Posting to the popular parenting website Mumsnet, one woman wanted a second opinion. Was she was being unreasonable to ask her guests (family) to chip in a mere £5 for the Christmas dinner she volunteered to host?
"[Dear mother] has thrown a huge paddy at this," wrote the anguished host, using a British term for tantrum, "saying she is a VIP and after all she has done for us, she shouldn't have to do tribute towards her own dinner."
Ah, the holidays! A time for food, family, togetherness, and constant, bitter, unbelievably petty arguments. Here's her post in full:
[Other half] and I have recently moved to the same town as the rest of his and my family, which has put us in the position of being able to host christmas dinner this year- this would be for my 3 [dear sisters] and their [darling partners] and my mum. Problem being it has been a difficult year financially for us and whilst we don't mind (obviously!) doing the bulk of everything, at the suggestion of one of my [dear sisters] we asked if everyone would mind contributing just a few quid (£5!) towards buying the huge joint of beef that everyone wants.
[Darling mother] has thrown a huge paddy at this, saying she is a VIP and after all she has done for us she shouldn't have to do tribute towards her own dinner. Mum has just had a sizeable inheritance and is in a better position than any of us to contribute. I would let it go, I know it seems petty, but as a matter of principle it has pissed me right off that she has this sense of entitlement above any of the rest of us- and believe you me she is no more entitled!! [Am I being unreasonable] to insist she chips in or just fucks off and has christmas dinner elsewhere?
Yes, according to most commenters—she is being unreasonable.
"Don't offer to host if you can't afford it," wrote one. Said another: "You are being unreasonable, you are not a restaurant."
However, of the hundreds of comments, there were those who managed to look past the idea that asking for money is "not exactly in the spirit of Christmas" and make some suggestions.
"I definitely wouldn't take money off family for Christmas dinner, but I wouldn't be asking people what they wanted either," said one—basically suggesting that mom pay for her own beef and eat it alone in a corner while the rest of the family eats cheap turkey cold cuts.
Others suggested she "do a 'bring a dish thing' if that helps, but if you're hosting then you pay."
The poster, who has stayed pretty engaged with these comments throughout the exchange, even responded to some commenters who wanted to know if her mom has hosted herself for years, never asking for financial contributions.
Just to clarify- mum hasn't hosted a big dinner of any sort within living memory virtually, it has been at least ten years since we had a "family" christmas together- it was my three sister's idea to contribute towards the meat as they know what a crappy year we have had financially and otherwise, however no one else has got the room to host the whole lot of us for christmas and it was an idea that sort of just "evolved" ("why Dont we have christmas at thedog's house!") rather than is sending out an invite.
We have thrown umpteen dinner parties at old house, always done the works, rarely is it reciprocated, never by mother. Never ever asked for so much as a bag of peanuts to be brought along although people usually bring a bottle. Mum doesn't do as much for us as she likes to think, basically, not that I ever expect her to, have been self sufficient since I left home at 16 (read into that what you will) and I think what has got my back up is her attitude, more than anything!!
Make sure to tag a cheap family member when you're done reading this article. It's the least (most passive-aggressive thing) you can do this holiday season.