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Making Family Pay For Christmas Day Dinner

The table is set, the champagne’s on ice and crackers sit by the plates.

All that remains is for the guests to arrive for Christmas lunch, where they will be welcomed with open arms.

As long as they have paid up in advance, that is.

This is the reality of Christmas Day festivities at the home of Leah Wright this year.

She has invited 12 people — all family — to celebrate with her and her partner, Andrew Fuller, at their comfortable home in South London.

Yet she has made it clear that guests can only attend if they pay her £60 per couple for the privilege.

Read the rest if the holiday horror story HERE.

{ 175 comments }
{ 175 comments… add one }
  • Aleko December 20, 2017, 9:09 am

    When I wrote and posted my first response there were no moderated comments up. Now I have seen the first 50-odd, I think there are several cultural misunderstandings here from North Americans and Australians. E.g. –

    “If it’s too much work, everyone should take turns hosting!”

    I don’t think you guys from big countries where building land isn’t in desperately short supply and therefore extremely expensive have any notion (why should you?) just how meanly matchbox-small the average house British house is. Any extended family whose nuclear units all own houses large enough to host everyone for a sit-down meal is just so affluent that the cost of wining and dining them all is a mere bagatelle to them. In most families there will be only one or two homes where it’s feasible to sit everyone down to dinner.

    “… bring extra chairs …. ”

    Aargh! Nooo! The Sartrean hell of the all-day one-room British Christmas is bad enough even when you aren’t sitting wedged elbow-to-elbow between Auntie Joyce and Cousin Tony on fold-up chairs. Trust me on this. Extra chairs for a picnic or barbecue, fine, but not Christmas!

    “Instead, why not vary the menu or give everyone an open house / brunch / drinks and snacks?”

    Because, for all but a very few dangerous bohemian freethinkers, sit-down Christmas dinner is a fixture, to be catered as far as possible on the template of the one in “A Christmas Carol”. If you’re too small a household to eat even the smallest turkey, have a duck or chicken: if you’re veggies, have a nut-roast substitute; soggy sprouts and leaden plum pudding are obligatory for all. For the majority of the population, to get all the family together in your home on Christmas Day and feed them anything other than this ritual meal is not merely *not* “hosting Christmas”, it is actually sabotaging it, since it prevents them having it anywhere else.

    • Dee December 20, 2017, 6:21 pm

      I’ve hosted holiday dinners in a small trailer, where the narrow table jutted out into the hallway, making it difficult for anyone to pass from one side of the trailer to the other without guests getting up from the table. Only plates and glasses fit on the table; the food had to sit on the two feet of counter space that I had. All the small rentals we’ve lived in had tiny kitchens and no dining rooms, and yet we still managed dinners just fine. For the first few years of my life we lived, as a family of 5, in a house under 800 square feet. The best dinners I’ve attended were held in a quaint one bathroom home, where the 20+ guests went through the buffet and then found a place on a sofa with others or a spot on the floor, jostling glasses and cutlery.

      If you want to do a dinner then you find a way. If you don’t want to, you’ll find an excuse. But the majority of the world lives in cramped poverty and still manages to bring entire families together to celebrate big events. It’s not the size of your space or your wallet that’ll make it work but your attitude.

      • Zhaleh December 21, 2017, 7:03 am

        Yes. Thank you. I’m so used to small spaces, having a family Christmas in a large home would feel like visiting strangers. And would be visiting strangers because none of us has anything bigger than a two bedroom apt, except my dad who still lives in a small 3 bedroom council house we grew up in, but he travels to the city all his kids moved to because there are jobs here but no housing.
        I think if one of the family members got rich and bought a huge house, we’d still meet at my sisters.
        But if we got rich at this age we still would be unlikely to buy a big house because then you have to maintain it.
        And that would be the responsibility of the buyer, not the buyers siblings.

      • rindlrad December 21, 2017, 3:19 pm

        This!

