Interviews
Mom sparks debate after charging family members $40 for Christmas dinner
Gemma makes guests pay $40 to attend her Christmas dinner, but not everyone agrees with the idea.
Jenny Brown
11.15.21

As we know, the holidays are typically about giving. Many people spend the season buying gifts for their loved ones and performing acts of kindness.

But let’s face it. Although the holiday season is joyful, it can be very expensive too. In addition to presents, if you host Christmas dinner you might find yourself low on cash by the time everything is said and done.

Pixabay - Bru-nO
Source:
Pixabay - Bru-nO

To help compensate for all the holiday costs, one woman came up with a controversial solution.

She decided to charge her family £30 a head (or $40 in the United States) to attend her annual Christmas dinner.

YouTube Screenshot - This Morning
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - This Morning

This sparked a question that the “This Morning” show decided to tackle: Should you make your family pay for Christmas dinner?

According to This Morning, the average cost of a festive feast was up 16% in 2017. Of course, every family is different. But this is Gemma Andrews’ situation.

Gemma Andrews is a 33-year-old mother to four children. She lives in the UK and has annually hosted a Christmas dinner in her home for the past 10 years because her home is big enough to host a large group.

Pixabay - Al Lambe
Source:
Pixabay - Al Lambe

The group usually consists of 16 guests that includes her parents, grandparents, and even her ex-husband and his family as well. Because of her son’s severe food allergies, Gemma prefers to do the cooking herself.

In the past, Gemma said her family tried to each bring a dish, but many would forget.

This left Gemma to stressfully search for last-minute food to make sure everyone was fed. And if they did bring a dish, Gemma would have to make sure the food didn’t trigger her son’s allergies.

Pixabay - Hans
Source:
Pixabay - Hans

One day, Gemma’s grandparents offered to give her money as their contribution to the Christmas dinner. This is what inspired Gemma to begin charging her family for the expensive feast.

Pixabay - ScouserUK
Source:
Pixabay - ScouserUK

At first, she only charged £10 per head – but she only charged the adults, not the children. As time passed, the Christmas dinners became more expensive.

“The alcohol content has gone up as more children become adults, and there are more people who have had children,” she told This Morning. “No one has ever had any issue,” she later added.

YouTube Screenshot - This Morning
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - This Morning

With the money she earns from her Christmas dinner feast, all the food expenses are taken care of, and she makes sure that each family member has a present under the Christmas tree.

Author Kathy Lette said, “I’m sorry, but I think you’re making Scrooge look like Mary Poppins,” in response to Gemma’s charge.

YouTube Screenshot - This Morning
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - This Morning

But on the other hand, host Phillip said:

“For me, I think with you and your family, you’ve come to an arrangement that suits everybody. And so it’s not for anyone to judge how you decide you’re gonna fund your Christmas.”

At the end of the table debate, they share a poll they took. The question was asked, “Would you charge your friends and family for Christmas dinner?”

10% said “yes,” while 90% said “no.”

Pixabay - RitaE
Source:
Pixabay - RitaE

So, is charging for Christmas dinner something you’d consider doing? Watch the video below to see the discussion for yourself!

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

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By Jenny Brown
hi@sbly.com
Jenny Brown is a senior writer at Shareably. She is based in San Francisco and can be reached at hi@shareably.net.
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