to pay for their Xmas lunch?

My partner has just told me that his mother who he's having Christmas lunch with said she wants £17 per head from him!

I'm going to my family's for lunch so invited him also but he has had it there all his life with his grandparents and siblings too.

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.

I can see it from both sides and it's hard work and can be expensive but not like she is financially destitute. 

This has never happened before and he has offered to bring the dessert etc but he said handing over cash just feels wrong.

As he says it's about family not money but I wanted to see what other people's opinions are? Or if you do this. 


The post elicited a range of replies which varied from bemusement to support.

Here are a few that felt it was a bit out of order.


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).

But if someone asked me for cash I'd pay - it's really expensive hosting, particularly at an expensive time of the year. When we have had Christmas meals as a big group of friends, we split the cost.


No - I would never ask people to pay to come to my house for dinner.

Take turns each year or ask people to bring a dish if you are short on cash.


I definitely would not ask for money and would not ask for food contributions either, but I would hope that my guests would bring some wine and nibbles for supper / snacks.

Others felt the mother had every right to charge for the food.


Tbh it sounds like his mother is just fed up with being the only one organising and cooking the Christmas dinner every year. Has it ever occurred to him to pitch in? To take a dish? Or is it all just left to Mum?

If there's 4 adults paying £17 each then that's only £68 all in so it's not like his Mum is spending an absolute fortune and expecting everyone to sub it.


I think it’s fair to be honest; why should she have to cover the cost every year when it’s likely to be £100 plus and why should she have to cover the cost of not wanting to do so much cooking. 

We don’t actually give money to whoever hosts but do the equivalent really in bringing champagne/pudding/starter but maybe she doesn’t trust everyone to remember/get the right thing and wants to organise it herself. 

Also £17 isn’t exactly much; maybe Christmas is breaking her financially and she can’t do it all any more.


I think there are ways of saying it, sometimes people are a bit thoughtless and don't offer to chip in, but saying its a charge would make me think twice - especially if I was paying for certain tiresome relatives company as well as a poorly cooked martyr meal.

What do you reckon? Is £17 too much to ask for someone to pay for a Christmas meal or is it fair game?

HT Someecards

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