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Mom says, “I am Charging For Your Holiday Meal”!

Updated: Feb 26, 2022

Is This the New Normal?

A picture of a possible mother looking up at the camera while preparing a holiday meal.

For the most part, the upcoming holidays are a time to spend with the family and partake in a spectacular, if not overblown, meal.

This was not the case with a recent story that caught my eye “My in-laws are charging us for Christmas Dinner.” Are we to consider this will be the new normal? I had described a situation where leftovers had become a hot commodity around Thanksgiving. How long before families start to charge for dinners and now those payees are “entitled” to take home the leftovers? They contributed to the purchase of the food after all.

Then you get into the whole debate of who cooked what and who contributed more. With an average increase of 14% for a party of 10 based on a survey from the American Farm Bureau, the topic of meal cost may become hotter. Nearly every ingredient which goes into a Thanksgiving meal has experienced some price increase. Call it an increase in wages, the labor shortage, the sharp increase in the cost of shipping, or overall inflation in general, and we could have the most expensive Thanksgiving in history.

A typical cooked turkey on a table ready to be cut.

We are in short supply of turkeys, after all. It’s not just that farmers raised fewer turkeys this year due in large part to higher feed costs. It has more to do with the supply being in the wrong location at the wrong time. Supply chain bottlenecks have turkeys caught up on trains and trucks in the wrong regions. Turkeys are available at a price and don’t expect them to be available at the last minute.

So Thanksgiving will cost more this year, especially last year, which was the lowest since 2010. While I was appalled when I first read the family charging for Christmas dinner, I am starting to empathize. Perhaps this really will become the new normal!

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