Do you charge your family members for your Christmas dinners? While it might sound bizarre, a family in Cardiff does exactly this. To be exactly, it’s the grandmother of the family.
Caroline Duddridge shares she charges her family, including the grandkids, the cost of the Christmas dinner every year. And it’s the sixth one in a row.
She has five children and six grandkids and her current fee is $18 for adults, $6 for children, and $3 for toddlers. Adult women are charged less as they work part-time and have their own families.
The Sun interviewed her and she shared how the arrangement goes, “I log into my bank account and check who has made their Christmas dinner payment in November.”
“Once my ‘naughty and nice’ tally is done I do a quick ring around chasing my ‘delinquent depositors’ and remind them to meet their payment date of Dec. 1.”
Her youngest is 24 and her oldest is 37. All of them are now used to getting phone calls as reminders of the payment.
“I know some will moan and I will get excuses like ‘my pay hasn’t gone in’ or ‘my bank account is frozen’ and ‘can I leave it another week?’ But I will eventually receive cash from them for the meal.”
The charging traditional started in 2016 after he husband passed away in 2015, and most of her immediate relatives are used to it. She shared her thoughts, “Some people might think it’s harsh to put a levy on meals for kids but it’s an important life lesson. The older grandkids like to try and offer to help me to earn some of their money back and I admire that.”
The pensioner who receives $1,200 every month says that the cost of groceries has increased every year, forcing her to scour for the best deals.
“Every week my meal budget buys less and less so I have to be tactical in buying ingredients to make the dinner for my 12 guests.”
“Like many moms and grans who always make Christmas dinner, I couldn’t bear the cost of buying all the gifts and paying for the entire meal. I was worried I’d spend the New Year paying it all off again.”
With the fixed price, comes the ability to pick what they want for dinner. Christmas dinner usually consists of wine, soft drinks, pudding, Christmas crackers, nuts and cheese, and decorations.
“My plan at least streamlines dinner and ensures everyone has a say and helps out and no one faces post-Christmas money problems.”
Those who don’t pay on time are not invited.
She said, “I know many people will criticize charging for the Christmas meal, but I’m not bothered. It’s not money grabbing, it just makes budgeting sense and spreads the cost fairly between everyone at the table.”
“Expecting one person to pay for the entire meal and prepare it, clean up, have their heating and electricity used is too much. The amount I charge for dinner includes electricity. It’s a no-brainer for me … it’s the only way to go.”
“No one wants to be overwhelmed with debt and it’s unfair to expect one person to pay and make the entire meal. I know some moms feel guilty if they don’t do it all and provide a huge meal with no one else paying but I am practical.”
“I love the joy of Christmas and all the family together, but it’s now become so commercial. People get overwhelmed and it’s too much. A nice family meal and a gift made with love are all I need.”