        Similar to Dee, one of the best Christmas meals I can remember was with friends when I was a newly wed. Imagine 12 people in a two-bedroom apartment – 900 square feet total. It was potluck. There were not enough seats, so we sat on the floor. Our plates were paper with whatever assorted cutlery we could pull together from all our kitchens (my husband and I shared a knife). I don’t even remember what we had to eat. I just remember lots of laughter and being with people I cared about. If you want to make it work, you can make it work. Step 1 – Stop worrying about what anybody else will say.

        • Ulla December 22, 2017, 1:47 am

          And here I am thinking: 900 square feet two bedroom home is quite spacious one! Actually, for two bedroom I think it’s rather large. Here I (based on how home layouts are often planned) would assume that such two bed room apartment would have most of the space in the living room as usually bedrooms here are rather small. Of course, building styles differ, very much, so outside “here” that’s not obviously applicable.

          Most two bedrooms here (though “here” is not UK but Finland) are at least 100-200 square feet smaller, or even smaller than that. I used to live in two bedroom which was less than 650 square feet (if I translated these correctly from square meters). Our current three bedroom is around 1070 and this is in my opinion large apartment (one of those capable to host quite a number of people).

          • staceyizme December 22, 2017, 10:30 am

            These are the sentiments that prove it’s not about money but about matters of the heart.

          • Tan January 3, 2018, 3:53 am

            I know what you mean 600-700 sq feet is far more normal for a two bed in a built up European city centre. to get 900 you’d have to be on a sizeable wage or move out of the centre and commute. 900 m2 is probably average 3 bed house size in UK. It’s quite clear from the pictures and comments in the article these are people well equiped to hosting and have room. Although how that ties to a financial situation is tenuous. I know people who forgo life luxuries to have more space at home (At a guess 1300 sq feet) and they couldn’t swallow the cost of a 12 person 3 course meal. That being said they’d never think going ott with “hosting” a large meal like this meal. One thing they’ve done in the past is a Christmas party where they held it (cleaning being their main “job”) another 2 couples cooked and 2 couples bought “table gifts” for everyone. The thing that really gets me in the article is the people knowingly and therefore deliberately trying to make a profit from a family meal… ergh…

    • Jelaza December 20, 2017, 8:04 pm

      It’s kinda sad that the menu is more important than the company. Christmas meals that I’ve been to have ranged from baked ham with all the trimmings, to spaghetti and garlic bread, to a make-your-own-sandwich table, and all of them have been equally Christmas.

      • NostalgicGal December 22, 2017, 10:59 am

        I would spend from early morning on to make turkey and dressing (outside the bird) and all that and my spouse requested one year I make my chunky baked spaghetti sauce instead because of all the work of making a traditional bird oriented meal. To make that sauce takes seven hours of standing over the ingredients, making things in batches, and laying it into the big roaster to be baked to finish. (mushrooms and garlic cooked together, etc). Last bake to meld it is about 45 minutes. We invited a few friends and wedged in on our gateleg table and ate until we bust (it would serve 12 all they could eat…) He had watched me make that and apologized as it was three times the work of the turkey meal… he’d thought he had picked a less work alternative. But. It was a worthy holiday meal… it’s what you make of the meal no matter what goes on the table! Another year we had fried chicken made with veggies and gravy IN the pan with dumplings on top. As for space, at times we had to serve the meal in shifts so everyone could sit down to eat at a table… it still worked.

    • Wild Irish Rose December 21, 2017, 9:52 am

      It doesn’t matter how much room you have–if YOU are hosting, YOU pay for the meal. It’s that simple. If you don’t have the room for a lot of people, either pare your guest list down or take everyone out to dinner at a nice restaurant. If you don’t have the money to host the kind of dinner you would like to host, admit that to yourself and don’t invite people for dinner. Either way, you don’t charge admission to a dinner, especially once they have arrived. It’s just bad form to surprise people at the door with a fee. Had I been one of those “guests,” I would have left immediately.

      • Ai December 22, 2017, 11:10 am

        This.

        I get the importance of a big traditional Christmas meal; Puerto Rico has big Christmas celebrations where one house would host and have food for multiple visiting families. I do get that.

