A British mum is charging her family members $75 each for a seat at her Christmas lunch

Across the world this Christmas, families will be gathering around their tables, enjoying each other's company and basking in the generousity of their loved ones - except for the Holgates' joy, which will come at £40 pp. 

This Christmas, Mandie Holgate will be hosting her family of 14 at her home in West Mersea, Essex, for a traditional lunch, but they will not be dining for free. She charges each adult £40 ($75 AU) and £20 per child ($38 AU) for the privilege.


Image: Mandie Holgate

woman holding dog


Mandie decided that there would be a cover charge to join in her merriment after hosting Christmas 2017. She was shocked when she got her bank statements in the New Year. 

"It is so expensive. In total I've worked out it costs more than £700 ($1329) to buy lunch... I'm not made of money," she bemoaned.

This year, the business and life coach, Mandie, will personally cover the expense for herself and her husband, Andy, as well as her two children, Harry and Sophie, and Harry's girlfriend, also named Sophie.

She has had some grumbling from family members who find the door fee outrageous, but the majority can clearly see where their money goes.

You get your money's worth when you invest in seat at Mandie's West Mersea Crimbo slap-up. 


Image: Mandie Holgate

festive table setting


Mandie makes sure to deck every hall - putting up not one, but seven Christmas trees, hanging holly wreaths on her the doors and windows and setting the Yuletide table with crackers, baubles and festive serviettes.

Upon arrival, her guests can choose between a flute of champagne or their cocktail of choice, made to order. She spends over £200 ($380) on the alcohol alone.

In the kitchen, she cooks up a storm - preparing her  £70 ($133) turkey and £60 ($114) worth of fruit and veg. Mandie doesn't scrimp on the nibbles either. Spreads of smoked salmon, pastries, dips and biscuits are provided for her diners to graze on before their Christmas feast. 

She says: "I know some people think it is bonkers how much I spend on just one day, and I know other people will kick up an absolute fuss that I'm charging my family [...] It all adds up and you wouldn't get free food in a restaurant." 


Want more? We thought you might like this video.

Like this artice? Subscribe to our newsletter to get more articles like this delivered striaght to your inbox.

By registering you agree to our Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Privacy Notice


Sign Out

Join the Conversation

Please note, LifeStyle cannot respond to all comments posted in our comments feed. If you have a comment or query you would like LifeStyle to respond to, please use our feedback form.