We all know that Christmas can be an expensive time of the year, but this mother-in-law may have the answer to all your problems.

Let’s face it, Christmas is expensive, and is only getting more expensive year after year. Presents, parties, travel, food…the list is endless. One woman has told the popular parenting forum Mumsnet that her mother-in-law has decided to cut her Christmas costs by charging her family for their Christmas lunch! While the Mum was outraged at the proposal, we think it may be kind of genius…

Can See It From Both Sides

The mum said in her forum post that she can see both sides of the situation, and does understand where her mother-in-law is coming from. “My partner just told me that his mother, who he’s having Christmas lunch with, said she wants $30 per head from him! 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 instead now. I can see it from both sides and its hard work and can be expensive but it’s not like she’s financially destitute.”

Awkward! The Aussie tradition of ‘bringing a plate’ can be controversial enough at Christmas time, so we’re not sure how asking our relatives to pay up would go down…

Opinions Divided

Responses to the post were divided with some users expressing outrage at the mother-in-law’s proposal. “That is horrible. We host Christmas…cannot think of anything less hospitable than setting the menu and demanding your guests pay for it.”

Others stated that contributing something to the meal really was the best way forward, but they wouldn’t object to splitting the cost. “I would ask people to contribute by bringing specific contributions to the meal instead. When we’ve had Christmas meals as big group of friends, we split the cost.”

We think the whole thing is one giant cringe. It’s difficult to invite people for a meal and then expect them to cough up their fair share, but we’d also feel bad rocking up to someone’s house without making a contribution. Maybe asking for cash really is the best way to ensure everyone shares the burden equally? Or it could be the stingiest thing ever? We’re on the fence about this one.

Would you ask your guests to pay for Christmas lunch? Or how would you feel if you were asked to contribute to Christmas? Tell us in the comments below.

  • Isn’t it better to just bring a plate and share the love

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  • Would never ask – in our family we divide up the different dishes so everyone brings something, we don’t think it’s a hard ask as we don’t buy big Christmas gifts for the adults, only the kids and bring food and drinks to share :)

    Reply

  • I wouldnt ask for money but would ask if they could help buy something. This year my hubby and I have brought the Chicken and pork roast for Christmas lunch with the inlaws. It just makes it easier to share the workload around instead of just one person paying for it all.

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  • I wouldn’t go as far as charging or asking them to contribute financially, but I have asked guests to bring something to share, whether it be a salad, a dessert whatever. It lessens the cooking load and also share the costs a bit.

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  • Maybe have guests bring an item of food to take the pressure off of the host. This way a range of food will be available with less work. I personally wouldn’t ask guests for money as contribution.

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  • We all bring a plate to share the load

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  • Circumstances are different for everyone. Perhaps this MIL is money poor. Hard to say. I wouldn’t like to ask the family for money.

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  • Eating Christmas lunch or dinner out may have been a better option for this family. That takes the pressure off everyone :)

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  • I think I can see both sides of this. It can be expensive providing Christmas meal. For us it is a Christmas BBQ breakfast, with the older four children going to inlaws or partners homes for the other meals. So Christmas lunch is just the two younger ones plus us at home. My daughter in laws take food with them for where ever the meal will be. My oldest daughter’s ones are catered by her BF parents who do this instead of giving their children presents. His mother loves cooking and can be found in the kitchen most times.

    Reply

  • Either ask everyone to bring a plate or go out for Christmas lunch. Asking your family for money is awful.

    Reply

  • We usually all bring something. Mum does the full roast etc and then we bring the desserts, snacks and something to have later for dinner (mostly for the kids)
    There is no way it would cost $30 per person for Xmas lunch

    Reply

  • I always have Christmas at my house cause the others dont want to do it and I always ask them nicely oh can you please bring something and they actually dont mind

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  • Nope, in our family we alternate houses so over time it is evened out between everyone. Our family always offer to bring something but the main meat is provided by the host.

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  • I feel bad asking people to bring a plate, let alone charging them to come.

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  • Personally if you are going to “offer” to host it then you should not be charging people. I think that is rude. I understand it gets expensive but if you can’t afford it then don’t offer and problem solved.


    • I can see your point of view. It may be one of the rare time that all the family is together. If the family is large some people would definitely not be able to afford to feed everybody. One of our relatives has suggested everybody bring something this year. They will probably have to say what they intend to take so there isn’t a lot of one or 2 things and very little of other things. 3 of us are sharing the cost of one expensive item…….If the $30.00 includes drinks that probably isn’t that expensive. Why doesn’t the lady ask for help to prepare some of the food??

    Reply

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