Post # 1
So my husband and I are away for Christmas this year, we will be with his family and this will be the first time I’m not home for Christmas. We leave a little over a week before and don’t get back till New Years so we will be missing all of the family gatherings by quite a bit. I still desperately want to see my family as Christmas is one of the only days a year I get to see some family memebers.
We want to host a pre Christmas gathering for both sides of the family, with all included this ends up as a group of about 23 people. Our condo is FAR too small to host this many people, we have an extremely large patio but we don’t want to bank on good weather since if it’s cold or raining we would not come close to all fitting inside comfortably (we live in Los Angeles so weather has a chance of being fine but I would hate to end up with rain).
SO we have thought about renting a private room in a restaurant for a nice family style dinner which I think would be so much fun. The problem is that everyone would need to pay their own way as there is no way we could afford to cover that, it would come to about $35-$45 pp, we would be covering for 2 family members as they are retired and we don’t want to ask this of them but cannot afford more than that (for any family gathering it is always mostly potluck style so people do spend a bit of money anyways but maybe not his much). Would this be a huge turnoff for you? Would it prevent you from attending a nice family dinner? There are a handful of family members that don’t make a lot of money so I don’t want to ask too much or make them upset/angry. The farthest anyone would be driving is about 1 1/2 maybe 2 hours.
My other concern is that I don’t want to ‘take over’ the family Christmas a week and a half early just because we are away for Christmas.
Sorry for the long question! Just wanted to give an idea of the situation.
Post # 2
I think that’s a lot of money. There are 4 in my family, so I’d be looking at close to $200. There is no way I’d pay for a family gathering. Way too much.
Post # 3
Can someone else host? Could you find a public park and do a potluck or BBQ? (I’d bet we get good weather in LA the week before Christmas.)
ETA: Since the goal is to see your family, couldn’t you slim down the numbers and just invite your side since you’re traveling to spend time with your DH’s family over the holiday itself?
I’d pay $40-50 a head but I know that might be a hardship for some folks.
Post # 4
baygull : It’s possible but the entire point was that my husband and I wanted to do something since we will be the one’s absent. The family members that could host are already doing other holiday events so I really want to avoid asking this. Also, I meant both of my parents’ sides, we usually do separate family events which is why I said this. DH’s family lives in the UK so they woudn’t be here.
PaperQueen : No one has ‘kids’ anymore so everyone would be paying for themselves, or just a husband and wife. That is good to know though. It’s hard to put this into perspective to my husband as he grew up very wealthy and doesn’t see $40 as a lot of money for a special family dinner.
Post # 5
baygull : Also, we live in the middle of the city so public parks are definitely not an option. Any public park within a reasonable distance wouldn’t be a very safe place to be :/
Post # 6
Instead of hosting a family dinner at your home, can you host an “open house” style party instead? You invite people to stop during a time frame you specify as they are able. Then you can have apps and drinks and desserts when they are there and people will stand and mingle.
Post # 7
I think that’s a a lot of money for a lot of people, especially during the holidays where many people are already spending more than normal.
Kenneth Hahn is a beautiful park in the middle of LA, and is quite safe. They have a covered picnic area you can rent for a nominal fee, and free picnic tables toward the bottom area. I would either host on your patio (slim chance of rain) or a public park to make it more financially feasible for your guests.
Post # 8
Does your condo have a common area you can rent out? Are there no cheaper options to host a gathering where you could afford to host ie a local restaurant that’s more casual? If your husband doesn’t think $40/person is expensive, it sounds like it’s maybe more a matter of not wanting to afford?
A big part of hosting is shouldering the cost of the event. If you can’t afford to host an event, please don’t try to pass the cost onto your guests. Even if you just provided meat and beverages, with sides provided but your guests it, would be more than the $120 you’ve budgeted. I’ll be spending about $500-650 to host Thanksgiving at my house to put into perspective what it costs even if you’re preparing the food vs catering.
Post # 9
litttlemisslamb : I understand but that is not how my family works. We all always bring a dish or two so the host doesn’t have to handle absolutely everything so even if there was a way to do it here people would bring food. We would end up spending the most by far but cannot handle anything close to $1000. We are both young and don’t make that kind of money by a long shot. I just want to see my family for the holidays and am really struggling for a way to do this. :/ We might be able to swing $200 but that wouldn’t make much of a dent in the long run.
I did think about our condo rec room but they charge $350 for a rental so this would end up being the most expensive option by quite a bit once food is included. Everything has a massive premium in LA and I’ve contacted about every restaurant with a private area within 10 miles and haven’t had a quote lower than $40 so far. Still looking though!
Post # 10
bambiiandthefox : two ideas… What about a holiday happy hour? That would be less pricy than a full meal and still lots of fun. You could do appetizers, holiday cookies, cocktails etc. Or, since your family is used to bringing food to gatherings, what about renting the space in your condo building, and hosting a potluck there?
Post # 11
I find it very off putting that you want to “host” this event but yet force your guests to pay $100 to attend. Because after tax tip and any drinks, its likely to be there per couple.
I’d either cut the idea, rent the condo room or do an open house style.
Post # 12
This is a “No” from me. You don’t invite someone to a party, then hand them the bill.
If you can’t afford to host, you can’t afford to host.
Why not invite smaller groups over to dinner in January? Most people have room in their social calendar after Christmas.
Post # 13
I think it still might be doable to do Xmas dinner at your place. This person does her thanksgiving dinner in 195 sqft apartment http://www.thekitchn.com/how-i-hosted-thanksgiving-in-my-tiny-apartment-237781 . If you are in LA, renting a tent would probably be a cheaper option to add space than renting a whole new other place (because of the mild weather).
Post # 14
lleello : She said they are on a tight budget. They might be able to swing $200.
Post # 15
I feel like with family, this is the type of question I could ask them about now and get feedback and then make plans from there.
If you don’t have the type of relationship with them, I don’t understand how it would then be ok to ask them to cover their own costs.