Gemma Andrews is a thirty-something mother of four. For the past 10 years, she’s been hosting Christmas dinner at her home in the UK.
In December 2017, Gemma’s annual tradition went viral for her unconventional protocol.
She usually has about 16 guests in total, including her parents, grandparents, and even her ex-husband and his family members. Gemma prefers to do the extensive cooking and preparation all by herself so she can manage her son’s severe food allergies.
But over the last few years, the expenses have continued to increase. “The alcohol content has gone up as more children become adults, and there are more people who have had children,” she says.
One year, Gemma’s grandparents offered to chip in for the expensive feast. This gesture gave the busy host a rather controversial idea.
In a recent interview on British talk show This Morning, Gemma made a confession that spurred a ton of heated debate…
Gemma Andrews, a mom of four, has been hosting an all-day Christmas feast for the past 10 years. She prefers to handle the holiday cooking on her own because her son has severe food allergies.
This means she has to spend hours organizing and preparing for the big day.
Cooking for 16 people has become more expensive over the past few years. Every year, there seems to be a greater need for more food, more alcohol, and more kid-friendly options.
It’s been reported that those building their holiday from scratch can expect to spend about $1,800 on a tree, gifts, and dinner.
Turkey, sweet potatoes, pies, and all the fixins’? If you host a holiday feast for your friends and family, chances are you’re well aware it’s not cheap to do. And things only seem to getting more expensive, year by year.
One year, Gemma’s grandparents offered to chip in for the expensive feast. Gemma felt the relief, and a new idea was born.
She just didn’t expect it to be so controversial!
In a recent interview with British talk show This Morning, Gemma revealed she now charges her family and friends $40 per head for a spot at her Christmas table.
That’s right… if a loved one wants to attend her dinner, he or she has to pay up.
She defended her controversial decision and says “no one has ever had an issue.”
“I charge the adults $50, I don’t charge the children, and sometimes I serve five or six children that come to our house,” she said. “The very first year I opened my house to everybody, on Christmas Eve I got let down by five people, putting me out of pocket.”
Gemma also says the financial contributions mean she has a bigger budget for holiday gifts for her loved ones.
But the idea of charging one’s own family for Christmas dinner spurred a heated debate. The talk show hosts and viewers at home seemed to be split down the middle in their opinions. Author Kathy Lette was particularly turned off by the idea.
Kathy thought the idea of an admission fee was pretty outrageous.
“I’m sorry, but I think you’re making Scrooge look like Mary Poppins,” host Kathy told Gemma.
If I charge my family for Christmas, I’d have to put my family up for adoption.”
Many viewers agreed, saying Gemma must be making a profit off her dinner guests. Pretty soon, thousands of viewers were expressing their outrage on Twitter. They feel it’s not what the holiday spirit is all about.
Another host questioned Gemma’s budget and said it “wasn’t in line with inflation.” But Gemma insisted all of the money she receives goes right back into the Christmas meal — and hosting at her own house is another factor.
“I’ve hosted for the last 10 years because I have the house that’s big enough to host,” she said. “I think if it was in alternate years in different houses, I wouldn’t feel the need to cover the cost.”
This Morning host Phillip Schofield disagreed with his co-hosts. He told Gemma she was doing a “lovely” thing for her loved ones, money aside.
Others say $40 for a nice Christmas dinner is a much better deal than what guests would pay at a restaurant.
What’s your take on the controversial feast?