Charging your guests for their Christmas dinner can be a quick way to make you unpopular.
But for Helen Robertson, a busy mother of two, she chooses to charge her guests for their Christmas dinner and has no regrets about it.
As an administrative assistant, 43, from Hitchin, Hertfordshire, with her two sons, Peter, 17, and George, 11, Helen wants to go into the new year with zero debt.
Speaking exclusively to The Sun, she said: “Sitting in front of my computer, I happily type in my Excel spreadsheet.
“But I didn’t input work for my office job.
“Instead, I spent all my finances on Christmas dinner – who paid, who didn’t and who won’t.
“I’ve decided to charge for Christmas dinner in March this year after paying off a £2.5k debt for previous festivities that took me almost a year to pay off.
“Last year, due to the lockdown it wasn’t so bad. But realized it was back to normal in 2021 and I had to cater for 12 things that had to change.
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“I’m not a charity and while I love entertaining people, it’s not sustainable to cook a full Christmas meal with all the decorations for friends and family.”
Helen admits that some guests have made her feel ‘used before.’
“I didn’t hold a mickey – I planned a lovely meal where everyone received starters, mains, desserts, canapes and snacks as well as a glass of Champagne,” she explains. or juice.”
The mother ensures all diets are included, saying that she: “includes vegans and vegetarians. Plus, everyone has special requests like ‘three sage mixes’. favorite’ or ‘gravy, that’s all’.
“Adults will pay £35 (or £70 with supermarket branded alcohol which will entitle them to unlimited use of white and red wine, beer, sherry and two glasses of Champagne or Bucks Fizz) while children will pay £. ten.
“I even charge immediate family with my children, Peter, 17, and George, 11, withdrawing money from their pockets… 50p at a time.
Her savvy son George even negotiated a 50% discount by agreeing to help with the wash.
I even charge an instant family fee with my kids, Peter, 17, and George, 11, earning from their pocket money
Helen explains that her rates are: “similar to what hotels in the area charge, so I’m not being unreasonable.
“But of course everyone’s reaction was mixed – and there was a fair amount of surprise when I sent people an invoice with their Christmas dinner invitation.
“Within half an hour of the email being sent, I had five people tell me it was a great idea. And two even deposited a sum into their special Christmas account. I.
Unfortunately, some have called Helens’ meal: “the ultimate act of greed and selfishness and not in the spirit of Christmas – and some refuse to come.
“Meanwhile, others hungry for detail want to know how I plan the menu, how I get people to part with their cash, and how I make sure everyone gets value for money.
“Some of the moms and dads at George School even asked me to provide copies of the menus, spreadsheet instructions, and emails I sent to tell people about the cost structure and how to pay me.
“I’m planning to open the big store 10 days before Christmas, although I’ve pre-ordered beer, turkey and any special requests that are hard to come by.
Commanding the entire family for the day, Helen performed cooking drills in her mother’s kitchen.
She said: “Her kitchen is bigger and I’m using her house as a guest house so I’ll pay her a little for gas and electricity.
“If everything goes to plan, I will make a small profit that I will use for a luxurious manicure because my nails are damaged by the peeling of the Brussel sprouts.
I’m not a charity and while I love entertaining people, it’s not sustainable to cook a full Christmas meal with all the decorations for friends and family.
“I’m also going to need facials because of all the grease and steam I pick up with the hot stove and massage but I think I make it.
The final reason Helen charges for dinner is the peace of mind knowing that she won’t have a huge amount of debt to drag her down in the new year.
As for whether there is leftovers, Helen says: “If there is food left, everyone will get a bag of delicious food and I will make bread the next day.
To Helen: “Better bank transfer than a bottle of cheap plonk or ‘thank you’.”
https://www.the-sun.com/lifestyle/4165442/charge-christmas-dinner-pals-pay-70/ I charge my kids for Christmas dinner and my friends pay £70 each