        I just can’t wrap my head around charging guests like it’s a restaurant. I can imagine asking for a bit help, I can even imagine pitching in cash or helping with grocery shopping. But charging 60 pounds per social unit for a holiday meal in a family member’s home is greedy. That’s a pretty pricey meal for two people in a restaurant; at least customers in a restaurant can choose the food they wish to eat and make special ad hoc requests.

  • Ashleigh December 20, 2017, 9:30 am

    As tacky as I think it is to ask for money my family hosts pretty much every holiday and it is stressful. We try to mitigate it by having everyone bring something (one part of the family doesn’t cook so they bring ice). It’s not perfect but I think it’s preferable to one person/family having to do everything singlehandedly, especially if it’s for a lot people. That said I’m in Australia and it could be a cultural issue, as the dinners described seem to be far more formal than the vast majority of the ones me/my friends have attended

  • Nicole December 20, 2017, 10:38 am

    Honestly, I wouldn’t mind paying for a gourmet meal prepared by a professional chef for Christmas. The ingredients are pricey and I would rather a lovely duck than another round of jello in some weird pale sauce as prepared by aunt Dawn (what I am actually getting – the woman coats everything in various white sauces. Jello, shredded turkey, green beans, chopped fruit… it is all coated in something white and greasy feeling.) I think that, if it is discussed in advance and agreed on as an option, it could be an awesome way to actually enjoy a Christmas dinner instead of the bland sliced ham warmed in water in the oven for hours until every drop of flavor is gone.

    As I like to say, to each their own. Do what works for your family and try to enjoy it. I will eat a large breakfast so I can poke at ‘dinner’, they get to enjoy the dinner but have to pay in advance. Is it worth the price? That is something each family has to answer on their own.

  • Stacey December 20, 2017, 11:20 am

    It’s guaranteed that for that price, I am not helping with the dishes! LOL

  • Jackie December 20, 2017, 11:37 am

    Are you flipping kidding me??? That is extremely ballsy in my opinion. When we can’t afford to fed everyone, it’s bring a dish to pass. I would not go.

  • Lisa December 20, 2017, 11:42 am

    This reminds me of a few friends:

    1. One young lady, who was making a nice living working at a large computer company, “hosted” a birthday dinner for her boyfriend at a restaurant. When she and her roommate served cake, they told everyone they needed to pay $1 to cover the cost of the cake. $1 to pay for a measly square of a grocery store sheet cake. I didn’t mind that she did not pay for the guests’ dinners, but, I found it beyond tacky to charge for a slice of cake. On top of that, the numbers didn’t add up. She collected more than what the cake would’ve cost. No doubt she also paid for her boyfriend’s dinner with the cake money.

    2. A friend “hosted” a birthday party for his wife shortly after they were married. It was a potluck – guests were to bring entrees, sides, desserts and drinks. He provided the rice, birthday cake, plasticware, cups and napkins. I had known this friend for years. His parents paid for all of his college expenses including living costs, two cars (bc he wrecked one), two high-end bikes (bc one was stolen), and his 500-guest wedding. His parents also gave him (not a loan but a gift) money to start a business. My friend had a great launch into post-college/adult life yet he expected his friends to fund a birthday celebration for his wife. Incredible.

    3. We were in a Bible study group of married couples with kids and singles. The leader insisted on potlucks at his house. Everyone brought entrees. He would provide maybe one bottle of juice, water, cups, paper plates, plastic ware and napkins. He, his wife and two kids ate plenty of everyone else’s entrees. I already found this appalling but when other families hosted a potluck, they would show up with a small plate of appetizers at best and then chowdown on everyone else’s entrees.

    4. Another couple, no kids, in another group we were in, would bring a tub of ice cream or a dozen cookies, then eat multiple places of everyone else’s entrees and sides. Every single time.

    • klb4n6 December 20, 2017, 10:40 pm

      That reminds me of a guy I used to work with – nice guy, lots of fun, but he was sooooooooo cheap. He would bring soda to our holiday potluck (and not Coke or Pepsi, but weird dollar store sodas like pineapple soda) and then eat three heaping plates of food at least. Another department used to invite us over on holidays when they’d do breakfasts or dinners (we’re a 24/7 unit) and they eventually stopped because he’d eat so much. He moved to a different job 15 years ago and we still hardly ever get invted over. The only good thing about him eating everything was if I made something at home that I either didn’t like or wouldn’t/couldn’t finish, I knew I could bring it in to work and he’d take it off my hands!

