Thoughts on Xmas lunch out?

Abbafan1972
Abbafan1972 Posts: 6,890 Forumite
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As the title says - we’ve only ever gone out for Xmas day lunch the once and that was years ago (20+). Last year we cooked a curry on Xmas day and we went out for lunch on Boxing Day at the local Toby Carvery, it was £22.99 each for a 3 course meal, which wasn’t too bad, as apposed to around £50 each on Xmas day, which we’ve never been able to afford, or would even want to pay that much (there are 4 of us). So last year on Boxing Day, my parents came with us and we thought the food was nice and perfectly edible, no complaints. Except for my Mom who left most of hers and all she did was complain about it, this spoilt the mood for the rest of us. Anyway, we had dinner at my parents yesterday (she invited us), but you can tell she no longer wants to cook on Xmas day and has said that next year we will all go out and she will pay. The place where we will go is a cheaper Carvery (Stonehouse) but even for yesterday, the price was £49.99 each, which no doubt will be more by next year. We have decided that we are going to say thankyou for the offer but we can’t let you pay, so we won’t go. We wouldn’t pay that kind of money for a meal ourselves, so wouldn’t expect them to pay either. I think we will be cooking next year now. 

We have done Xmas dinner a few times over the years but we only have a small house and recently had to get rid of our dining table due to lack of room, so next year would have to bring in the garden table/chair inside to sit at. 

We are your thoughts please? 

xx
Striving to clear the mortgage before it finishes in Dec 2028 - amount currently owed - £43,915.98
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Comments

  • RobM99
    RobM99 Posts: 2,518 Forumite
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    I know the  hospitality industry is suffering but £50 for a roast? No, thanks.
    Now not a gainfully employed bassist.
  • RobM99 said:
    I know the  hospitality industry is suffering but £50 for a roast? No, thanks.
    It’s always been about that much for Xmas day for most places. The meals are not much different to the rest of the year. I’d imagine the extra money is to cover the staffs wages and other overheads for Xmas day. 
    Striving to clear the mortgage before it finishes in Dec 2028 - amount currently owed - £43,915.98
  • I feel for the staff who do end up working and therefore wouldn't eat out, nor would I pay those prices. I don't even go to the shops / 'hit the sales' as there's nothing that urgent that can't wait a couple of days and I try to avoid shops generally during silly season.

    I've never cooked a traditional Christmas dinner, but have done a fancy Sunday roast instead, a lot less agro / stress. Yesterday was a roast with guinea fowl, viennetta for pudding later in the day, evening snacks were cheese, salami and crackers. The day was very enjoyable as no one was stuck tending to the kitchen. 

    If you want to avoid your mom cooking, go round and do it at hers, especially if your home isn't that big, or scale it back and enjoy the day / company instead.
    Mortgage started 2020, aiming to clear it in 2026.
  • RobM99
    RobM99 Posts: 2,518 Forumite
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    RobM99 said:
    I know the  hospitality industry is suffering but £50 for a roast? No, thanks.
    It’s always been about that much for Xmas day for most places. The meals are not much different to the rest of the year. I’d imagine the extra money is to cover the staffs wages and other overheads for Xmas day. 
    Oh I realise that. Still a lot though, especially for a family - more so at this time.
    Now not a gainfully employed bassist.
  • Flugelhorn
    Flugelhorn Posts: 5,563 Forumite
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    it is only a roast lunch - can't see why it causes so much stress - just needs a bit of planning.

    I wouldn't pay huge amounts for a meal out spend the money on some things to make the cooking easier - we buy a turkey breast rather than the whole thing, aunt bessies spuds, stuffing and yorkies. we do the pigs in blankets, veg and gravy - though you could probably buy all these prepped too

  • it is only a roast lunch - can't see why it causes so much stress - just needs a bit of planning.

    I wouldn't pay huge amounts for a meal out spend the money on some things to make the cooking easier - we buy a turkey breast rather than the whole thing, aunt bessies spuds, stuffing and yorkies. we do the pigs in blankets, veg and gravy - though you could probably buy all these prepped too

    Totally agree. It can just be as simple as a couple of hours to roast a turkey crown (park or lamb joint if preferred), an hour or so for roast potatoes (or go Aunt Bessie’s) veg can be tinned or fresh and don’t take more than about 10 minutes. Gravy from a pot if desired, but there are easy recipes to do it from scratch. That’s what I did this year and my planning was a couple of lines scribbled on paper!
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  • Brie
    Brie Posts: 9,959 Forumite
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    "only" £50 for Christmas dinner???  I was looking at booking for us this year and the price locally was north of £80!!!  Not in London btw!!

    If you want to go out why not do it the Sat/Sunday before or after and have the nice roast dinner?  Even the place that wants to charge £87 for the 25th this year does a Sunday roast for under £20.  Or go on Boxing Day - this expensive place is less than half the CD price on the 26th.  

    Christmas as celebrated by the majority of us doesn't need to be expensive or stressful or on the 25th.  No reason you can't have a nice dinner out in November or January or do something wacky like celebrate Ukrainian Christmas on 6th Jan or Diwali or Hannukah or winter solstice.....  Because my family is very distant (in the geographical sense) and has been for decades we have often had our celebrations well away from 25th Dec.
    "Never retract, never explain, never apologise; get things done and let them howl.”
  • born_again
    born_again Posts: 14,389 Forumite
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    Would not get out of bed to work on Christmas day for less than £100 & time back.
    So that £50 a meal is dammed good value for money given the number of staff required to create, serve & clear up for you 😶‍🌫️
    Life in the slow lane
  • Spendless
    Spendless Posts: 24,142 Forumite
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    I do sympathise with this situation. For the 2nd year running we've had problems with my daughter and her vegetarian main and am contemplating dining out next year too.

    £50 is probably the cheaper end of a meal out on December 25th. . That's understandable they have to pay the staff extra for giving up their Christmas day. Is there a compromise to be had somewhere? You've mentioned there being 4 of you, is this 2 adults, 2 kids? If so would your Mum pay for the kids, you pay for the 2 adults, give your Mum a tenner a month between end of Jan till end of Oct to pay for it? If the additional people in the family are young adults, are they working and could contribute towards some of the cost themselves - instead of Grandma paying the whole lot? 

    As previously suggested could you cook at your Mums? Do you live far from her? My manager told me his parents cook the Turkey and fetch it over to their house to eat, whilst they've done the trimmings. Is that something that could work?   
  • Abbafan1972
    Abbafan1972 Posts: 6,890 Forumite
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    I am with you all on the fact it’s just a fancy roast dinner. My Mom seems to be of the mindset that you have to have a Christmas dinner on Christmas Day. As I said in my opening post, last year we cooked a curry for ourselves on the day and went out for a Toby on Boxing Day. Even today we went for a Harvester (just the 4 of us) and it was lovely. We had 3 really generous courses, plus the salad bar and 4 refillable drinks. It was £115, minus the £20 deposit already paid, so £95, I didn’t think that was bad and each course was massive, plus the salad bar. But I wouldn’t pay more than double for Christmas Day for the same food. 
    Striving to clear the mortgage before it finishes in Dec 2028 - amount currently owed - £43,915.98
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