My First Christmas Bonus

Christmas Bonus

Happy Holidays to everyone!  We are right in the middle of that magical time between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Life has been busy as we prepare for our first Christmas holiday together, in our new city, in our new home!  We purchased our first Christmas tree, our first lights, our first ornaments, our first snow shovel…..well, you get the picture.  Lots of “firsts” all around.

An especially fun “first” that I experienced this week was receiving a Christmas Bonus.  This was totally unexpected on my part.  I’ve only been with my new company for six months.  I didn’t even know we had a traditional Christmas Bonus!  So unlike Mr. Clark Griswald, who has come to expect an annual bonus, I was the complete opposite!  Knowing this, you can imagine my surprise at the end of our company Christmas Party when envelopes were handed out to each person.  Inside my envelope was a check for $900.  Woo hoo!!

During the time that envelopes were handed out, our owner and CEO spent a considerable amount of time to express his sincere thanks to each and every employee for their hard work over the past year.  He also emphasized the importance to him in being able to provide a Christmas Bonus.  He told a story of one of his first jobs where he was manager over several employees.  His employer at-the-time instructed him to give every one of his direct reports a pack of 3-4 coupons for free Frostees at Wendys as their Christmas Bonus for the year.  Now I’m fairly certain Wendy’s is a nation-wide company — but just in case you don’t know what it is, Wendys is a fast food restaurant and Frostees are their frozen ice cream desserts.

“If he ever ran a company, he would make sure to provide a Christmas gift that held a little more meaning.”

He was very disappointed and thought it was a terrible “slight” by his employer towards the employees.  And even worse, as a manager, he had to hand them out to everyone.  He was very embarrassed to give such a basic gift and decided if he ever ran a company, he would make sure to provide a Christmas gift that held a little more meaning.

So when he took over our company, it was near and dear to his heart to make the Christmas Bonus more important.  He would make sure to provide a monetary gift that could make a real difference for each and every family.  Hence, the ability for his company to provide bonuses such as the one I received this year.

I appreciated his story very much and I think other employees did as well.  I was already very surprised and happy to receive such a nice gift.  But knowing the added context behind my Christmas Bonus makes me appreciate it even more.

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