      • Ulla December 22, 2017, 9:22 am

        Totally off topic 😀 But how is pineapple soda weird? Very normal soda here (and usually more expensive than coke/pepsi), and I would appreciate non-caffeine drink far more in potluck.

        • Barbara Foster December 26, 2017, 10:08 am

          I’d actually like to try pineapple soda. But it’s not common in U.S. or Canada. I wouldn’t know where to get any, but there might be some in dollar stores that may get remnants from one global market to sell in another. I suspect the soda that ends up in dollar stores is a brand that didn’t sell well where it was made, so wouldn’t be a “good” pineapple soda. (Although you could still luck out and hit something that might not have been to the home market’s taste but is delicious to you.)

          Now I’d really like to find pineapple soda!

          • Vrinda January 1, 2018, 12:56 pm

            Fanta makes them. I see them in some refrigerators near checkout stands at Target.

        • klb4n6 December 30, 2017, 7:06 am

          As Barbara said, it’s not very common here – and the kind he would buy would be very cheap, literally $1 for a 3 liter. So he’d spend maybe 2 or 3 dollars and eat way way way more than that.

          It’s possible the soda was good, but I never tried it. I only kind of like pineapple juice so I’m not sure I’d like the soda!

    • NicoleK December 21, 2017, 8:49 am

      Eh, just because his parents buy him fancy stuff doesn’t mean he has cash to spend on other things.

      But I agree, if you can’t afford dinner just make it a tea and serve cake and coffee.

    • JD December 21, 2017, 2:47 pm

      There was a cheap couple I used to know well; they would attend church potlucks and sign up to bring the deviled eggs, always. Then they would bring 12 of them (as in, 12 egg halves made from 6 whole eggs) for a potluck for 50. Other attendees started bringing deviled eggs, too, because they knew what was going to happen when they saw the wife’s signature on the sign up sheet.

  • Christine December 20, 2017, 12:25 pm

    I don’t understand why the sister can’t come as the mother’s guest saving them the extra $60? Other than that, anyone with any class or manners know you don’t charge people for entertaining them at your home. I don’t care what the excuse.

  • Princess Buttercup December 20, 2017, 12:28 pm

    I can see wanting to off set the out of pocket costs but trying to get a pay day off your family celebration… :-/
    If I’m paying 30-60$ for my meal then I better have some amazing food and stellar service.

  • FoxPaws December 20, 2017, 12:43 pm

    My favorite part was where one woman claimed she’d be, “keeping everyone’s glasses topped up,” with wine they were required to provide themselves.

  • Lisa December 20, 2017, 12:59 pm

    2. *have
    4. *plates

  • Goldie December 20, 2017, 3:43 pm

    Hosting a dinner for a large family is expensive and labor-intensive, so, spreading the cost sounds fair. I like this better than a potluck dinner, to be honest! However, she lost me at charging the single attendees the couples rate. I’d pick a random plus one up off the street and bring them along (kidding, kidding, I would not do that, this is after all an etiquette page – I’d just send my regrets).

  • staceyizme December 20, 2017, 4:37 pm

    It’s another nail in the coffin lid of hospitality. But- at least those attending knew what they were letting themselves in for and were free to attend, offer to host their own events or simply make other plans. I can’t fault the idea of everyone paying “shares” if it’s a family custom and allows for a nicer meal, in theory. In practice, however, it leaves a dry, hollow taste in the back of my throat where well wishing and generosity of soul would usually be…

  • Merrilee December 20, 2017, 4:47 pm

    It’s simple.

    If you can’t afford to host, don’t.

