Ok, so stop me if you’ve heard this one.
A woman online recently received some mixed reviews for asking her family to pay $21.00 each to have Christmas dinner at her house. Yes, you read this correctly. She is charging her family to eat Christmas dinner. And by now you can probably guess where I’m leaning on this debate. If any of you out there in the universe are reading this and are with the “uh, hell no” crowd, you’re on my side.
See, this is the world of commercialized bullshit we now live in. I cannot possibly comprehend a person inviting someone over for dinner and then asking them to pay for it. I can comprehend a person asking someone to contribute to the meal with a food item (perhaps a dessert or an appetizer) if it were a potluck affair, and I can comprehend friends or family splitting the cost of a meal at a restaurant. But at Christmas one’s family always comes first. If anyone invites someone to their home for a meal during this time of year it better be about the company and not the money.
Have we fallen so far down the rabbit hole that we cannot see the light? Have we lost all basic humanity? I wouldn’t expect a stranger to pay for Christmas dinner at my home let alone my own damn relatives! We all know that families can be complicated and relationships within blood relations aren’t always ideal. I get that, I understand that. However, if you invite family that you supposedly care about to your home to sit for a meal, then you are inviting them to spend time with you and to mutually enjoy one other’s company.
If you don’t invite a family member over for a meal it can usually be assumed that they live a great distance away or that the relationship is perhaps strained. My biggest question is why did this person agree to cook the dinner and have family over if they can’t afford it and don’t want to do it? I’m sure no one forced them into the decision and if they changed their mind about hosting at some point – they were entitled to do just that. But to get to the level of actually charging a family member to sit at your dinner table and enjoy a meal is ludicrous, ridiculous, and classless.
Imagine all the times you’ve sat for a family meal at another person’s home. Now visualize being given an invoice at the table after the meal is served. How would you feel? I know I would feel unwelcome, unwanted, blindsided and more than a little shocked. This covers only a few emotions I’d feel, and I’ll leave it to you to imagine the fury of four letter expletives to follow.
I am passionate about Christmas and I am passionate about family. When you blend the two together it is like a perfectly blended smoothie of love and all the good feels in the cosmos. No one messes with Christmas or my kin!
According to my calculations over the last forty years of my life I owe my mother $43,680 for meals. This balance may or may not include snacks and it doesn’t include meals enjoyed at the homes of my grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and so on. So I am nearing a $100,000 bill for meals consumed to date.
Ok, rant aside. The next time you are cooking a meal and having people over to enjoy it, take time to look around the table, revel in the moment, make the memories and enjoy the company. You never know what life has in store.
Time with loved ones is priceless.