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Boxing Day meal with son and Partner, now say they can't afford it.

(67 Posts)
Claudiaclaws Sun 22-Dec-19 22:28:53

Just as the title says. At the end of October we have booked a table for 4 for Boxing day at our favourite restaurant. Our son asked if they could come with us and they would pay for themselves. Because of unforseen expenditure, not Christmas related he has told us tonight that he can't afford it..
I am really annoyed, this is not on when its Boxing day and "our Restaurant" I really don't want to let them down.
We were going to give him £ 50 for Christmas plus a few presents to unwrap, but it looks like we are going to have to pay for them as well. We are not very well off either.
Should we reduce the ammount for the present and still pay. What would you do?

MissAdventure Sun 22-Dec-19 22:33:20

I would probably pay for them and buy a few less presents.
(If I thought they genuinely couldn't afford it)

grannyactivist Sun 22-Dec-19 22:35:06

I could understand it if you were upset, but I'm not really sure why this has annoyed you Claudiaclaws. An 'unforseen expenditure' at this time of year is often a bit of a nightmare and really cannot be helped I suspect. If you can afford it then be generous and offer to pay as an extra Christmas present. If you can't then all you can do is apologise to the restaurant and trust they will be understanding.

Summerlove Sun 22-Dec-19 22:38:54

Just call the restaurant and change the reservation to two.

It doesn’t sound like they are flaky and did this on purpose?

NfkDumpling Sun 22-Dec-19 22:41:08

Ditto ga. They’re probably upset too at missing a lovely meal out. Cut back on their presents or the cash and treat them.

kwest Sun 22-Dec-19 22:41:17

The obvious thing, to me, to do would be to pay for the meal and if necessary forego giving presents unless you have already bought them.
If you can possibly afford it, it would be a kind and generous solution to what is probably an embarrassing problem for them.

Grammaretto Sun 22-Dec-19 22:42:15

I think what you suggested would be best but don't get cross about it. Enjoy your meal and well done booking ahead.

annep1 Sun 22-Dec-19 22:42:24

I think I would tell him that I can't afford to pay it but that I was giving him £50. Does he want to use that to pay. If he's a bit short of cash he may prefer to have the money and not go out for a meal. I'm sure the restaurant won't mind changing the number of people. They probably have plenty of people wanting to book.

Doodle Sun 22-Dec-19 23:08:44

Family are more important than any meal and if you are all short of money it doesn’t sound as though they are making it up. What would you do if they were ill. We once cancelled a table for 10 when my DH got taken I’ll on the morning of the meal. We offered to pay but the restaurant said it was ok. Obviously that was not on Boxing Day.
If you can afford to treat them I would do so. Otherwise see if you can cancel their two places. The fact that they wanted to be with you would count more for me as far as I’m concerned.

Evie64 Sun 22-Dec-19 23:15:17

I'd change the reservation to 2 and then pop round to them afterwards with a bottle of wine? He has said he can't afford it, not that he expects you to pay. Surely they can't be offended if you have the meal without them?

cornergran Sun 22-Dec-19 23:28:44

Why not talk to them? If you could pay for the meal then ask if they would like you to but please don’t be offended if they say they would rather you didn’t. If you do pay for the meal I’d think it more than reasonable to give the gifts you have for them and divert the £50 to the meal. If you know for sure they need the money and paying for their meal while giving £50 is too much for your budget then either change the reservation to two or cancel if you’d prefer. Restaurants do understand needs change. If you’ve been looking forward to it of course you’re disappointed but please don’t let it become a wedge between you all.

Chloejo Sun 22-Dec-19 23:31:06

Yes I agree sometimes things go wrong like the boiler packs up or shower breaks can’t be helped they are young probably haven’t got ready cash these things happen. Just enjoy the meal the two of you don’t be angry !

Claudiaclaws Mon 23-Dec-19 00:00:19

Thank you all very much for your sensible replies. I have now calmed down and not annoyed anymore. And it certainly won't become a problem between us. We will probably just bite the bullet and pay for them as well.
It just goes to showm that a problem shared is a problem halved.
Happy Christmas everyone.

