Families are making plans to celebrate the season with unique traditions, meals, and gifts as the year comes to a close.
In line with this exciting time, WorldRemit conducted a multi-country study to determine the true cost of Christmas in 14 countries, mining data to understand the average costs of traditional Christmas meals, decorations, and gifts.
According to the study, Filipinos were found to spend 331 percent of their monthly income, an average of P37,106 during the holidays. Christmas celebrations begin as early as September and extend until January in the Philippines, making it challenging for many families to afford the basic costs of Christmas. Without remittances into countries like the Philippines, celebrating the holidays would be near impossible.
More than 244 million people are classified as immigrants around the world and account for large percentages of populations in countries like the United States (14.4 percent of total population), UK (9 percent), Australia (30 percent), and Canada (21.5 percent).
During the holidays, immigrants and OFWs are often unable to celebrate with their families in-person and find themselves working to support not only themselves but also their families and communities back home.
“The Christmas season is the perfect time to celebrate old traditions and create new ones with friends and family across the globe. One tradition that is all too well known for Filipino households with friends and families overseas, is sending money in-lieu of gifts,” said Earl Melivo, country director of World Remit Philippines.
“With more than 244 million people worldwide classified as immigrants, and more than 2.2 million overseas Filipinos, we are making it easy to share love and joy over the holiday season,” Melivo said.
Christmas is one of the primary reasons immigrants and migrants send money back to their home country. It is important for remittance senders to be able to make the Christmas wishes of their loved ones a reality despite the high-cost of coveted seasonal items, food and the overall impact COVID-19 has had on supply chain and inflation.
In the Philippines, 45 percent of Christmas costs are spent on noche buena, 48 percent on gifts, and 7 percent on holiday decor.
Relative to Filipinos, 10 of the 14 countries in the survey spent more than 50 percent of their monthly household income during the season of giving. Meanwhile, the largest send markets typically only spend less than 3 percent of their annual income on the holiday.