Giving a christmas bonus or gift really depends on how long the freelancer has been with you, and what you are willing to give them.
I posted something similar a while ago and got answers, here is the link.
Please note that monetary gifts has to be done through oDesk, and yes, oDesk gets 10% from that.
Small cash gift through oDesk via the bonus button at the contract tab, or buy them something online. I find cash gifts are better so they can buy what they want or need because people in the Philippines are very family oriented. A christmas basket would also be a good idea. This is what my company did for the freelancers we hired here (on my company's client account, not mine).
Hi BS! What about 10 to 15 percent of all monies paid to date before oDesk fees on the currently open contract for each freelancer; or $25 to $35 on the currently open contract for each freelancer, whichever is greater.
I usually pay a hiring bonus of $25 to $35 to any freelancer at the beginning of each job (usually gets their attention, dedication, and loyalty), and an exit bonus of $25 to $35 to any freelancer when a contract is ended (appreciation for work regardless of outcomes; even best-effort should be rewarded).
Of course, I am in the USA, and my numbers are intended for off-shore freelancers, which I usually pay at least a minimum of $5 per hour sometimes $7 per hour inclusive of any fees. Again, that is for overseas contractors (e.g., Philippines, India, etc.). I wish I could afford more.
Whatever you decide, I'm sure they will appreciate it greatly. Have a great holiday! Whenever and whatever it might be!
Edited 01/09/2015 RT/lwm