About 80% of the Rwandan population are Christians, this means they annually celebrate Christmas to honour the birth of Jesus Christ.
Christmas is just three weeks away and it is evident that most Rwandans are preparing for this holiday season always the longest in a year.
Around the world, families are making plans to celebrate the season with unique traditions, once-a-year meals, gifts and more.
A study conducted by WorldRemit to determine the true cost of Christmas in 14 countries showcases the average costs of traditional Christmas meals, decorations and gifts.
Data showed Rwandans are most impacted by the disparity between average household income and holiday costs, spending 708% of their monthly income and nearly 60% of their annual income on the holiday.
The study, looked at 14 countries [USA,UK,Canada, Australia, France, Philippines, Mexico, India, Kenya,Lebanon,Rwanda,Cameroon,Nigeria and Uganda] and researched basic Christmas Costs – including the main holiday meal, average gift spend and decorations.
According to this study, Christmas items were selected based on desk research of typical Christmas meals, gifts and decorations. “We then researched the average price of each item for an average family on an average income. The prices were researched online in late October 2021 – November 2021.”
Prices and breakdowns of what is appropriate for Christmas celebrations in each country were then shared with locals of that country who we hired to validate the data as correct.
Filipinos spend 257% of their monthly income on the holiday. In the region, Christmas celebrations begin in September and extend into January, making it challenging for many families to afford the basic costs of Christmas. Without remittances into countries like the Philippines, celebrating Christmas 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% of total population)2, UK (9%)3, Australia (30%)4 and Canada (21.5%)5.
During the holidays, immigrants and overseas foreign workers 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.
Christmas is one of the primary reasons immigrants and migrants send money back to their home country.
Because of the high cost of coveted seasonal items, food, and the overall impact COVID has had on supply chain and inflation, it is vital for remittance senders to be able to support those dearest to them by helping make Christmas a reality for their loved ones6.
For example, of the 14 countries observed that typically receive remittances, 10 spent more than 50% of their monthly household income on the holiday.
A holiday that would be impossible without remittances, the season of giving becomes vital, where the world’s largest send markets typically only spend less than 3% of their annual income on the holiday.