Photo by St. John Properties

For 198 real estate employees, this has turned into a Christmas season which they will not soon forget—and it is all thanks to their appreciative boss.

St. John Properties, which is one of the largest and most successful privately held commercial real estate firms in the Mid-Atlantic, recently celebrated reaching 20 million square feet in their housing portfolio.

So as a means of honoring the milestone, company founder Edward St. John surprised his workforce with a very special gift during their annual holiday party in Salt Lake City, Utah.

At the event, each of the firm’s 198 employees were presented with a sealed envelope. St. John then took to the stage and announced that each of the envelopes contained a bonus check based on the amount of years that the employee had worked at the company.

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In total, St. John ended up giving away $10 million in holiday bonuses at an average of $50,000 per employee.

Needless to say, his staffers were overwhelmed by the announcement.

“What happened tonight was magical. It is life changing,” said one tearful employee. “That was so generous.”

When St. John was asked what prompted him to give away such sizable bonuses, he simply said: “I steer the boat, but they’re the ones who run the boat; they’re the ones who make the boat go. Without the team, we are nothing—absolutely nothing.”

(WATCH the emotional video below)

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