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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....

http://www.redflagdeals.com/blog/2012/12/17/pass-the-potatoe...

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?...

http://www.slate.com/articles/life/dear_prudence/2012/11/dea...

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 ...


http://www.moneyville.ca/article/1301653--sister-in-law-char...
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Wow. That takes a lot of chutzpah.

In the last case, the "insisting" should include a phrase like, "...since hosting is such a burden on you financially, we'll have it at my house this year...".
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For the life of me I can't figure out why people avoid a scene when a scene is exactly what's called for. Like gropers on a public conveyance, these "hostesses" need to be immediately, and loudly, taken to task. Something loudly directed across the room to the offender's spouse along the line of "Joe, why didn't you tell me you lost your job!!!!!" should do the trick.

Phil
Rule Your Retirement Home Fool
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They should ask for a receipt.
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For the life of me I can't figure out why people avoid a scene when a scene is exactly what's called for.

Dear Abby used to have standard advice for such situations -- people can only take advantage of you with your permission.

========================================================================

When I was in high school, I made a trip to the local grocery store to pick up a few items.

While in the condiment aisle, I saw an old lady taking different brands of ketchup off the shelf, open the bottle, stick her finger in and taste it. Then put the lid back on, and put it back on the shelf. I didn't stay long enough to see if she found a brand she liked.

This was before all of the protective packaging we have now because of product tampering.

I have always regretted not making a scene about that situation.
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I would say, the $100 for TG is completely bizarre and wholly out of line.

Now..the $30..could go either way. If the family really does bring sides and desserts and really DOES help clean up, then it's out of line. But if their idea of helping is to show up with a 6 pack and call it day, then I'd say it's fair to charge :)

6
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Well first, it is inexcusable for somebody to charge unless the charge is known and agreed to in advance.

Second, if somebody pulled that on me, it would be the last time I ever saw that person.

What is wrong with these doormats?
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Well first, it is inexcusable for somebody to charge unless the charge is known and agreed to in advance.

Second, if somebody pulled that on me, it would be the last time I ever saw that person.

What is wrong with these doormats?


Totally agree.
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I was going to reply to this family disfunction....but in the end, decided that it is best to keep it to my self here on the friendly Fool forum. My goodness...

Still, it reminds me of a perennial question: What is worse, cheap or rude?
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I'm not a big eater. So for $25, I want some choice of menu options and don't want to be seated anywhere within ear-shot of young children -- something most home "hostesses" probably aren't providing.

That's tacky beyond belief. If someone tried that in my family I'd pass and just see who's up for meeting at a Chinese restaurant.
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For the life of me I can't figure out why people avoid a scene when a scene is exactly what's called for.

You're my kind of guy!
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Like gropers on a public conveyance, these "hostesses" need to be immediately, and loudly, taken to task. Something loudly directed across the room to the offender's spouse along the line of "Joe, why didn't you tell me you lost your job!!!!!" should do the trick.

OR - pay in Monopoly money.

"I'll see your bat-sh*t-crazy, and raise you $30 of Monopoly money. Oh, and I'll need a receipt. And here's an orange $500 bill as a tip for your fine hospitality"
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I'm not a big eater. So for $25, I want some choice of menu options and don't want to be seated anywhere within ear-shot of young children -- something most home "hostesses" probably aren't providing.

That's tacky beyond belief. If someone tried that in my family I'd pass and just see who's up for meeting at a Chinese restaurant.


I agree--$100 a couple? For $50 to spend on ONE meal, I could eat quite well--far better than most restaurants--and be able to select whatever I wanted vs. 'here it is, hope you like it and btw here's the bill'.

I guess most of the people were so shocked they couldn't think of what to say or how to respond. And--it being a holiday--probably didn't want to cause a scene. The appropriate response--aside from 'we should've been informed beforehand that there'd be a charge, otherwise we would've declined'--would be 'show me the grocery bill as to how you arrived at this amount per couple'.
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