  • kingsrings December 20, 2017, 5:35 pm

    I’m glad to hear that this article is most likely exaggerated, because I was going to hate humanity after reading it. Hosting and hospitality means doing nice things for your guests and not expecting to be paid back. With these family holiday dinners the most one should expect from their guests is a possible contribution in the form of bringing a dish to contribute. And if I’m expected to pay for my dinner, I want to know what the dinner will be ahead of time so that I can decide whether I like it or not and if it’s worth the price I’ll pay. Years ago I attended a singles Valentine’s nice dinner event hosted by two members of a singles social membership group I belonged to. We paid to attend just like with all our other events, and our payment covered the cost of the food. We weren’t told ahead of time what the menu was going to be. Our dinner consisted of not enough food and no dessert! Dessert is a required part of a meal one serves to guests I feel, especially a Valentine’s Day one, so I felt really gipped there.

    • staceyizme December 20, 2017, 10:15 pm

      If you had to pay AND they ran out of food… the event was either very poorly organized or one of the organizers “benefited” from the funds that were designed to cover food and other incidentals.

      • kingsrings December 21, 2017, 12:42 pm

        Everybody got equal portions so it wasn’t that they ran out of food, I just didn’t think that it was enough given the price we paid for the meal. And even more so that a dish (dessert) was left out. The next time I’m faced with a meal is a paying event, I’m going to request to see the menu ahead of time to make sure it’s worth it.

  • RORY December 20, 2017, 7:50 pm

    In reading the comments, I see a consistent assumption in play: that hosting is a burden. It is from tthis assumption that we arrive at all sorts of proposals and justifications to share that burden. Hosting is not a burden. It is [or should be] something that is enjoyed. If it isn’t, don’t do it – either to make a martyr of yourself or a profit.

    • Semperviren December 21, 2017, 8:00 am

      Beautifully said. I wholeheartedly agree.

  • FoxPaws December 20, 2017, 7:58 pm

    On a plus note, the fact that the attendees are clients rather than guests means that they’re off the hook for a hostess gift and thank you note.

  • Hannah December 20, 2017, 9:10 pm

    IF she was hosting only because no one else could, and didn’t have the money to serve everyone– I would get asking for people to chip in. I think a reasonable person would offer to chip in one way or another anyway. But the fact she is making a profit? The fact she is asking £60 per single/couple? And that doesn’t even include your drinks? That’s just all sorts of yuck. It’s not hospitality. It’s a business deal. If I want that I’ll go to a restaurant.

  • BagLady December 20, 2017, 10:11 pm

    I’m in the U.S., and my circle is pretty loosey-goosey about hosting. Our celebrations fall into these categories:

    1. Pure potlucks, where “everyone” brings something. I put “everyone” in quotes because there are always folks who lack the time and/or money to contribute. These people are not shamed or discouraged from participating. We would rather have their company than have them not attend because they can’t make a dish or pay for a store-bought one.

    2. Semi-potlucks, where the host prepares, purchases or otherwise arranges for one or more main dishes and asks guests to contribute appetizers, sides or desserts (again, no shame in not contributing).

    3. “Jack” feeds. Jack is a friend of ours who is a hobby caterer. He loves to cook for large groups of friends in backyard-type party settings. He is often the one who provides the main dish(es) for the semi-potlucks referenced above. Jack is an elderly widower on a limited income, and asks to be reimbursed for the cost of ingredients. Depending on the event, the host may pay him up front, or Jack discreetly asks for contributions via a collection can. We are all cool with this, and people pay what they are able.

    4. Cooperative meals. This is how I do Thanksgiving and some Christmases and Easters with my neighbors, a family of three. They provide some parts of the meal (including the meat), while I provide dessert, some sides, coffee, some drinks, and my home as the venue. No money changes hands.

    5. Actual dinner parties where the host provides everything. These are so rare in my circle that the hosts almost feel compelled to hire a neon sign proclaiming, “THIS IS NOT A POTLUCK! YOU DON’T HAVE TO BRING ANYTHING!”

    All that is to illustrate that I am not averse to the idea of folks chipping in for a meal. But it should be done discreetly and not be *required*, which is what appears to be happening in the OP. And it definitely should not be a profit center for the so-called “hosts.”

  • Stephanie December 20, 2017, 10:57 pm

    Oh darn, have other plans… so sorry I can’t pay you to profit off our family event!

