Mumsnet users divided after mother-in-law asks family to pay for Christmas lunch

A debate has started over whether it is right to ask guests to make a contribution to the cost of Christmas lunch. Photo: Getty

A mother’s decision to charge her family £17 per head towards Christmas lunch has divided opinions online.

A Mumsnet user shared a post on the online forum explaining that her mother-in-law didn’t want to prepare the meal “from scratch” and needed people to contribute to the cost so she could order a ready made feast instead.

According to the post, her son was shocked by the suggestion that he should have to pay and now wants to join her family for Christmas instead.

The post read: “AIBU [Am I being unreasonable] to think you should ask family to pay for their Xmas lunch? My partner has 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.”

It continued: “I can see it from both sides and it’s hard work and can be expensive but not like she is financially destitute.”

The son has offered to bring dessert, but can’t shake the idea that giving cash “just feels wrong”.

A user shared on post on the online forum explaining that her mother-in-law didn’t want to prepare the meal “from scratch”. Photo: Mumsnet

The topic raised a lot of opinion from fellow users with one defending the mother-in-law.

“It’s really expensive to cater for Christmas dinner for a lot of people. I did it one year … for my better off than me in-laws … It cost me over £400 ($700),” one person wrote.

While another said: “To be honest it sounds like his mother is just fed up with being the only one organising and cooking the Christmas dinner every year. Has it ever occurred to him to pitch in?”

However, other users thought charging so much money for dinner was too much, with one saying: “I’d allocate a dish to each person but £17 a head sounds a lot. Surely it’s just a posh roast dinner! What’s she buying??”

Seeing both sides

Meanwhile some took the middle ground with one arguing: “It depends if you see it as charging or as chipping in. We ‘host’ Christmas dinner every year, but it’s only here because we have the space for the tables.

“So everyone chips in to cover it. There’s 29 people this year – no way could we afford to pay for all of that every single year.”

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