Cost of living crisis forces families to consider sharing Christmas lunch costs

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There you are, on what’s supposed to be the most joyous day of the year, frantically peeling potatoes and desperately trying to remember where the hell you put the gravy boat.


So yes, it’s stressful. More stressful for some than others. Poor Kevin, for instance, is having a bit of a hard day.

You see, to (very badly) paraphrase Shakespeare, some are born hosts, some receive guests when it’s their turn, and some have hosting thrust upon them.

Maybe you’re the only one with a house big enough. Perhaps you’re the only one who knows how to defrost a turkey. Maybe you had way too many glasses of eggnog last Christmas and thought it would be a great idea to proclaim, “Let’s do this at mine next year!” Rookie mistake.

However, even if you’re a consummate entertainer with the kind of kitchen skills that would put Maggie Beer to shame, there’s one Christmas truth that can’t be denied: hosting Christmas lunch is exxy. Throw in a cost-of-living crisis coupled with some festive mortgage stress, and it’s so exxy it hurts. So should you, you know, ask everyone to chip in a little moolah?

A woman in the UK has been making headlines around the world for going public with the news that she’ll be charging her family PS150 a head for lunch at her house on Christmas Day. While this is a little on the excessive side (they also have to listen to the King’s speech and play charades), it does bring the issue to our attention.

So, how do you go about hosting a Christmas lunch without going bankrupt? This problem can all be solved very simply if you have a sane, rational, and loving family who supports you in all your decisions. But since this has never yet been encountered, you might need a few strategies that are a tad more subtle than putting Kevin in a suit and sunglasses and making him stand at the door, collecting money from Grandma and company as they arrive.

First, use flattery. Whoever makes the best dessert in your family, give them a call on some pretense (“I just saw a bear!”), then change the subject and shower them with compliments. Make them feel like it would be an honor, nay, a privilege for you if they were to bring the Christmas sweets. They’ll soon be putty in your hands. Trifle sorted. This also works for that annoying cousin who thinks they’re a cheese expert and that other annoying cousin who thinks they’re a wine expert.

For any other booze you might require, casually drop it into a group family chat that you’ve gone teetotal. Everyone will BYO like it was the coming of the apocalypse.

Next, ask Mum and Dad. Hell, they’re Boomers. They’ve got loads of dosh. They can provide the ham. And the seafood. If they resist, tell them it’s their fault that the planet is melting and that their great-grandchildren will never get to see a beluga whale. That should loosen the purse strings.

This leaves you with the salads and sides, which seems only fair, really. Now, you have everything else to deal with. Those napkins aren’t going to iron themselves, after all.

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