A woman who charges her family £30 per head for their Christmas dinner defended her decision on This Morning – sparking a fierce debate among viewers in the process.
British mother-of-four Gemma Andrews, 33, has been hosting Christmas for ten years, and explained it was her grandparents-in-law who first offered to put money towards the expensive feast.
Primary school teacher Gemma said during an appearance on This Morning that she prefers to act as chef, because she can control the dishes according to her son’s severe food allergies.
But her approach to hosting prompted some watching at home to express disbelief at her decision to ask her relatives to hand over money for their food, with one tweeting: ‘Pure greed!’
Others – including presenter Phillip Schofield – disagreed, pointing out that she was still doing a ‘lovely’ thing for her friends and family.
Mother-of-four Gemma Andrews explained that she had been cooking Christmas dinner for her family and friends for ten years and charging them for the pleasure
The debate caused quite a stir as Gemma explained that none of her family or friends had an issue with the £30 charge
The debate divided viewers with many slamming Gemma for charging her family money, whereas others thought it was a great idea
Some viewers took issue with the price she put on the meal, insisting that the teacher must be making a profit from her guests.
‘Pure greed! She’s lost the plot. Charging £30 per family member. No just no,’ fumed one.
‘What a disgrace! Charging for Xmas dinner!! This woman is obviously making a profit. I’d rather go out and pay £100,’ added another angry viewer.
‘Its ridiculous to charge in the first place but to charge 30 quid is shocking!! Poor wee pensioners- £60 is too much,’ said a third upset person.
A fourth said: ‘Charging family for Christmas dinner is pathetic, don’t care what people says it’s disgusting!! If I invited a stranger around I wouldn’t charge them!’
Gemma said that cooking for up to 16 people proved to be quite costly and she had had to up the cost over the years from £10 to £30.
‘No one has ever had an issue,’ she said.
‘The alcohol content has gone up as more children become adults, there are more people who have had children,’ she explained.
Gemma was joined on This Morning by author Kathy Lette who opposed her decision to charge and compared the mother to Scrooge
Some thought it would be cheaper than going to a restaurant but others thought it was ‘shocking’
She also pointed out that the budget allows for gifts to make the day special.
‘Everyone gets a present. It’s literally open house. People come at 10am and leave at 10pm,’ she said.
The mother, who lives with her four children and partner, even said her ex-husband and his family continue to join her family every year and are happy to pay the costs.
She added that some of her friends who work in the NHS on Christmas Day don’t have time to cook anything special so drop in to her house when their shifts finish and enjoy the spread.
Australian author Kathy Lette was opposed to the idea and told Gemma she thought she was a ‘Scrooge’ for not funding the costs herself.
Phillip Schofield was in agreement with Gemma’s choice to ask for money and said that it was a good idea
But Phillip defended Gemma adding: ‘I say good on you.’
Many others joined in the praise: ‘I think £30 is cheap for Christmas dinner!! Well done girl.’
‘This lady is so lovely!! She obviously makes Christmas special for her family and goes to a lot of effort! Damn right her family should give her some money,’ gushed one.
‘I think £30 for Christmas dinner is a pretty good deal and you probably get more than you would in a restaurant, merry Christmas,’ said another.
This Morning airs weekdays on ITV at 10.30am