Employment and HR | Everyday Living Tips

Should Employees Get A Christmas Bonus? (Sample Christmas Bonus Letter To Staff)

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A Christmas Bonus means something different to all employees, and it’s something every company should consider.

Today, I want to discuss whether companies should offer their employees a Christmas bonus and what that could be.

I’ve also included an employer’s sample Christmas Bonus Letter to Staff.

Employee Christmas Bonus
Should Employees Get A Christmas Bonus?

When I lived in the UK, there was no Christmas Bonus of any description where I worked.

I remember the last Christmas Bonus when I was ten, delivering newspapers door to door.

A granny up the road came to our door the day before Christmas with an envelope for me.

You see, she lived alone, and any time she needed help with something, and I could do it, I would.

Sometimes I would take the trash out for her, mow the lawn and even help her hang her wash on the clothesline in the back garden.

She was the most pleasant lady and always told me I’d grow up to be someone’s hero.

In a way, I’m sure I was her hero because now that I’m getting older, I realize how valuable extra help can be.

As we age, it becomes harder to get everything done around the house, especially if there is a disability involved.

We appreciate it when our weekly flyer delivery boy wheels our garbage bin to the garage when I’m home late from work.

It’s not that I can’t do it, but he goes out of his way to do something nice for us.

It makes me simile, although now that we have a son, it will be his job after school when he gets older.

Saving Money For Christmas

That’s why Mrs. CBB and I have set aside some money in our budget that we’ve been saving up all year.

At first, it was going to be our Christmas reserve fund, and in part, it will be, but we won’t need as much.

Now that Christmas will be our little family, significant holiday baking rituals, alcohol, and other fruits and desserts are not needed.

Although Mrs. CBB and I don’t have employees to pass along a Christmas Bonus to, we still want to give back.

This year we put a little bit of cash in a card for our paperboy and a Christmas Bonus Letter I wrote for him.

I’m not sure if his employer will do the same but appreciation is essential whether it’s from your boss or your customers.

Although we don’t pay for our weekly flyer delivery, we still want to give thanks and hope that he passes it forward as he ages.

The small things that matter, even when gifts or rewards are not monetary.

Christmas Gifts For Employees

Gold Christmas Tree
Gold Christmas Tree

You can buy Christmas gifts for employees for under $10 if you are tight on money, especially if you are a small business owner.

Not all businesses are thriving or are new and still trying to get off the ground, but a gesture of appreciation is always nice.

Opting for a gift card to your employee’s favourite restaurant or coffee shop will put a smile on their faces.

For example, successful bloggers who hire virtual assistants or freelancers might also want to send their employees a Christmas bonus.

Christmas Bonus
ADP Canada Study on Holiday Rewards (CNW Group/ADP Canada Co.)

What Employees Want For A Christmas Bonus

A new study by Leger for ADP Canada revealed that working Canadians prefer a Christmas bonus over other holiday rewards.

An online survey of 1562 Canadians was conducted between November 1 to 4, 2019 using Leger’s online panel. The margin of error for this study was +/ 2.5%, 19 times out of 20.

Please note that throughout the report, only those who work full-time, part-time or are self-employed/freelance (906 Canadians) are reported.

Of those who participated in the study, 54% of the respondents said that they would prefer a staff Christmas bonus from their employer.

Sadly, only 15% felt they would get one which is not many considering how valuable employee retention should be.

Some may argue that employers don’t need to give their employees anything; however, it’s more about engagement.

When your staff is happy, your business will thrive, thus earning you more profits.

There’s no point being a Scrooge when a Christmas bonus staff letter and a gift card are all you need. 

Big Christmas Bonus Cut In Half

When Mrs. CBB worked for a globally large employer in our city, her Christmas Bonus was outrageous.

The employees worked lots of overtime with high-quality standards for the company to thrive in Canada, and the company rewarded them.

Come the holiday season, each employee would receive a $1000 Christmas Bonus cheque to spend as they wished.

The employer still had to take income tax off the Christmas Bonus, but it was still money employees put to good use.

December is expensive for everyone, especially parents who want to make the season magical for their families.

I’m not just talking about wrapping gifts for friends and family; decorations, food, and travel costs are pricey.

As the company grew, the Christmas bonus was down-sized to years of service, which was sad for those employees who had come to rely on it.