BradfordLass72 Mon 23-Dec-19 06:12:19

I'm glad that all got sorted out grin

I'm not well off either, no one on a basic pension is, so I do understand your annoyance but if I had to live on bread and jam for the next month, I wouldn't let my poor son forgo a meal he was looking forward to, especially if the double stress was a bill he hadn't anticipated.

Sara65 Mon 23-Dec-19 06:20:34

I think you’re right Claudia, annoying for you, but these things happen.

We always seem to end up paying for everything, so I sympathise, but hope you all enjoy your meal, and Merry Christmas

Sparkling Mon 23-Dec-19 06:28:15

I would be pleased he wanted to be with me. Even if it meant going without other things myself, I would have said, no problem, we wanted to treat you anyway, just give him the money and presents you would have. He must be struggling and feel bad enough, family support each other.

dizzygran Mon 23-Dec-19 09:47:12

I would also pay for them. They sound a nice couple who are having a few problems. They wanted to be with you on Boxing Day, which is vey nice. Give them a treat. I certainly would not deduct it from their present money - which doesn't go far by today's standards. There are no pockets in shrouds and you can't take it with you. Give them a happy day.

Christmas wishes everyone.

janeainsworth Mon 23-Dec-19 09:50:39

What sparkling said.
I very much admire your son for having the courage to say he couldn’t afford it - that’s not an easy thing to admit.
I hope you all have a lovely time Claudia.

dizzygran Mon 23-Dec-19 09:50:59

Well done claudiclaws, /have a lovely meal and a good Christmas.

jaylucy Mon 23-Dec-19 09:59:17

Having been in that situation myself more than once , I can fully understand your son's dilemma.
The thing is, are you more annoyed that you possibly may not be seing your son and his OH or is it just the possible extra cost to you?
Suggest that you call him and either decide to pay for his meal, cancel his booking and go, just the two of you , or cancel the table for all of you all( they will more than probably be able to re book it, even with a walk in) and invite your son and partner round for tea and ask them to bring a few things towards it - even if it is just a cake.
Not worth getting annoyed - spending time with family is more important!

Lilyflower Mon 23-Dec-19 10:01:36

Three weeks before Christmas our car broke down and needed £500 worth of work done. A financial disaster given what Christmas costs. Your son might well have had a similar problem and certainly needs your sympathy.

Why don't you use the £50 present money towards his cost of the meal? Or cancel the restaurant booking and do a home dinner party?

Jishere Mon 23-Dec-19 10:05:48

Surely the simple answer would have been 'Well I was giving you money for Xmas so if you still want to come you could use that?'
Therefore you are given him the choice to say no and you can change your booking.
It doesn't matter what restaurant it is if bills need to be paid etc...And they might of overspent.

Fronkydonky Mon 23-Dec-19 10:08:37

We have paid for our adult children & husband/partner many times because we want them to join us. If we thought for one minute they were taking the mickey and saying they couldn’t afford to join us( then squandered money on other rubbish) we would not offer again. It’s probably genuine and maybe they need to replace an appliance that has broken or have received a huge utility bill. If you are in a position to treat them-Be kind and you will be repaid in other ways.

ladymuck Mon 23-Dec-19 10:09:41

If it were me, I would make sure first that they really did want to join us and were not just using money as an excuse to opt out. Then I would pay, on the understanding that he would do something in return. Not necessarily financial but some other favour.

notanan2 Mon 23-Dec-19 10:17:48

Although you say you have calmed down, I reallt dont understand your initial reaction.

Why were you more concerned with bothering a restraunt with a reseevation change than about your AC potentially overstretching themselves financially?

Whats wrong with a plan B? You do the restraunt without them then go to theirs for coffees afterwards etc? Plans can change can they not? Or cancel the booking entirely and all go for a walk then cold buffet at home. Its more than 48hrs away theres plenty of time to change or cancel.

I would rather change plans than overstretch others or myself.

Really, why wasnt your first reaction concern for someone you love who just told you money is tight?