Heavy Showers

Heavy Showers

max temp: 3°C

min temp: 2°C


Opinion: Mother in law charging for Christmas dinner? What a Scrooge! ?

PUBLISHED: 17:30 26 November 2018 | UPDATED: 13:56 27 November 2018

Liz Nice says the mother in law charging for Christmas dinner has a precedessor - Scrooge

Liz Nice says the mother in law charging for Christmas dinner has a precedessor - Scrooge


Charging for Christmas dinner is outrageous, says Liz Nice. But some EDP staff can see the attraction

Well, my mother isn’t happy again after I revealed in my Saturday column 
that she has suggested we don’t bother with Christmas presents this year.

“You made me sound like a right Scrooge,” she said.

“Not at all, it’s very on trend and environmental of you,” I replied. “We shouldn’t be buying loads of crap we don’t need.”

Actually, I didn’t say that because I’m hoping for a new coat but I know this is her motivation.

Mum feels bad about the fact that she has everything she requires to live (which age has taught her isn’t very much really) and feels strongly about waste.

This is why we were made to eat everything on our plates – or no dessert. She’s a baby boomer brought up on ‘waste not, want not’. It’s ingrained.

Mum is not mean though. I remember the pricey boys’ racing bike I longed for one Christmas. It had to be a boys’ one with a crossbar – none of that namby-pampy girly stuff for me. Mum said if a boys’ bike was good enough for my brother, it was good enough for me, which may have been a seminal moment. Gifts can have lessons – so why not teach me another one this year, Mum? As you know, I’m always keen to learn.

But the issue of Christmas and money is an interesting one, particularly this week as the papers were all over a story on Mumsnet about a mother in law who was charging £17 a head for Christmas dinner.

Admittedly Christmas dinner is pricey but come on! That’s trouser-splittingly tight, surely?

We’ve had interesting discussions about this in the office.

“It’s disgusting,” said Amber. “You shouldn’t charge family.”

“I’d pay,” said Emily. “As long as I can sit there doing nothing all day while someone else does the work, it’s worth every penny.”

Meanwhile, Louisa’s eyes lit up at the thought of a nice little earner. “If I charge the family £50 a head, I can have a holiday,” she said.

I could write lots of words here about the spirit of Christmas being lost but in many ways that happened years ago.

It certainly happens for me every time I hear people (and I don’t just mean children) saying, ‘I want this and I want that’ and being disappointed when they don’t get.

When they are disappointed that people haven’t spent as much on them as they think they should.

When people put their presents down with barely a glance and look around for the next one…

When I was a child, we all used to wait until each person had opened their gift and we all made a big thing over each one.

That doesn’t happen now as there are so many presents to get through; we would be there all week.

Maybe it should happen though.

Maybe Mum is right.

I certainly know she won’t be charging me for Christmas lunch, just as she has never charged me for anything my whole life, whether it’s lunch, or a coffee, or something I ask her to get for me, but she won’t hear of me reimbursing her for.

That’s love, isn’t it?

And whoever said Christmas was about that?

The things we say

I was amused to see reports from a website called 9gag about the things people send each other on email that don’t really mean what they say.

I have long felt this.

As we all know, ‘hope this helps’ means, ‘it had better, because I don’t want you to contact me again’.

‘Does this make sense?’ means ‘it probably doesn’t because I consider you to be an idiot’.

“We’re all grown ups,” means “well, I am but clearly you aren’t.”

And anyone who emails you, ‘just checking in’ is never going to be someone you actually want to hear from because if you wanted to talk to them, you would have.

Still, we all carry on this way in real life too.

Never quite saying what we mean or meaning what we say.

Personally, I have always followed the words of Emily Dickinson: “Saying nothing sometimes says the most.”

A man has been fined almost £300 for taking his hands off the wheel to make a two fingered gesture at a speed camera in Suffolk.

With talented well-known stars, unscripted fits of laughter and something for everyone to enjoy - The Regent have pulled off another unforgettable Christmas pantomime.

Beyond the Christmas tree, decorations and pudding, do you have any special customs unique to your family? Here’s a look at some weird and wonderful festive traditions.

Free iCards for Ipswich youngsters last summer cost £100,000 it has emerged, as latest figures have revealed the extent of take up.

Drivers are warned of possible treacherous road conditions this evening as “freezing rain” could turn roads icy.

Within hours of opening a new, exciting gadget on Christmas Day some of us have already broken them.

Ipswich foodbank’s army of volunteers have been hard at work, packing and wrapping thousands of Christmas food parcels for families in need - but founder Maureen Reynel says they need even more help as demand for the service soars.

A vegan activist and mum of three is preparing for her first Christmas as a vegan and explains why she won’t give in to her meat-eating friends.

A Melton mum who was crowned the World’s Strongest Woman and a look at 13 new restaurants and bars in Ipswich is on our don’t miss list. Make sure you catch up with our top stories.

A Suffolk birdwatching group is offering people the chance to have something to crow about – by taking part in a county-wide rook survey.

Most read

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Ipswich Star daily newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

MyDate24 MyPhotos24