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    • MSE Megan F
    • By MSE Megan F 8th Dec 16, 3:13 PM
    • 53Posts
    • 24Thanks
    MSE Megan F
    Money Moral Dilemma: Should I say it's your turn to pay for Christmas dinner?
    • #1
    • 8th Dec 16, 3:13 PM
    Money Moral Dilemma: Should I say it's your turn to pay for Christmas dinner? 8th Dec 16 at 3:13 PM
    This week's MoneySaver who wants advice asks...

    For the past few years we've had the family round to ours for Christmas dinner, and paid for most of the food and drink. We've been invited to my sister's this year, but now they suddenly want a kitty for us all to chip in, should I say something?

    Unfortunately the MSE team can't always answer money moral dilemma questions as contributions are often emailed in or suggested in person. They are intended to be enjoyed as a point of debate and discussed at face value.

    If you haven’t already, join the forum to reply!

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    Last edited by MSE Megan F; 19-12-2016 at 3:17 PM.

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Page 2
    • Lil Lady
    • By Lil Lady 14th Dec 16, 2:41 PM
    • 335 Posts
    • 796 Thanks
    Lil Lady
    It all depends if they have the money , have 3 kids etc and are struggling.
    I wouldn't give money, I'd bring flowers, soft drinks and a wine just the same as I would when visiting anyone else. If it's family, perhaps more crackers and a dessert or cheese board, and I would pointedly remark that I'll ask the same next time I host .
    proud to be a young stroke survivor
    • elizabethhull
    • By elizabethhull 14th Dec 16, 4:16 PM
    • 153 Posts
    • 563 Thanks
    elizabethhull
    ''It's lovely that you're doing Xmas this year,sis. What a great idea to get everyone to help out. Even better idea, to save you the trouble of doing all the cooking what would you like me to bring ? Shall I do the Xmas pud and brandy butter?
    And then next year, when it's my turn again, perhaps you can bring that fabulous meringue dessert you make and the mince pies. I'm hopeless with mince pies as you know.''

    Are you getting the idea ? Agree, suggest, plan, but never lose sight that it's 'goodwill to all (wo)men', even irritating sisters!!
    • bettyboo71
    • By bettyboo71 14th Dec 16, 6:29 PM
    • 248 Posts
    • 364 Thanks
    bettyboo71
    Circumstances aside, I think it is important that she knows you're a bit unhappy about it, but there are a few good suggestions on here. I personally would be inclined to say that you think it is reasonable for her to ask others to contribute (again it would be useful to have more nfo about who else is being asked to contribute)but as you have hosted for the last few years, you think it is a bit cheeky to ask you to contribute. In previous years, has she brought wine, snacks, or anything, to yours - as you'd have to take that into account too.

    I do think it is wrong to offer to host and then to expect others to pay, especially others who have hosted previously. But it is also not worth having a major fall out over, especially as christmas is stressful enough for everyone who celebrates it.

    Sometimes living hundreds of miles from the rest of your family has its advantages :-)
    • VeeW
    • By VeeW 14th Dec 16, 7:49 PM
    • 84 Posts
    • 35 Thanks
    VeeW
    Tell her to shove it. Remind her of the times you have hosted the dinner, ask her to consider what contribution she'd like and deduct that times number of years. She'll then be due you. Perhaps that'll make her change her mind!!
    • annie stirling
    • By annie stirling 14th Dec 16, 8:52 PM
    • 3 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    annie stirling
    Please think hard about what really matters. As others have said. Tell your sister that you would be happy to bring something with you and suggest others do the same as this will save her the work involved. Tell her what a good idea it would be as you all have a special dish that everyone enjoys, also say this could be the start of a family tradition for years to come. Merry Christmas and good will to all!
    • Lor17ine
    • By Lor17ine 14th Dec 16, 9:21 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Lor17ine
    Bring some food that forms part of the Christmas dinner rather than chip into a kitty. I have hosted the Christmas dinner for years and my family have always volunteered to bring a contribution. Then you could as previously suggested in one of the posts ask for a food contribution at any future Christmas dinners that you host.
    • Ladyhawk
    • By Ladyhawk 14th Dec 16, 11:07 PM
    • 2,050 Posts
    • 13,467 Thanks
    Ladyhawk
    I had a similar situation...ish.

