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A few weeks ago, Slate columnist Emily Yoffe received a question (it's the second one on the page) stating that the reader had been invited over to her brother and sister-in-law's house for Thanksgiving dinner and she, along with the rest of the family, had brought side dishes, wine, desserts and other items to help fill out the meal. But when the day came to a close, the hostess asked for a cheque to cover the costs of hosting the dinner -- a whopping $100 per couple! I thought for certain this sister-in-law was one of a kind, but a similar question appeared in this week's Moneyville -- although in this question, the hostess is asking for a mere $30 a person....

Q. Sister-in-Law's Hospitality: My brother and sister-in-law invited our family and four other families over for Thanksgiving this weekend. We all brought side dishes, wine, desserts, and drinks so that they only needed to cook the turkey. When the meal was done, my sister-in-law came up to me and asked me to make sure to leave a check before we left. I asked her what the check was for and she said it was for hosting the dinner. She said $100 per couple should cover it. I was floored. The turkey only cost about $30 and everyone else bought at least as much in side dishes and wine. She told me there are a lot of costs that guests just don't see. In order to avoid a scene, I wrote her a check. (I know at least one other family reluctantly paid her as well.) I asked my brother what that was about and he didn't know anything about it. $500 to cook a turkey and host a dinner seems a bit steep to me—what should we do?...

Dear Jeanne & Leonard:

Every Christmas my sister-in-law “Lisa” insists on hosting Christmas dinner, though my sisters and I always offer to take a turn (and we mean it). And get this: Every year Lisa charges a fee. In previous years it was $25 a person. This year she’s raised it to $30. Because no one wants to make a fuss, my sisters and I pay her, even though we think her charging us is rude. What should we do? No one else in our family would dream of billing their dinner guests, and it’s not like Lisa and my brother are poor—they’re loaded. - Unhappy ...
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