When we were kids, it seemed like whenever Christmas rolled around our homes magically transformed into a winter wonderland.
Stockings were hung, holiday cookies were baked, and the Christmas tree was decorated seemingly overnight. Of course, as adults, we know all the hard work that goes into preparing for the holidays. Because we are the ones doing it!
That's why a new plan to take the stress out of the holidays cooked up by British mom Gemma Andrews has everyone divided. It sounds ridiculous at first, but the mother of four (soon to be five) swears it's the only thing that makes Christmas bearable for her extended family.
In the past, Andrews had guests no-show her Christmas dinner, after she had already paid for the food and drinks. The next year, everyone "forgot" the dish they were meant to bring for a potluck dinner.
That left Andrews scrambling to buy and prepare a dinner herself.
After putting up with all that, while cooking the entire Christmas dinner herself, Andrews had reached her limit. Her solution was to charge guests to her Christmas dinner $40 up front, and says the simple trick has guaranteed everyone in her family a merry Christmas.
But not everyone was convinced.
The key to Andrews's solution is that everyone chips in, and there are less no-shows when money is on the line.
She charges all the adult guests at Christmas dinner, but not children. Andrews even has her own tricks to make the payment as painless as possible. For one thing, she collects the money in November, so it doesn't add to the Christmas crunch. And Santa brings a gift for every guest at dinner, which makes the price of admission worthwhile.
And while the fact that Andrews has raised ticket prices from $10 in $40 in just a few years raises eyebrows, she says it's because as children grow up they add to the family's Christmas liquor bill.
There's one last upside to the scheme: Andrews's son has severe food allergies, so if she's the only cook there's less stress for everyone.
But it seems like almost nobody approves of this crafty mom's Christmas plan.
I would never think of charging my family to pay for any dinner let alone Christmas.— Jennifer Spring (@SpringJazzy532) November 29, 2017
When she appeared on ITV's This Morning to share her idea, host Kathy Lette said she made "Scrooge look like Mary Poppins." In Lette's opinion, adding a price tag to Christmas is against the spirit of the season.
A poll conducted by the show found just 10% of people would even consider charging their loved ones, and a viewer online said Andrews "has lost the true meaning of Christmas."
What do you think of her plan? Share this story and tell us!