Gran who charges her family for Christmas dinner raises prices this year

21 December 2023, 09:10

Caroline Duddridge charges her family for Christmas Dinner
Caroline Duddridge charges her family for Christmas Dinner. Picture: Facebook

By Kit Heren

A grandmother in Cardiff who has charged her family for Christmas dinner for seven years in a row is raising prices for her daughters to be closer to the money her sons pay, after sexism complaints last year.

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Caroline Duddridge makes her five children, their partners and her grandchildren pay their share of the festive get-together because it's "an important lesson for the kids".

Ms Duddridge normally charges her sons £15 and the daughters £10 because they work part-time and are looking after children. Partners pay similar amounts.

She also asks for £5 for grandchildren over the age of 5, and £2.50 if they are younger.

But this year Ms Duddridge has raised the prices for her daughters by £2.

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Caroline Duddridge
Caroline Duddridge. Picture: Facebook

She told the BBC: "I have put the girls' prices up (this year) by £2 because I did get a bit of stick from people saying I was being sexist - not that I listen to public opinion, particularly."

But she worries that the increased prices will still not be enough this year.

"I'm not sure it will [cover the cost], because when you buy a few bits and pieces it comes to like £30 or £40 and it's barely a bag full.

"This is not Christmas stuff either but just general shopping - it's just horrifying and you wonder where it's all going to end."

Ms Duddrige said it teaches children 'an important lesson'
Ms Duddrige said it teaches children 'an important lesson'. Picture: Facebook

Last year she said that her rule is: "if you don't pay by 1 December, you're not coming."

She insisted that it was a good idea, even though some of her friends have branded her "a bit of a scrooge".

Speaking to Fabulous magazine, the widow said charging "streamlines dinner and ensures everyone has a say and helps out and no one faces post-Christmas money problems."

Pensioner Ms Duddridge said she makes sure her children, aged between 24 and 37, pay well ahead of Christmas itself.

She said: "I log into my bank account and check who has made their Christmas dinner payment in November".

Ms Duddridge added: "The amount I charge for dinner includes electricity. It's a no brainer for me… it's the only way to go."

Ms Duddridge started charging in 2016 after her husband died
Ms Duddridge started charging in 2016 after her husband died. Picture: Facebook

But she does her best to make sure that her family get good bargains, searching the shelves for good value deals for hours on end.

Ms Duddridge said that while her payment scheme involving children may seem "harsh", it is "an important life lesson".

Ms Duddridge admitted some of her friends had called her 'a bit of a Scrooge'
Ms Duddridge admitted some of her friends had called her 'a bit of a Scrooge'. Picture: Facebook

She said she started charging after her husband died in 2016, leaving her on a single teaching assistant's salary.

In a similar story, a woman was shocked last year when her sister invited her to Christmas dinner, and asked that she bring £20.

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Sharing the story on Mumsnet, the woman's colleague said: "I can't imagine charging a guest, especially family.

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She added: "I'd even go so far as telling them to just bring themselves if they asked if I wanted anything bringing."

The reaction was mixed, with some sharing the original poster's horror at being asked to pay, and others arguing the request was reasonable given the cost of living crisis.