    I was invited by a newish friend to join her and her friends for Christmas dinner on Christmas day. I already had plans for a big family lunch so said I'd join for a drink in the evening.

    When I arrived they were just sitting down and insisted I eat something as there was so much food.so I picked at a few bits. The next day my "friend" asked me for 25 contribution. I coughed it up and now we are ex friends (well that's not the only reason... her demanding and unreasonable behaviour was getting more and more out of hand)
    Man plans and God laughs...

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    • Honeylife
    • By Honeylife 14th Dec 16, 11:42 PM
    • 45 Posts
    • 97 Thanks
    Honeylife
    We do not know the financial situation of your sister which can be that she cant afford to host to your level. However if she offered to host it is clear she has felt that offering her house is merely a starting point and the invitees should contribute. If YOU have never asked for a contribution thats your methodology, not hers. If you are narked about it then you should immediately discuss it. My sisters - all of them, knows which of us can host with full trimmings and which of us just can't. We talk.

    A good friend hosted her son and his family for years at absolutely no charge or anything contributions being given. When she finally went to theres for Christmas including staying over night, she was asked for a not small monetary contribution! She had taken gifts, cakes, chocolate and other bits and pieces, struggled on a train cross country carrying all this stuff and then a taxi at the other end. She also did most of the cooking on Christmas day. She was extremly hurt to be asked, but paid it as she didn't want to fall out with her son and was afraid that it may limit her seeing her grandchildren in the future.

    As my children started working we moved to secret santa - one present each. I asked them to contribute but not money. It had to be an item for the meal and they had to buy it, cook it or prep it at least, and bring it. It made them far more appreciative of what was involved in preparing for the gathering. I have no problems with asking for this contribution as a host to my close family but should I invite someone outside the family to join us on Christmas day, I wouldn't ask them to contribute. However if they suggested or asked I would certainly say thank you and come to a reasonable arrangement. I was brought up never ever to go to someone empty handed, a bottle of wine, chocolates or flowers. At Christmas theres masses of stuff you can take.
    • nimbo
    • By nimbo 15th Dec 16, 6:53 AM
    • 3,137 Posts
    • 8,771 Thanks
    nimbo
    For the last few years we have hosted.

    My family one year and then his last year. All of my family offered to bring something. And did bring wine / drinks. We politely refused offers of food and cash. My mum stashed 50 in a thank you card and dressed it as a Christmas present. We got wrapped prezzies too.

    This year my mum is hosting 14 and a baby. She has asked my sister the vegetarian to cook the nut roast my other sister to cook the lamb and me and my partner to cook the beef. All the meat (except the beef) has been ordered through her butchers and will be delivered so we can bring it on Christmas Day. This was only because she hadn't asked us yet and thought my partner would wish to se the beef prior to cooking. We politely refused the cash - and pointed out the cash in the card when she'd come to ours.

    We totally don't mind the contribution. I'm popping over for a few hours on Christmas Eve to help prep veggies. As is one of my sisters.

    She's asked because she has a tiny kitchen. And a normal sized oven. I suspect she's cooking lamb because it's my favourite. She's cooking beef because it's her partners favourite as well as one of the grand children's. And turkey because it's Christmas.

    Having hosted - I don't resent being asked to contribute in such a way - but if I was asked for cold hard cash I may feel differently. But I also wouldn't have offered to host if i couldn't afford it. (my mothers contribution was a surprise and She was very insistent or I would have stuck it back in her bag)

