A mum-of-four has shocked This Morning viewers by admitting that she charges her own family for their Christmas dinners.
Gemma Andrews admitted to hosts Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby that she asks her family to pay £30 a head for their festive meals.
The 33-year-old, who is 8 months pregnant with her fifth child, has been hosting for 10 years and usually pulls in a crowd of between 12-16 family members.
During the chat, the mum revealed what was included in the £30 a head meal: ‘a choice of starters ham or prawn cocktails, turkey with all the trimmings and extras, I always include extras for people to steal a few bites as they walk in.
‘All alcohol is included, plus champagne and puddings and cheeseboards.’
Gemma went on to explain that she only charges adults but not for children.
When Phil asked why she started charging family, the self-confessed chef explained: ‘The very first year I opened my house to everybody I was let down by five people last minute, which put me out of pocket and I was left with excess food.’
‘Well that is bad,’ interjected Holly Willoughby.
Gemma went on to say: ‘The year after that I tried the “bring a dish” but come Christmas eve people said they’d “forgotten to get it” so I had to scrabble around stores fighting for the last bag of prawns.’
‘I have hosted for the last ten years, because I have the house big enough to host, I think if it was alternative years at different houses I wouldn’t feel the need to cover the cost.’
Gemma went on to confirm that her family have had no issue with paying, saying: ‘No one has to come if they don’t want to, and all of the money does go to the food.’
‘Everyone who comes to my house for Christmas dinner gets a present under the tree because Santa always has to drop a gift off. It’s literally open house, they come at 10am and don’t leave until 10pm.’
‘£30 and they get everything covered… they come back every year.’
However, comments from viewers on Twitter were divided, with many branding it ‘ridiculous’ to charge family for Christmas dinner.
‘No way! Absolutely ridiculous, I bring gifts for the family on Christmas and that is more than enough for dinner! Otherwise I’d be eating beans on toast alone for Christmas,’ one wrote.
‘Surely if you offer to have Christmas dinner then that’s your choice you can’t force people to pay £30?’ argued another.
This Twitter user, however, was a little torn: ‘Christmas is about giving and sharing. I definitely don’t agree with charging your family £30 each for Christmas dinner. I do however believe you should all contribute in some way!’
But not everyone was against Gemma for her thrifty forward-thinking, with some tweets defending her reasons for charging for Christmas dinner.
‘This lady is so lovely!! She obviously makes christmas special for her family and goes to alot of effort! Damn right her family should give her some money,’ applauded one audience member.
‘It sounds like they’re getting a good deal tbh,’ a second declared, whilst a third agreed: ‘It wouldn’t work in my family but I almost wish it did’.
‘I think it’s a great idea, Christmas Day is so expensive 16 people go there and expect it all! £30, 4 courses and alcohol! Bargain,’ exclaimed another user.
What do you think? Would you charge your family for Christmas dinner? Let us know in the comments box below.