Christmas Bonuses: The Last Frontier is Google

Sarah Gilbert
shadowy people walk past a Google sign
shadowy people walk past a Google sign

Could 2010 be the return of the holiday bonus? Recent news says, "maybe." Google employees won't get a turkey (or if they have, that memo hasn't yet been leaked), but they will be getting a $1,000 holiday bonus in addition to the generous performance-based pay increases of up to 10%. Oh, except for this one guy (or gal? It's not clear). He's the one who leaked the internal memo to Silicon Alley Insider. He has been terminated. Happy Holidays!

Will Google's bold not-quite-so-confidential step lead others into the great old tradition of holiday bonuses? Khan Manka, Jr. of Manka Bros. Studios obviously thinks so. He's doing Google one better (literally), offering senior management holiday bonuses of $1,001, and raises of 10.1%. A great equalizer for the rank and file, it's not; but it's certainly better than a Walmart coupon.

But ask most of us worker bees if we're expecting a Christmas bonus this year and you're likely to get a sigh and a nostalgic look. For most of the last decade, the holiday bonus has been going the way of the rotary phone.