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Mom Gets Backlash After Charging Family Members $40 For Christmas Dinner

The holidays are a time for family, for gathering with friends, and of course — for eating! But as we all no doubt know by now, the cost of food isn't getting any cheaper.

So in order to alleviate the financial burden of feeding her large family, one mother has come up with a rather Scroogey idea: if you want to be a guest at her table, it'll cost you an arm and turkey leg.

Traditionally, the holiday season has always been a time for gathering with family.

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It's the one time of year where we all try to be a little kinder toward one another and be thankful for the friends and family we have in our lives.

It's also the one time of year wherein you can gorge yourself on festive dishes without fear of judgment.

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When I think of the holidays, I think of my nana's dressing (what elderly Irish women call "stuffing"). One spoonful of that marvelous concoction instantly transports me back to my childhood.

As merry and bright as the season is — it can also be incredibly expensive.

According to a forecast created by Investopdedia.com, the average budget for American holiday spending in 2021 sits right around $1000 per consumer. This includes things like food, alcohol, gifts, and decorations.

In order to lessen the financial burden, a woman by the name of Gemma Andrews has come up with a controversial solution.

In order for Gemma's family to attend her Christmas dinner, they must contribute £30 (roughly $40 USD) per person. During an appearance on the UK morning show This Morning, Gemma explained how she came to this Scroogey decision.

First of all, Gemma has been hosting her family's Christmas dinner for more than a decade.

The first year she hosted, five family members decided to cancel at the absolute last minute. Then, when Gemma decided to do a potluck style dinner the following year — several people conveniently "forgot" their dish.

This would leave Gemma scrambling to come up with something to feed her 16-person table of relatives.

To ensure that something like this would never happen again, Gemma began charging £10 per head for adults and nothing for the children. But in order to keep up with the rising cost of food, Gemma has had to increase the amount substantially.

"I’m sorry, but I think you’re making Scrooge look like Mary Poppins,” said author and fellow guest Kathy Lette.

To which Gemma responded by saying, "The alcohol content has gone up as more children become adults, and there are more people who have had children.”

Gemma said that she also uses the money to buy a gift for each one of her family members to open.

If it were me, I'd be asking Gemma if I could pay less and simply not receive a gift. I understand having to pay for my supper, but why should I also have to buy myself a present?

Co-host Phil Schofield, on the other hand, commended Gemma for her festive arrangement.

"For me, I think with you and your family, you’ve come to an arrangement that suits everybody," Phil said. "And so it’s not for anyone to judge how you decide you’re gonna fund your Christmas.”

Toward the end of the interview, 'This Morning' ran a poll for the audience members watching from home.

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The question was simple: "Would you charge your friends and family for Christmas dinner?" Resoundingly, the television viewers watching from home said that they wouldn't feel comfortable charging guests.

Over 90% of those who answered disagreed with Gemma's tactic, while 10% answered that they would do the same.

While it's true that the holidays are a time for giving, it shouldn't come at the expense of you or your family's personal and financial wellbeing. Whatever works for you is precisely what you should do — without fear of judgment.