UK woman splits opinion over charging family £17 to attend Christmas lunch

A UK woman has split opinion over splitting the cost of Christmas, asking if it's OK that her mother-in-law charge her family members to attend their Christmas lunch.

While the day can be expensive, Mumsnet user Staceyjas has turned to the mother's forum for help, asking if it's appropriate that her partner's mother is asking her family to pay £17 (NZ$32) per head.

"My partner 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 explains.

"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 [its] not like she is financially destitute."

UK woman splits opinion over charging family £17 to attend Christmas lunch
Photo credit: Mumsnet.

The woman says it's the first time it's happened at her partner's family Christmas.

"He has offered to bring the dessert - 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."

The thread has so far garnered almost 500 responses, with opinion split over whether it's appropriate or not.

Some thought it was fine, given the expensive cost of Christmas.

"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," writes one user.

"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," notes another.

But others were outraged.

"OMG! No! F***, that is horrible. Cannot think of anything less hospitable than setting the menu and demanding your 'guests' pay for it," writes another user.

"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."

It's not the first time the question has come up. Last year UK mum-of-four Gemma Andrews went on breakfast television show This Morning to say she was sick of having to go above and beyond to feed her family, and was planning to charge each family member £30.