A Blessing to Families At Christmas
Lorine Matthis, a 27-year-old mother of two, is grateful for the remittances her husband sends back at Christmas, because without it her annual Christmas dinner would not take place.
“The Christmas money is normally more and so I am able to buy Christmas cake and ice cream for the children. During the year, the money is used to help with the bills and so I can’t treat them that often,” she said.
“But for Christmas, because of the little extra funds, I am also able to prepare more meats and invite my mother and siblings for dinner. And, if I budget properly, I am able to buy gifts for the children and have some left for the ‘tamarind season’ right after Christmas. This is why I am grateful for the extra money,” she said.
Data from the Bank of Jamaica suggests that there are many Jamaicans like Mrs. Matthis who rely on the extra funds sent during the season to allow their families to enjoy Christmas.
The BOJ states that remittances sent to Jamaica are highest during the Christmas period. The BOJ adds that this increase in transaction benefits many families as they use the money to pay utilities, buy food, medicines, provide pocket money, help with Christmas shopping and provide Christmas dinners. Also, in some cases, a portion of that money may be used to cover expenses immediately following the holiday season.
Members of the Jamaica Money Remitters Association recognize the importance of remittance to families at Christmas by coming up with innovative ways for families to stay connected and to enjoy Christmas. Through various initiatives, they ensure that remittances benefit the families even more at Christmas.
Michael Howard, General Manager of Victoria Mutual Money Transfer Services (VMTS) believes that remittances go a far way at Christmas.
“Remittances help to make Christmas happier for many families because of the love of family members from abroad. It brings a smile across many faces because without many families would not enjoy Christmas,” he said. These steps and other activities ensure that Christmas is merry for many remittance customers!