December 25, 2019


A mum has defended her decision to charge her guests for Christmas dinner.

Mum-of-four Gemma Andrews, 33, appeared on a TV talk show to explain that she’s been hosting Christmas Day for ten years and puts a lot of time and effort into making it the perfect day for her guests, so doesn’t feel that charging them each $55 is inappropriate.

Ms Andrews’ grandparents first gave her the idea of charging for her efforts when they offered to pay money towards the ingredients bought for the Christmas lunch.

She explained that her son has severe food allergies, so she prefers to cater in order to suit his needs.

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She also explained that the money she collects goes towards treating her guests. “Everyone gets a present. It’s literally open house. People come at 10am and leave at 10pm,” she said, adding that some of her friends are nurses who don’t have time to prepare anything special, so drop in on her throughout the day.


Australian Author, Kathy Lette, who was also a guest on the show, was shocked, and said her guests would be insulted.

Social media was divided by her decision. “I may start to charge for Christmas dinner. That way I know nobody will come and we can have a quiet one. Hahaha!” one person wrote.

With another adding: “NO it is never okay to charge your family for Christmas dinner Christmas is a time for family and giving.. What has happened to the world?”

Is it insulting? What do you think?

Share your comments below.

  • We know of similar charges for Christmas lunch and their option to charge and you to refuse, but they frequently visit and enjoy hospitality at no expense so should not charge if they are not being charged.


  • I personally couldn’t charge anyone to come to my house for Christmas Lunch. I would feel absolutely embarrassed. My hubby wouldn’t like it also. We normally have lunch at my mums and I have extremely fussy children due to their own problems. Well I made sure that they had a special lunch also by bringing food I know that they would actually eat. First Christmas last year where my children actually ate food.


  • I think this is horrible! It completely takes away from the spirit of Christmas! The whole concept of Christmas is about giving – how is it giving if you are charging a fee? Plus it is really for her own benefit – she says that she prefers to cater as her son has allergies, so the reason she goes to some of the expense is for her son- let’s hope she doesn’t charge him too!


  • Its not something I would do but instead of charging them maybe suggest that every one bring a dish.


  • If they know in advance and fully participate (and get a present) than each family to their own! Usually families do end up sharing the cost in some way anyway by alternative hosts each year or bringing dishes etc


  • we always dutch or just do potluck…


  • I don’t understand how people are saying if she chose to host Christmas then she should just suck up the cost and you shouldn’t have to pay to spend time with your family…..the host has to pay. And quite alot i might add. Catering snacks, main and desserts and drinks can run into hundreds possibly even thousands depending on how many people….why shouldn’t that be shared around evenly. Why should one person who has offered to give up their home for the day to have everyone come together also be responsible for entire cost.


  • Catering for Christmas is a very expensive exercise. When we go to someones house, we always bring something to contribute or pay some money towards it, the host never ask though. We just feel more comfortable contributing.


  • If you are offering to have people over to your home, then I think you should cover the cost. It’s your choice! Bit unfair to charge family and friends!


  • Each to their own. I personally wouldn’t but I like shouting friends and family


  • Christmas is about giving and being together. I would hate to have to pay for dinner when we spend so much on presents for our huge families. I think if we had to pay we might as well go out to a restaurant.


  • I think if you choose to cater and not ask guest to bring a plate then you should cover costs for food. We always have family for christmas day which includes in-laws and sister staying for christmas – we host and I get and prepare the food but my inlaws contribute money by their choice (never asked for) and they always help with prepping, washing up and cooking etc so it balances out in the end.

    I think if your covering the food then it is ok to ask guests to bring their own drinks, and most guests you would think would take a gift for the host to say thank you.


  • Not ok! But I guess the guests do have a choice also. Either pay up or don’t go. I personally would not charge anyone if I was hosting. Don’t host if you can’t afford to.


  • I am always hosting Christmas but would never ask for Money.
    But I do ask them to bring there own drinks


  • When we used to have christmas with my mums side of the family we used to have to pay. It paid for all food, drinks and we all got a present. There around 60 of us who would be there. I dont think its fair that just because the person is hosting that they need to pay for it all. We now do a small thing at home with around 10 people including my husband and kids and everyone usually brings something along. It makes the day a lot easier for us.


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