Gifting Cash to Loved Ones Overseas for the Holidays – There used to be a time when giving cash as holiday presents was considered to be a questionable interpretation of social etiquette. Carefully wrapped personalized gifts still make the best presents because they denote a certain amount of personal effort and thoughtful preparation. Gifting money, on the other hand, was seen as a shortcut; a way of not having to deal with the crowds at shopping centers or with wrapping presents.
At some point in the 21st century, cash gifts ceased to be thought of as being tacky. Most people will not admit to prefer receiving some funds as holiday presents, but this is just a vestige of our traditional social norms. Whether we like to admit it or not, cash gifts are more than ideal because they are not sweaters that end up being two sizes two small; in this case, we may feel ashamed to admit that we have put on weight, not to mention the awkwardness of asking for a purchase receipt so that we can go to the store for an exchange.
The reality of cash gifts these days is that they are highly ideal for various reasons. Not only are cash gifts of the one-size-fits-all variety but also friendly to the environment because they eliminate waste in terms of holiday wrapping. Cash is portable, and it is more dynamic than gift cards because they do not tie spending to a single store. Finally, cash gifts have actually become more personal thanks to the mobile device revolution. Think about a family in Jamaica who goes out on Christmas Eve to the grand market to shop for dinner ingredients; they may be a little short on cash when all of a sudden a text message from their bank arrives notifying them that cash has been sent from a relative overseas. This is just one example of how personalized cash gifting has become during the holidays.
When Cash Becomes a Very Thoughtful Present
With cash gifts, there is no need to peel the price tag off presents so that recipients don’t get to see how much or how little was spent on a sweater. The value of the gift is the amount of the remittance, period. This is probably why there used to be a social stigma surrounding money gifts for the holidays, but this started to change around the time store gift cards became popular.
Whenever you know loved ones overseas need money over the holidays, this could open the door to an excellent cash gift. In the aforementioned example of a cash-strapped Jamaican family headed to the grand market to see what they can get to prepare Christmas dinner, money transfers from friends and relatives in the United States and Canada would be extremely thoughtful. Let’s say you have a brother in Portmore who has been thinking of buying a house; if the two of you have been discussing this possibility, you could transfer money to a Jamaica bank account to help your brother cover some of the closing and real estate transfer costs. This is very thoughtful because you have been talking about it, and you can actually let your brother know that the money will be coming around the holidays; in this case, he can show his wife and children the smartphone notification to let them know that they are one step closer to moving into their new home.
Holiday Cash Gifts Are More Common Than You Think
Since 2016, migrants in the United States have been setting remittance records, and they are on track to reaching an annual volume of a trillion dollars by the year 2020, and most of this cash is received by families in Latin America and the Caribbean. Remittances are often sent on a weekly, biweekly, or monthly basis; when the holidays approach, however, the amount of these remittances tends to increase, and this has a lot to do with the practice of “aguinaldo,” the thirteenth month Christmas bonus given to employees by law in countries such as Mexico and Costa Rica.
Money will flow around the world this holiday season; some transfers will be deposited into bank accounts while others will go into digital wallets. Some holiday cash gifts may also be withdrawn from money transmitter offices after Christmas. As for those who send cash overseas during the holidays, seeing a confirmation of receipt can also be heartwarming.