  • SJ December 21, 2017, 2:22 am

    This is the approach I would take:

    “Family,
    I want us all to able to get together and have dinner, but I can’t afford to pay for a meal for XX number of people. I can happily provide a main dish and my home as a venue. Can the rest of you contribute in the form of buying ingredients, bring side dishes, or any other way so we can enjoy the meal as a family?”

    Thanks,
    SJ”

  • Michelle December 21, 2017, 7:34 am

    Here in the United States, our family is getting a Prime Rib dinner for 6 from the local supermarket. The whole meal costs $70. We are each chipping in $10 – $15 for it, depending on each person’s means. I can’t imagine paying $70 for one person – ridiculous!

  • Semperviren December 21, 2017, 9:03 am

    She’s made the assumption that because HER family is fine with it, HIS family will be too. Clearly they’re horrified, but she’s blithely going ahead with it anyway. Perhaps she doesn’t realize this yet, but just because they’re giving in, and just because they behave politely on the occasion, does not mean they’ve “come around” or that they’re “fine with it”. Or that they’ll forget it.

  • Tmichele December 21, 2017, 1:00 pm

    What leaves a sour taste in my mouth is money changing hands. The holidays are supposed to be all about family and togetherness and being thankful and merry. Bringing money to the forefront of the event just ruins the spirit for me.

    My husband has a HUGE family (32 in his immediate family alone). We have the largest house and I LOVE to host events so we are hosting Christmas Eve for the second time this year (we’ve only been married 3 years). I offered our home and everyone was excited. I was fully prepared to host alone when I volunteered our home. Money is tight this time of year so it wouldn’t have been a feast, but I would have done my best and they would have been gracious. However, all 6 of his sisters have called to ask what they can contribute. I shared the main dishes I was planning to prepare and they told me the sides they could pair with it.

    This collaboration brings unity and joy to our family, that we are working together to make a lovely holiday. Gracious human beings will offer to bring something, period. Whether or not they can cook, whether or not they have a lot of money. However, a gracious host is always prepared to fully host the event without assistance. If over time this becomes too much of a burden, simply stop offering to host at your home.

    It really is that simple.

    In a world of pay-your-way birthday parties and pot luck baby showers, this kind of behavior doesn’t surprise me unfortunately. Entitlement and tit-for-tat is becoming such a norm.

    Be the difference! ??

  • DGS December 21, 2017, 1:39 pm

    No. If you are hosting, you provide the food. You budget and pay for it and if you can’t swing it, you don’t host. If you are asking everyone to contribute something (food, money), you are not a host. You are an organizer of a potluck, and there is nothing wrong with a potluck, but you are not “hosting” a holiday dinner, so you can’t call it that.

  • NicoleK December 22, 2017, 7:40 am

    I can see a situation like if one person always hosts because they have the space and the time, and for whatever reason others can’t reciprocate, then people talk back and forth and discuss cost of groceries, and ways people can help be it financial or by bringing something, I can see a situation where “Mom buys the groceries, sister Suzy cooks the meal, brother Bob shows up early to set the table” or whatever.

    But this sounds weird. But apparently it’s a tabloid.

  • kingsrings December 22, 2017, 1:31 pm

    This reminds me of a big etiquette no-no I experienced years ago that I’ve occasionally posted about on this site. I was invited as a plus-one to my boyfriend’s family’s Christmas vacation home in beautiful Carmel. All the kids were allowed to bring a plus-one if they wanted to, and it was boyfriend’s first time inviting to this. At the end of the visit as bf and I were about to head out, his father approached us to settle the bill for our part of the house rental. Yup, I was expected to chip in $$ to cover the rental costs AND nobody had ever told me that. I was dumbfounded because I had no such money on me, nor would I ever expect to pay when I was invited as a guest! Boyfriend quickly realized I wasn’t prepared and coughed up my part of the bill. I was so mortified. The biggest faux pas I have ever encountered as a guest.

    • Ergala December 23, 2017, 8:46 pm

      Wait…you were expected to help pay for THEIR rental???

      • kingsrings December 26, 2017, 9:25 pm

        Yes. It was a house they’d been renting every Christmas for years.

