Money Moral Dilemma: Should I say it's your turn to pay for Christmas dinner?

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  • ''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!!
  • 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
    VeeW Posts: 84 Forumite
    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!!
  • 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!
  • 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
    Ladyhawk Posts: 2,064 Forumite
    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)
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  • 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.
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  • nimbo
    nimbo Posts: 3,698 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post Combo Breaker
    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)

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  • What's past is past. Just say good idea, that's how we'll all do it from now on.
  • Pollycat
    Pollycat Posts: 34,651 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post Savvy Shopper!
    VeeW wrote: »
    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!!
    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'. :rotfl:
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