Charge family for Xmas dinner?

Mum-of-four asks family to cough up £30 for festive grub

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Brits prefer pets to their in-laws at the Christmas dinner table

By Daniel J. McLaughlin

"Are you waiting for the family to arrive? Are you sure you've got the room to spare inside?" belts out Noddy Holder in the Slade classic, 'Merry Xmas Everybody'. Although Christmas is supposed to be a family occasion, the arrival of certain members may be met with trepidation, rather than jubilation. Trying to navigate the politics of the Christmas dinner table can be a testing experience, with Brussels possibly coming up over a bowl of Brussels sprouts. The season of goodwill can also turn as frosty as the weather outside when ghosts of Christmas past appear in old arguments.

When it comes to the big day itself, many Britons would rather spend it in the company of their pets, instead of with their families. According to a survey from animal charity Support Adoption for Pets, 20 per cent of Brits choose to spend Christmas alone with their furry friends.

The research found that one third of Brits prefer their pets to their in-laws, and are twice as likely to choose spending Christmas with their pet over their in-laws.

With turkey and all the trimmings being the traditional dish for the dinner table, many of our pets are not missing out on the grub. A quarter of respondents admitted that they feed their pet a special meal - with 18 to 35-year-olds more likely to make the effort and prepare a feast for their furry friends.

In the season of giving, in exchange for their unconditional love, our pets are spoilt with gifts. The average British pet owner splashes out up to £50 on presents for their pooch.

Sadly, many animals are lonely this Christmas, spending the festive period without a home. Support Adoption for Pets has launched their annual Santa Paws appeal to raise money for rescue pets in need. The animal rescue charity is asking for 50p - 100 times less than what Brits splash out on gifts for their pets - to provide animals in a rescue centre with a Christmas dinner. They hope to raise enough money to fund 2.4 million dinners for abandoned pets over Christmas.

Amy Wilson, fundraising manager at Support Adoption for Pets, urges Britons to "dig deep" for abandoned pets at Christmas. She said: “We’re delighted to see the overwhelming love that owners have for their pets, in particular over the festive period.

"We’d also like to remind the nation to spare a thought for those pets who are unfortunate enough to find themselves without an owner this Christmas, and urge them to dig deep.

“We hope that the money raised by the Santa Paws appeal will ensure that rescue pets across the country can enjoy a Christmas dinner, and feel the love that they so very much deserve.”

The charity will be raising money inside Pets At Home stores nationwide. You can also donate £3 to the Santa Paws appeal by texting BOWL01 to 70070, or an amount of your own choosing online.

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