Cardiff grandmother charges family for Christmas dinner – BBC

A grandmother is charging her family for Christmas dinner to help cover costs.
Caroline Duddridge, 63, from Fairwater in Cardiff, said she makes the adults fork out up to £15 and her youngest grandchildren £2.50.
"There's a few out there who think I'm a bit of a Scrooge but my friends think it's quite a good idea," she said.
Research suggests cooking a traditional festive feast for a family-of-four is £5 pricier than last year.
She said the idea came about when her husband died in 2015 and she had to halve her income.
"I said to my children, 'right, it costs a lot of money, I'm going to do a little kitty jar so you can put £2 away starting in September'," she said.
"It sounds good, doesn't it? But of course it all got a bit shambolic, trying to keep track of them and there were a few stragglers."
That is when Caroline gave the orders to have her family transfer the money straight into her bank account.
This year Caroline charged her two sons £15, her three daughters £10, her four grandchildren over five £5 and her two three-year-old grandchildren £2.50.
She charges her sons more because they are full-time workers and her daughters who work part-time also have families.
About £90 of her £180 or so levy goes towards meat which she admits she "doesn't even eat!".
When speaking to 5 Live on Thursday morning she joked: "If you don't pay by 1 December, you're not coming."
"Obviously there were a few moans and grumbles saying I've got a few children, but at the end of the day that's not my problem really, is it?"
But is it worth it? For the teaching assistant, it is a no-brainer given the full festive spread she puts on from 24 to 26 December.
On Saturday Caroline will make a mini buffet of sandwiches before a turkey dinner with all the trimmings and drinks on Christmas Day. A nut roast is also on the menu with a choice of four desserts.
All that is followed by a full buffet on 26 December. The festive spread over the three days costs Caroline about £300.
She said she explained how rocketing food and energy costs was another reason for the charge.
Research by Kantar revealed a dinner for four including frozen turkey, carrots, cauliflower, potatoes and Christmas pudding rose to £31 this year – up from £24.67 in 2021.
She said in the past she "always ended up with hundreds of sausage rolls and bags of potatoes but not much else" as her relatives would bring food over.
"At least this way I've got a bit of autonomy over what I can buy," she added.
"It saves on food waste which is another important thing."
As she mulled over the idea about charging for dinner, she settled firm in her belief, saying: "Why should the host hold the full financial burden?"
She also hopes her grandchildren will see her new tradition as the norm when they are older.
"I'm hoping that people won't think it's a terrible thing and think 'hmm that is a good idea'.
"It's very fair. I'm not out to make a profit, I'm doing it just to have a bit of help with the cost of it."
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