Even still, the employees received a decent-sized Christmas Bonus, more than I had ever received in my career.

The more critical part of that Christmas Bonus was the employer’s letter to the employees thanking them for their service.

When you work for a company that doesn’t often come around and pats you on the back, it’s nice to hear you’re making a difference.

Employee Christmas Party

To top things off, her company also arranged a lavish all-expenses-paid Christmas party for the entire company.

There was a DJ, dancing, Christmas gifts for each employee, and prizes throughout the evening.

It’s an excellent way for employees to mingle and get to know one another, away from the business aspect of the company.

My organization held a pay-your-own Christmas dinner this year at a local restaurant, and we were OK with that.

Mrs. CBB and I attended and had a great time chatting with my co-workers.

Extra Holidays For Christmas Bonus vs. Holiday Party

From the ADP study, one-third of the employees stated they wanted more vacation time over the holidays, whereas 23% said they wanted a gift and 22% a holiday party.

When I picked up my first job in Canada, my Christmas bonus was a card, and inside was a $50 gift card to President’s Choice.

I honestly did not expect anything from my employer, but we would get this Christmas Bonus which helped us buy food year after year.

I had never had a company appreciate me like that, and it felt good to know they cared.

Moving forward, I don’t get a specific Christmas Bonus or a holiday party but three weeks of paid vacation.

I’m OK with this as I get more time off with my family for the holidays and get paid for it.

You’ll notice that 21% of survey respondents in British Columbia were most likely to get extra vacation time over the 14% National average.

Christmas Bonus Appreciation Differs

It amazes me from the ADP study how employees view gratitude from their employer differently.

The only reason I can think of is that no one knows what someone is going through outside of work.

To break it down, you will always have an employee who won’t be as happy as the next.

For example, that $1000 Christmas Bonus that my wife had reduced to $500 was upsetting for many employees, yet new employees raved about their $100 Christmas Bonus.

When you give and take away, it’s harder for employees to accept where someone new and receives a bonus for the first time.

You’ll also have employees who want nothing from their employer, as 11% of respondents from the study had no interest.

Rewarding Employees A Christmas Bonus

Any time you deal with employees, open communication is vital, even for topics such as Christmas bonuses.

Find out what your staff would like by hosting a survey with options that appeal to everyone, including those who do not celebrate the holidays.

It would help if you remembered that when employees have input about the company that impacts them in any way, they appreciate the inclusion.

That doesn’t mean to say they will get what they want, but at least it shows that the employer is open and ready to hear what they have to say.

Looking at the ADP study’s regional results, you’ll notice that Atlantic Canada will most likely get a financial bonus.

That rang in at 23% compared to the National average of only 15% of employers offering a Christmas bonus.

In Alberta, however, 59% were expected to go to work over the Christmas holidays.

So, not everyone gets a week or even two weeks off at Christmas, primarily if they work for essential services such as fire, police, ambulance, hospitals, etc.

If, for some reason, you receive a bonus cancellation letter after receiving a bonus, accept that as it is.

Your company is working to keep everyone employed, and that should mean more to employees than any bonus.

Perhaps in the future, your employer will bring that bonus back when the company is thriving again.

How To Write An Employee Christmas Bonus Letter (Sample)

You can download, edit and print this sample letter for FREE.

sample free employer Christmas bonus letter for employees
Sample Christmas Letter To Employees


Employee Name


Company Name

Street Address

City, Postal Code

Dear Employee Name/

I’m writing to thank you for your hard work and dedication to your role as (insert function) within our company this past year.

We are pleased to advise that we are providing our valued employees with a Christmas Bonus of (Insert bonus. Gift, Gift Card, Extra Holidays, Christmas Party) for their efforts in making our company one of the most successful in the country.

I will add your bonus to your next pay cheque. 

We wish to extend our best wishes for a happy holiday season (insert company), and we will see you in the New Year.


Your Name
Your Role

It’s The Small Things That Matter

Oh, and the little granny that I would help when I was delivering my papers wrote me a note.

In the note, she wished me a Merry Christmas and thanked me for everything I did for her.

She left a few coins in the envelope to do what I wanted.

It wasn’t much, but it was so much more than I had ever expected by simply being the person my parents raised me to be.


Do you expect your employer to give you a Christmas Bonus this year?

If yes, what do you expect it to be? If not, why not?

Share your comments below, and I’ll be sure to respond.


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