    Stashbuster - 2014 98/100 - 2015 175/200 - 2016 501 / 500 2017 - 3 / 500
    • drewstew
    • By drewstew 15th Dec 16, 8:10 AM
    • 16 Posts
    • 14 Thanks
    drewstew
    What's past is past. Just say good idea, that's how we'll all do it from now on.
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 15th Dec 16, 8:15 AM
    • 16,935 Posts
    • 41,118 Thanks
    Pollycat
    Tell her to shove it. Remind her of the times you have hosted the dinner, ask her to consider what contribution she'd like and deduct that times number of years. She'll then be due you. Perhaps that'll make her change her mind!!
    Originally posted by VeeW
    I think there's possibly a more tactful way for the OP to get her sister to realise she's perhaps being a little unfair asking for a contribution to Christmas dinner than telling her to 'shove it'.
    • ellymoo
    • By ellymoo 15th Dec 16, 9:05 AM
    • 40 Posts
    • 24 Thanks
    ellymoo
    ''It's lovely that you're doing Xmas this year,sis. What a great idea to get everyone to help out. Even better idea, to save you the trouble of doing all the cooking what would you like me to bring ? Shall I do the Xmas pud and brandy butter?
    And then next year, when it's my turn again, perhaps you can bring that fabulous meringue dessert you make and the mince pies. I'm hopeless with mince pies as you know.''

    Are you getting the idea ? Agree, suggest, plan, but never lose sight that it's 'goodwill to all (wo)men', even irritating sisters!!
    Originally posted by elizabethhull


    This is a really lovely idea. I definitely think that it's the way to go.
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 15th Dec 16, 9:18 AM
    • 16,935 Posts
    • 41,118 Thanks
    Pollycat
    This is a really lovely idea. I definitely think that it's the way to go.
    Originally posted by ellymoo
    It is a lovely idea.

    Shame that the OP's family have never offered to do that - or if they have offered their offer has been declined or the OP has neglected to add that little snippet into the original post.
    • mai_taylor
    • By mai_taylor 15th Dec 16, 9:49 AM
    • 190 Posts
    • 380 Thanks
    mai_taylor
    Tell her she owes you x amount for the number of years you've hosted and send her a printed invoice.
    • Bonnie Scotland
    • By Bonnie Scotland 15th Dec 16, 10:37 AM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Bonnie Scotland
    Money Moral Dilema
    Agree to request, then as you say this idea should be carried forward to the following Christmases.
    • doctorblunkett
    • By doctorblunkett 15th Dec 16, 1:32 PM
    • 22 Posts
    • 21 Thanks
    doctorblunkett
    Tell her to shove it. Remind her of the times you have hosted the dinner, ask her to consider what contribution she'd like and deduct that times number of years. She'll then be due you. Perhaps that'll make her change her mind!!
    Originally posted by VeeW
    how does that help? creating conflict for the sake of it? if you think this is an appropriate response, then i pity your nearest and dearest
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 15th Dec 16, 2:53 PM
    • 16,935 Posts
    • 41,118 Thanks
    Pollycat
    how does that help? creating conflict for the sake of it? if you think this is an appropriate response, then i pity your nearest and dearest
    Originally posted by doctorblunkett
    Yes, and this one is only marginally better:
    Tell her she owes you x amount for the number of years you've hosted and send her a printed invoice.
    Originally posted by mai_taylor
    • Ebenezer_Screwj
    • By Ebenezer_Screwj 15th Dec 16, 3:08 PM
    • 396 Posts
    • 223 Thanks
    Ebenezer_Screwj
    Yes, I would say something. Thank you for presenting us with a bill for your "hospitality", it never occurred to me to do that when you spent Christmas with us. Thanks but no thanks, we are staying at home this year.
    • mai_taylor
    • By mai_taylor 15th Dec 16, 4:25 PM
    • 190 Posts
    • 380 Thanks
    mai_taylor
    Yes, and this one is only marginally better:
    Originally posted by Pollycat
    I think it's completely rude and out of order for someone to invite you to their house and expect you to pay so a rude response is what they should expect. I don't know why people can't just be up front and honest with people in their family, if it was me I would tell them that they are being unreasonable.
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 15th Dec 16, 6:34 PM
    • 16,935 Posts
    • 41,118 Thanks
    Pollycat
    I think it's completely rude and out of order for someone to invite you to their house and expect you to pay so a rude response is what they should expect. I don't know why people can't just be up front and honest with people in their family, if it was me I would tell them that they are being unreasonable.
    Originally posted by mai_taylor
    So you would go to the extent of printing off an 'invoice' to show your sister she's being rude?
    Do you not think having a dialogue with her might have a better result?
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