Teachers, What Was Your Holiday “Bonus” This Year?

This is your official cringe warning.

Two teachers christmas bonus images

Was your teacher Christmas bonus closer to $500 or $5,000 this year?

Just kidding, just kidding. We know teachers don’t get holiday bonuses. (Unless you do, in which case I hope you’re thanking your lucky stars.) Most teachers don’t get holiday bonuses. But that didn’t stop a group of them from sharing about their “bonuses” online. You’ll see what I mean.

Here was the original post a Redditor on r/Teachers shared:

What was your Christmas bonus?

I got a District Hoodie “Bulldog Pride” while my wife got $238.


So let’s hear it- did you get a bonus, what was it?


A quick preamble in defense of principals: Nobody expects principals to provide holiday bonuses or elaborate, fancy gifts for an entire faculty! We’re simply pointing out the painful, humorous distinction between what’s happening this time of year in the private sector vs. woefully underfunded public schools (and, occasionally, individual principals’ questionable choices in faculty gifts when there are so many more meaningful ways to show you appreciate them).

Check out what teachers got this year:

An email with a sparkly GIF

“We will likely get an email with a sparkly gif saying how much we’re appreciated on the last day before the break. 😩).” —cymru3

A bracelet with the principal’s motto on it

“We all got crappy beaded bracelets that spell out our principal’s current motto. We’re all supposed to wear them in solidarity or something. I saw at least three in the staff room trash can before school even started.” —Teenakp

A sweatshirt with the principal’s hashtag on it

“We got sweatshirts with our principal’s current motto/hashtag … and we were told we have to wear them our first day back in January, which is an in-service day.” —AquariusENFJtwin

The flu

“Influenza A 🤒.” —dmarie1983

Food poisoning from cafeteria burritos

“Cafeteria ‘catered’ breakfast burrito during our early morning staff meeting. A bunch of us got food poisoning. Happy Holidays!” —Math4MeMe

One-hour early dismissal

“Got to leave at 3 p.m. instead of 4 on Friday 🤪” —MsSherKl

Requests to donate to other underpaid school employees

“I get asked to donate towards a Christmas bonus for the custodial staff. So I guess … -$10?” —CaffeineGlom

The worst ornament.

“An absolutely AMAZING school-themed Christmas ornament that mysteriously ended up in my trash.” —StopCappin28

Also, just a reminder why we shouldn’t be making cultural assumptions of students or staff.

Wait, no. THIS is the worst ornament.

“I got a plastic Christmas ornament filled with M&Ms with a vinyl cutout of the first letter of my last name on it. Beat that.”—el-unicornio

I stand corrected. Official worst ornament.

“We had a luncheon. The school (private) and the PTO went in on $100 Amazon cards. Much appreciated!

“But the principal and another administrator went in on ‘signature’ ornaments hand-selected for each of us. We had to go collect them from a Christmas tree. Mine was a ceramic heart with cameras on it. The back said, ‘I love photography!’ I have no idea where this came from as I do not love photography.

“I went next door to show a fellow math teacher what I got. She got ‘Cornhole Champion,’ which vaguely offended her.

“At the luncheon, the ASL teacher remarked that she couldn’t find hers. Right on cue, the principal walked up and enthusiastically handed her an ornament. ‘Look what you left behind!’ It was a snowman with earmuffs. The principal pointed to the earmuffs. ‘Get it?'” —meek-o-treek

I loved this follow-up comment:

“That is Michael Scott-level leadership right there.” —AlwaysWorkForBread

Not one but THREE jeans days!

“Well, not to brag, but we got THREE jeans days in December (we usually get ONE benevolently bestowed upon us for the last Friday in a month). I was thinking about quitting, but I’ve been reinvigorated by the triple dose of denim.”—Killer_Education

A request to chip in … for faculty lunch

“Our admin asked us to Venmo him 5 bucks if we want some of the pizza and pop he’s buying us for the PD we have the afternoon of the last half day before break.” —blankwon

Floor snacks

“I got an unopened snack-size bag of Cheddar Gold fish … because I found it under a student desk when I cleaned up my classroom on Friday.” —Super_Hedgehog1130

$1,500 to not quit

“I received a retention bonus of $1,500.” —Extra_Wafer_8766

Teachers, I’m sorry you don’t get anywhere near the bonus you deserve. But I hope you find a way to fill your winter break with things, people, festivities, and food that bring you joy. (Even if it’s floor snacks. I won’t judge.)

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Wondering where other teachers' Christmas bonuses fall? You're in the right place! Reddit teachers are sharing what they've been "gifted."