    • LadyV December 26, 2017, 10:50 am

      The main question I would have is, did you stay at the vacation home for more than one day? If so, I think it’s fair that everyone who stayed at the home share in the rental. HOWEVER – this is definitely something that should have been discussed ahead of time. Also, since Christmas at the vacation home seems to be a family tradition, is asking people to share the cost a regular part of the deal? If so, I can’t believe the boyfriend didn’t know about it – and therefore could have warned kingsrings in advance.

      • kingsrings December 26, 2017, 9:23 pm

        We arrived Friday night and left Sunday evening. I don’t know how vacation rental etiquette goes, but when one is invited as a guest as I was, that would mean to me that they’re just that – a guest. The meaning of that to me is that they’re not expected to chip in to any costs whether it be an invite to dinner, vacation rental, etc. The guest would show their gratitude with a host gift. (No, I didnt do that, I should have in retrospect). Not once did my boyfriend ever mention cost beforehand or that I’d be expected to contribute to it.

      • Lerah99 December 27, 2017, 5:38 pm

        There’s a huge difference between “Hey, I’m thinking of getting a group of people together to rent this cool house for the holidays! If we have 8 people chipping in, it would be $XXX.xx per person. But if we only have 6 people it will be $ZZZ.zz per person.”

        And “Sweetums, I really want you to come with me for the holidays and meet my family!”

        The first one, yeah, you absolutely should expect to chip in.
        The second one, no way. You got invited to meet your love interest’s family over the holidays. That shouldn’t come with a bill at the end unless you were told well in advance.

        • kingsrings December 28, 2017, 12:31 pm

          The second one is exactly what happened. When his father approached me I was so stunned I just sat there with my mouth agape, so my bf quickly jumped in to save me and pay my part of it, saying I could pay him back later. Oh, and on another tacky note, his stepmom’s idea of dinner for all the first night we arrived: a bowl of lima beans for each of us. That was it. Yeah, that wasn’t a very good trip.

  • Joshua December 23, 2017, 9:21 pm

    Does anyone understand the host’s motivation for charging single guests the same price as a couple (60 pounds)?

    • Jelaza December 25, 2017, 11:08 am

      The first thing that comes to mind? Greed. The very antithesis of Christmas spirit.

    • LadyV December 26, 2017, 10:38 am

      Greed?

    • Amy January 4, 2018, 1:06 pm

      Well.. if they have a large family, with kids involved, it can get a little sticky trying to divide things. Do you charge per person, or per family? Are kids the same as adults?
      I’m one of five, and although there are times that I’ve been single and they were married and had kids, we’ve always just split things five ways.

  • LizaJane December 27, 2017, 7:48 pm

    Holy Ebenezer Batman!

    I’m in the rural midwestern US and things are admittedly casual here. However some things just aren’t done and this would be one of them.

    I have 7 siblings and even when every holiday was at my parents’, all adults contributed. Mom made the ham/roast/turkey and dressing/potatoes, etc. with Dad doing the heavy lifting. Everyone else brought sides, salads, desserts.

    Now, my brother & his wife do a huge ham, another sister-in-law does chicken of some sort, on Thanksgiving there’s also turkey. I always do the mashed potatoes because I’m the only one who does enough.

    The organizer chooses the place; 2 actually have homes large enough, but Christmas is always in a converted barn (it’s huge and wonderful); provides table service, drinks, etc.

    No one is ever expected to completely host 60 people.

    We always have an obscene amount of food and rarely duplicate. Except one year when there were 3 Red Velvet cakes. My brother didn’t see a problem at all.

  • Kr15 February 10, 2018, 2:42 am

    It’s very simple in our family, if we want to see each other on Christmas Day we have to share the cost between the family.

    When my parents retired they were very honest that they would no longer be able to host Christmas due to not being able to afford to feed us all (with kids there are now 13 of us in total). Same for Boxing Day celebrations.

    Unfortunately neither myself or my brother have the space to host or can afford to feed that many people.

    So we came to the solution of financially helping out.

    I pay £100 and that covers 4 of us for all our food and drink for a very merry 2 day Christmas celebration. I believe my brother pays a similar amount.

    For us it’s no money and no family Christmas.

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