‘My in-laws are charging us for Christmas dinner at their house – it’s put me right off’

Christmas can be an expensive time of year, and hosting Christmas dinner for a large family can break the bank with the amount of food you need to buy to keep everyone full.

Many families who get together on Christmas day split the dishes between each household to alleviate both the cost and the effort on the hosting house – but one family has instead asked for every guest to pay a fee to cover the expenses.

A mum took to Mumsnet to express her frustration at being told to pay an undisclosed amount to have Christmas dinner with her in-laws, as she said she has hosted the big day at her house several times and has never considered asking for money.

She said: “My brother-in-law and sister-in-law are hosting Christmas dinner this year. I’ve hosted before. Basically, they are charging us per family for dinner.

“I’ve never charged them before but apparently because they’ve got a lot of people going this year they have decided to charge.”

The woman said she was especially annoyed by the monetary fee because most of it would be going on champagne – which she won’t be drinking because she’ll be driving her family to the event.

She added: “Then in the next breath they’re saying how many bottles of champagne they are planning to buy, but have said they will be splitting the cost evenly between us all. They know I won’t be able to drink as its just assumed by everyone I’ll do all the driving.

“I don’t want to seem tight but charging for Christmas dinner for me just feels wrong.”

And the mum insisted she would be more than happy to take over a dish to contribute to the dinner, but doesn’t want to give them cash.

She wrote: “I would, of course, have taken things round or would have been perfectly happy if they’d ask me to bring a certain course.

“My husband says he is on their side as they are doing all the hard work. Granted, but I’ve never charged them and would never dream of! It’s really put me off going, but of course I will go to keep the peace!”

The mum’s post has split opinion online – but many people agree that her in-laws are being out of order by asking for money.

One person said: “I do not understand this mentality. I’d stay at home. You do not charge people for dinner in your own home no matter day of year it is.”

While another added: “Fair enough to ask people to contribute by bringing dishes, desserts, or wine. I would feel uncomfortable being asked for cash too, especially if it was paying for champagne which I wouldn’t drink.”

And someone else wrote: “You don’t invite people over to your house and then charge them.”

However, other commenters tried to sympathise with the rest of the woman’s family, as they pointed out the cost of hosting Christmas.

A comment read: “One of my siblings always hosts Christmas because they have the space.

“The rest of us chip in with the cost. We aren’t being ‘charged’ we just recognise that it isn’t fair for one family to bear the significant expense.

“And it is more important to be together, and enjoy being together, than staying in our own homes because ‘if they can’t afford to host they shouldn’t invite.’ ”

And a second person agreed, adding: “I think you should offer what you’re prepared to pay.

“I’ve lost count of the number of Christmas dinners I’ve cooked and hosted at 200-400 quid a pop and nobody offered to contribute!”