A mum-of-three has revealed that she charges her family a whopping £30 per person to come to Christmas dinner, but some people are starting to see her point.
Hayley Gurbett, from North Yorkshire, appeared on This Morning to defend her decision to ask her family for help with the bill, after splashing out hundreds of pounds each year on her family’s Christmas dinner.
The grandmother-of-four revealed that in the run up to the Christmas she can hardly close her fridge, comparing it to ‘putting a quilt in a washing machine’, after spending as much as £500 on the food and drink for the day’s festivities.
Admitting that she overspent on food to cater for her family of 12 guests, Hayley said that after the family grew and her son and two daughters would attend Christmas day with their partners and children, it became too much to pay for all on her own.
‘They understood’, said Hayley. ‘We all sat down and we discussed it and they were happy to come to my house and me cook it all’.
Ensuring that she is prepared for the big day well in advance, the 50-year-old care worker sat down with her daughter months ago to plan out what the family would dig into on the day and how much it would all cost.
‘We have starter of choice the traditional prawn cocktail but we can put salmon in that too’, she said.
Hayley explained that contributing per head is an easier Christmas alternative for her family than going out to a restaurant for Christmas lunch, as not only does it save money, but with little ones running about it’s also not a relaxing scenario for her children.
‘It’s not like they come round for Christmas dinner and they leave at a certain time, they stay until half 10-11 o’clock.’
Plus they can choose whatever they want to eat and drink, rather than being limited to a restaurant’s menu.
Her £500 budget ensures that her family are well fed with starters, mains, desserts and cheeses, and that there’s enough booze to go around the eight adults.
Unsurprisingly, Hayley’s approach divided viewers, with many taking to Twitter to voice their opinions.
While many thought that it was ‘shameful’ to charge your family for Christmas dinner, saying that ‘if you offer to host Christmas dinner then you pay for what you choose to make’ and ‘if you can’t afford it don’t do it’, others were more taken aback by the overall cost.
One questioned why ‘people [are] spending loads of money on it’; while another said: ‘There’s no way a Christmas dinner would cost £500 no matter how big your family is.’
However, some actually agreed with the family matriarch, saying that ‘it costs far too much for one person’ and it’s the same as when families ‘all contribute different things’.
And in the words of Hayley’s son-in-law: ‘It’s a small price to pay to have the family around’.
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