Cardiff Grandmother Charging Family for Christmas Dinner for the 6th Year in a Row

An English grandmother has been charging her family for Christmas dinner for the sixth year in a row. Not only this, but she also makes sure everybody transfers money into her bank account by her deadline.

Caroline Duddridge is a 63-year-old grandmother from Cardiff, England, who charges her entire family for Christmas dinner every year. She says she has been doing this for the past six years and will continue the tradition.

Speaking to BBC 5 Live, the grandmom said that she started this tradition after the passing of her husband as the cost of living crisis in the UK makes it difficult for people to manage their finances.

Caroline said she makes the adults pay something around $18 for the grand festive meal, and the younger members can pay in single digits.

“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 told the news outlet.

“My husband died in 2015, and then my income was halved. So, 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 added.

“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.”

The senior citizen told BBC that in order to keep a record of all the payments, she asked her family to send the money via her bank account and even gave them a deadline for submission.

“I told them very clearly if you don’t pay by 1 December, you’re not coming,” said Caroline. “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?”

Duddridge, who used to work as a teaching assistant, further said that it is a no-brainer given that she invites her whole family for the festive spread from 24 to 26 of December every year.

“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,” reported BBC.

“All that is followed by a full buffet on 26 December. The festive spread over the three days costs Caroline about £300.”

In another interview with Fabulous magazine, the pensioner said that her tradition benefits her and her children and that no one faces money problems this way after Christmas and new year’s festivity ends.

“Once my ‘naughty and nice’ tally is done I do a quick ring around chasing my ‘delinquent depositors’ and remind them to meet their payment date of December 1,” she said.

“It’s a phone call my five grown children aged 37, 34, 32, 29, and 24 are used to. I know some will moan, and I will get excuses like ‘my pay hasn’t gone in’ or ‘my bank account is frozen’ and ‘can I leave it another week?’ but I will eventually receive cash from them for the meal.”

She told the magazine that with the inflation, grocery prices have been on a constant rise, and she makes sure she gets the best deals at fair prices.

“I’m spending dozens of hours finding the cheapest prices, best bargains and timing supermarket trips to get the pick of cut-price yellow label items,” she said. 

“Every week my meal budget buys less and less so I have to be tactical in buying ingredients to make the dinner for my 12 guests.”

Caroline said she doesn’t allow late payments, and her family is aware of it. Sometimes, she also gets to hear some complaints from a few members, but then she makes it clear to them that if they won’t pay in time, they will get uninvited.

“I know many people will criticise charging for the Christmas meal, but I’m not bothered. It’s not money grabbing, it just makes budgeting sense and spreads the cost fairly between everyone at the table.” 

She continued, “Expecting one person to pay for the entire meal and prepare it, clean up, and have their heating and electricity used is too much.”

“The amount I charge for dinner includes electricity. It’s a no-brainer for me… it’s the only way to go.”

Share Your Thoughts:

What are your thoughts on this grandmother’s Christmas tradition? Let us know in the comments.

Sources: BBCThe Sun

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