Who doesn’t love the sass of Welsh gran Caroline Duddridge for charging her family to sit at her Christmas table for the seventh year in a row?

No muttering under her breath about taking the burden, simmering resentment or grumbling behind closed doors before throwing open door with a fake smile to welcome her guests, she is up front and honest from the off.

No payment, no dinner.

Food and energy costs are spiralling.  Why should she, as a widow, cater for her grown up children, their partners, grandchildren and extended family from Christmas Eve to Boxing Day every year and bear the cost?

More crucially, why should everyone expect her to? 

Managing expectations can be the biggest cause of Christmas fallouts. 

By being direct leaves no room for doubt.

Caroline should inspire others to stop being Christmas martyrs and share the load of serving up festive joy at a time when everyone is forced to look carefully at their finances.

It’s not about being Scrooge or the Grinch, it’s simple economics.

Experts say the cost of our Christmas dinners will be 13 per cent more than last year, with everything from turkey to sprouts rising sharply.

Nearly 40 per cent of people say they are reducing spending on Christmas food and 34 per cent will spend less on drinks.

Caroline, from Cardiff, started to charge for Christmas entertaining after her husband died; £15 for adult relatives and £2.50 for the youngest grandchildren.

This year she is asking for more, even though she admits the ticket price, which includes electricity and heating calculations, doesn’t cover the cost.

Meanwhile, on GMB yesterday blogger Carla Bellucci enraged viewers by charging her 15 guests £150-per-head and making a £400 profit for hosting.

Carla goes all out with champagne, caviar, smoked salmon and her guests can expect high end. The charge and her profit are only fair, she insists.

Families tend to fall into routines with one person becomes the forever host, because they have more space, are better cooks or simply because people have always gravitated to that house.

The host might feel embarrassed to talk about money, despite faced with higher mortgage payments and bills. 

This is where guests come in.

No one should ever turn up anywhere emptyhanded or mean-spirited, especially at Christmas.

It’s the season to be considerate and think of others.

Everyone who sits at another’s table at Christmas should consider the effort and expenditure of the host to make it happen and offer at least to contribute in monetary and workload terms.

If this is not already happening in your group, make it happen.

This should be the year when the expectation to turn up, make merry and leave shifts to become more of a community effort. 

Taking something for granted is against the Christmas spirit. Expecting to feast royally at someone else’s expense and effort is the antithesis of the Christmas spirit – unless that person insists it is their treat.

If that treat becomes an annual event, then then any expectation needs to be addressed and the pressure of planning and preparing shared.

Most people are re-examining how they do Christmas this year because times are tight.

Christmas should be about love not lavish, sharing not showing off.

It’s not about Insta-perfect. How things look doesn’t matter, the look on people’s faces does.

It is for season for joy, peace and goodwill. Make sure you spread it as well as enjoy it.

Inspiring others should be valued as a huge achievement.

Anyone who encourages others to discover new confidence and a way in life deserves recognition.

Sour grapes over proud Mary

All the griping about the Lionesses’ goalkeeper Mary Earps lifting the BBC’s sports Personality of the Year this week has been ugly and sour grapes.

The public voted for her. The clue of the award is in the title: Personality. It’s never a contest for the greatest performer.

If all those votes came from young girls and women whose lives Earps had touched, it speaks volumes.

As goalkeeper, Earps has the least desired position in the women’s England team.

She played every minute in England’s run to the World Cup final, conceding only four times. keeping three clean sheets to ultimately claim the Golden Glove award. 

The Fifa Best goalkeeper in the World saved a penalty in England’s first senior World Cup final appearance for 57 years.

Last season she set a new record of 14 Women’s Super League clean sheets in a single 22-game season. 

Off the pitch, she took on Nike when it failed to make her World Cup goalkeeper kits available for fans to purchase. Once it was on sale, it sold out rapidly. So, her legacy is far more than her on-pitch performance.

A worthy winner undeserving of the nasty sniping.

Esther has always spoken with authority

For decades, when Esther Rantzen spoke those in authority listened.

Now deep into treatment for incurable lung cancer, the campaigner has joined Dignitas and wants to see a free vote in parliament on assisted dying.

Like her work on consumer rights, setting up ChildLine, and Silver Line for loneliness and elder abuse, she makes the common-sense case.

This might be her final campaign but if anyone can make a difference and achieve a free vote it will be her, working for the greater good.