It’s the most wonderful time of the year
With end-of-year bonuses
Even sans snow you can be of good cheer!
It’s the most wonderful time of the year

In most offices, the weeks leading up to Christmas are thoroughly enjoyable. As excitement grows over the upcoming break – in Australia, most offices will close for at least ten days – festive excitement can become infectious. Work tends to become a little bit more relaxed as client liaisons wind down, Christmas cards are accumulated, and the end-of-year office party approaches.

For many employees, the climax of the pre-Christmas corporate countdown comes when bonuses are handed out. Usually dependent on KPI’s, bonuses are intended to reward those who’ve worked particularly hard during the year. They can take a number of forms, and letting your boss know which category you prefer in advance (perhaps implicitly) could help you to avoid disappointment. Assuming you make the grade, that is!

Novelty gifts

Reindeer ears, slogan-emblazoned t-shirts, and cards that emanate tinny, synthesised carols surely represent the lowest rung on the ladder of Christmas rewards. They can be funny and engaging, sure. But they pale in comparison to some of the other stuff on offer. All the same, novelties are the perfect option for inter-office giving. If you’re engaging in secret Santa, or are looking to splash minimal cash on multiple office fellows, pop down to the two dollar shop and go wild.

Charitable donations

For those of us selfless enough to recognise the comparative splendour in which we already live, a donation to a charitabe organisation such as Noble Endeavours could be easier to accept than a wad of dirty cash from your boss. Asking any higher-ups to put some money towards disaster victims, or donate for primary school tuition of young people living overseas, will give you good karma for the forthcoming twelve months, at least.

bonus-officeBig-time bonuses

You know the cartoon trope that involves big, green collar signs filling a character’s eyes, like two matching symbols on a pokie, complete with the ca-ching sound? That applies to this form of festive reward. Usually awarded to banker types, property executives, and CEOs, multi-figure, giant novelty cheques are all part of Christmas craziness. That’s not to say they can’t be put to good use. Many of us go through the year intending to make a charity donation for children’s health and education, without every getting around to it. If you’re lucky enough to be endowed with a generous bonus, putting some of that money to a good cause could alleviate any potential guilt.

Thoughtful tokens

One of the main reasons we give one another gifts at Christmas is to represent our mutual affection. Selecting a gift that has personal significance, then, will allow your boss to convey the value they believe you to hold – not only to the profitability of the company you work for, but also to your boss and fellow workers.

Spending a bit of extra dosh on something nice for your workmates will help to maintain a cozy office environment, too. If your cubicle neighbour has mentioned a favourite brand of whisky, indulge them with a bottle. Does your assistant love Michael Buble? There’s sure to be a Christmas CD – or several – that will make their festive period all the more enjoyable. It’s doesn’t take all that much effort, but getting into the Christmas spirit always pays off.