The perfect out-of-office templates for the holiday break

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash
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It’s finally here! Yes folks, check your calendars because it is almost time to clock out for the holidays.

But before you make that mad dash to kick back and enjoy the (Zoom? 😞) company of friends and family, or to pick up your turkey (assuming you’re not in the UK. If you are, good luck!), there’s one tiny detail you’ll want to take care of: flip the switch on that out-of-office reply.

Now, you could go for the boring generic response, but as you’re a reader, there’s nothing boring or generic about you. And so, here are a few suggestions we’ve A/B and C tested over the years and have found to be winners, each in their own right.

1. For the Christmas enthusiast

You’ve already watched the 2003 Will Ferrell classic Elf four times this year and can basically recite Miracle on 34th Street line by line. Everyone knows you absolutely love the holiday season so your out-of-office email needs to reflect this ghost of Christmas present.

Seasons Greetings,

I’m out of the office on annual leave which means I am currently:

A. Roasting chestnuts on an open fire.

B. Walking in a winter wonderland.

C. Rockin’ around the Christmas tree.

I’ll be back in the office on [end date] and will respond to your message then.

Happy holidays,
[your name]

P.S. Of course this is a rhetorical answer, as I’m doing all three. Right now. Simultaneously.

2. For the Grinch/Ebenezer Scrooge

Not really feeling the holiday love? Ready to take Taylor’s Christmas Shuffle and shove it?  If you’re not bursting with Yuletide joy don’t worry Ebenezer, we’ve got the perfect out-of-office template for you.

Hi there,

I will be out of the office from [start date] until [end date]. Provided that Cindy Lou Who doesn’t interrupt my work, I’ll be busy swiping up all the presents, the tree, and the feast, and will respond to your emails as soon as possible upon return in the new year.

In the meantime, if you’d like to start planning for 2022, our full list of services available at Scrooge and Marley can be found here.

Bah humbug,

[your name]

3. For the person who can’t switch off

Sometimes we can’t completely abandon our workload over the holidays. If you feel like you will need to check in every so often then try this template out for size.


I’m currently out of the office for the holidays. Which is ironic, I realise, as most of us have been out of the office for the past two years. Allow me to rephrase: I will be back at work on [end date].

While I’ll probably be spending most of my time lounging on the sofa stuffing my face with turkey (standard fare these days, really), the undiagnosed OCD that I’ve developed in the past few months means that I’ll be reaching for some form of mobile telecommunication device at least every 28.5 ~ 36 minutes.

If your inquiry isn’t time-sensitive, I’ll be honest, I’m probably going to mark it as unread and maybe think about it sometime around the 3rd of January. The good news is, if all goes according to plan, my NYE hangover will have just about worn off by then and I’ll fumble through some form of a reply. I’ll leave it up to you to make sense of it.

However, if it is urgent, ask yourself this: 1. is it really that urgent? and 2. if it is that urgent, why are you emailing me and not sending up smoke signals? Or at least using some form of inter-office messenger? If all else fails, *sigh* send me the email again and mark it with something that will get my attention. Free Netflix, Disney+, Apple TV, and Prime, for life, for example.

Happy Holidays,

[your name]

4. For the pun master

If you’re a thesaurus whizz kid and a wit extraordinaire then buckle up. Here’s a pun-filled email that’s sure to get you at least a few responses.

Hi There,

I am currently off on my ho-ho-holidays. Dissimilar to Herr Klaus, I won’t be operative on the eve of the Christ mass this annum (that would be crackers!). However, my presents will be felt on [end date] when normal operations resume.

With great Frankincense and Myrrh, wishing you the most festive of holy days. I certainly hope Yule enjoy it!

[your name]

And that’s it for me for the rest of this year. From all of us at Jobbio, and by extension, we wish you all a safe and festive holiday season.

P.S. – If there was any doubt, my out-of-office response? Why number 3 of course!

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