Christmas is, without doubt, the most expensive time of the year. When you look back at your bank balance in January, it can be hard to establish just how you managed to spend so much money. That bottle of whiskey you bought as a gift for your dad can't be solely responsible?
Of course, gifts aren't cheap, but if you really read between the lines of your December finances, it's clear that a large portion of your paycheck is used to frivolously fund your festive eating and drinking habits.
Caught up in the festive cheer, we subconsciously spend an eye-watering amount of money on food at Christmas. For example, according to Quidco, the average household spends a whopping $225 on food for Christmas Day alone - and that's just for the Christmas dinner essentials (ie. those Brussel sprouts that nobody eats anyway).
That's not to mention the $70 that the average person spends on wine, beer, and spirits for December 25. In total, it is thought that the average adult will spend anywhere between $900 and $2,000 each over the festive period - with the bulk of that being spent on food, alcohol, gifts, and fuel to ferry your family to and from their desired destinations.
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So, with that in mind, it's hardly surprising to learn that Christmas can be a difficult time of year for those who aren't as financially fit as the average person. Take the elderly for example, how can their basic pension accommodate such outrageous spending? Or the single parent? In fact, given the expense of celebrating Christmas, it's not uncommon to see hosts requesting reimbursement of some kind.
That's what one mother did, but now she is being viciously shamed for her actions on social media.
The unidentified mom was taken to task on Mumsnet, when her daughter-in-law submitted a post detailing the demands.
"[Am I being unreasonable] to think you should ask your family to pay for their Xmas lunch?" wrote 'Staceyjas' in a post which has since gone viral.
"My partner has just told me that his mother, who he's having Christmas lunch with, said she wants £17 [$21] per head from him! I'm going to my family's for lunch so invited him also, but he has had it [at his parent's house] all of his life with his grandparents and siblings too.
"She said she doesn't want to [cook] it all from scratch and wants to get it all pre-done, so it's more money, but he's gutted and feels like he wants to come to my family now. I can see it from both sides and it's hard work and can be expensive but [it's] not like she is financially destitute.
"This has never happened before and he has offered to bring the dessert etc, but he said handing over cash feels wrong. As he says it's about family not money. But I wanted to see what other people's opinions are? Or if you do this."
The post divided opinion, with some stating that there was nothing wrong with the mother's request for payment - after all, is it fair to expect her to cook the entire meal and pay for it?
One supportive user wrote: "It's really expensive to cater for Christmas dinner for a lot of people. I did it one year...for my better-of-than-me in-laws...it cost me over £400 [$515]."
But one mom commented: "That’s really tight [it’s] just 5 people!!", whilst another chimed in: "If I could not afford to host, than I would not, it is very rude."
Another woman wrote: "OMG! No! F***, that is horrible. We host Christmas: buy the turkey and pudding, everyone else brings a dish eg sausages in blankets etc.
"That shares the cost and the work. Cannot think of anything less hospitable than setting the menu and demanding your ‘guests’ pay for it."
And one woman slammed: "I wouldn't dream of asking for money. How could anyone invite people for dinner and then ask them to pay for it?"
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Another typed: "To be honest it just sounds like his mother is just fed up with being the only one organizing and cooking the Christmas dinner every year. Has it ever occurred to him to pitch in?"
Supportive comments echoed across the site, and now the internet after the post went viral, with many stating that they felt sorry for the mom as it was clear she just wanted some time to relax over Christmas.
Others felt that the mom was not being entirely fair and that £17 [$21] was a lot of money to request for a Christmas dinner. One user wrote: "£17 sounds like a lot. Surely it's just a posh roast dinner! What's she buying??"
It's unclear exactly what each person in attendance would get in return for their money. But one thing is for sure, they are guaranteed to be able to spend Christmas with each other, which is more than can be said for some families.