7 epic out-of-office messages (for Xmas and beyond)

This is it. This will make or break your summer holiday season. Not finding the most amazing Xmas present ever or planning the most epic New Year’s Eve. No.

What really matters is having the best out-of-office email. And ‘cause I’m feeling generous (I mean, it is Christmas), I’ve come up with seven to get you started. You’re welcome.

Disclaimer: Your OOO message is kind of important and not just an excuse to show off how hilarious you are. Make sure it includes the date you’ll be back in the office and an alternative contact for urgent enquiries.

I take full responsibility for any lols generated by these messages (‘cause I’m modest like that), but no responsibility for any backlash (soz). Think carefully – and not after a few drinks at the Christmas party – if your workplace shares your sense of humour.

1. The Sarcastic

This one’s harsh, but relatable.

Sorry if my out-of-office message gave you false hopes of my swift and enthusiastic response. I’m currently lazing on a beach, drinking midday cocktails. I won’t be replying to your email today 🙂

Use it wisely, because sarcasm (slash brutal honesty) isn’t for everyone.

2. The Christmas Miracle

Here’s an easy one to copy and paste. Just change the Xs to your own deets. It even gives you the option to include a contact number, so you’re not completely washing your hands of the whole ‘work’ thing.

Hi there,

I’m on leave until XX/XX/XX, enjoying some Christmas cheer with my family. I’m really trying to get into the spirit of the season, so please only contact me if it’s an emergency OR if you have fresh intel on the true meaning of Christmas. Call me on XXXX XXX XXX if:

  • You’re a Ghost of Christmas Past, Present, or Future, or if a Ghost of Christmas Past, Present, or Future is looking for me at the office
  • Santa Claus has fallen off the office roof and I’m the only one who can take his place delivering presents this year
  • The Grinch has stolen Christmas (again) and you need someone to break into his lair and steal it back

For anything else, I’ll get back to you in January.

3. The Earworm

It wouldn’t be Christmas without Christmas carols, or a certain 1994 Christmas album that’s never, ever going away. So why not rewrite a famous Christmas tune to suit your OOO needs? Here’s one I prepared earlier. It took about a minute and probably won’t win any Grammys, but it does the job.

I don’t want a lot for Christmas
There is just one thing I need
I don’t care about the presents
Underneath the Christmas tree
I just want you for my own time on my own
More than you could ever know
Make my wish come true
All I want for Christmas is you, oooha break from my damn emails!

Musical. Genius.

4. The Swifty

Basically the same as The Earworm, minus the Christmas cheer.

I’m sorry, the old [Your name] can’t answer your email right now.


Oh, ‘cause she’s… on leave.

Yeah, it’s not the most original idea in this list. But it’s *very* effective. Extra points if you dress it up with some snake emojis 🐍🐍🐍

5. The (Not So Humble) Brag

A gentler version of The Sarcastic, for when you want to actually have a job to come back to.

The rumours are true.

I’m currently in Boracay, cruising around tropical islands, snorkelling on coral reefs, and diving off cliffs. It’s the most amazing holiday of my life and there’s no way I’m interrupting it to check my emails.

Too honest? Sorry. Just pretend I said “Wish you were here!” 😉

I’ll be back in the office on XX/XX/XX and will reply to your email as soon as I can. For anything urgent, please contact or

6. The Relatable

Hey, you won’t be the only one away at this time of year. So why not keep your OOO relaxed and relatable?

Hi there,

I’m currently on leave for the holidays, which means I’m probably:

  1. Shopping like mad for last-minute Xmas gifts (every year! Why do I do this?)
  2. Eating all the food
  3. In a coma from eating all the food
  4. Dodging awkward questions from my most intrusive relatives (why don’t we talk about *your* love life, Aunty Doris?)
  5. A little bit tipsy from too much prosecco

I’ll be back on XX/XX/XX, but my inbox will probably be a nightmare. If your request is urgent, please email me again after that date (so your email is at the top of my to-read list) or get in touch with [Coworker’s name] at

7. The Way-Too-Honest

Confession: This one isn’t mine. I have no idea who originally wrote it, but I’ve seen it floating around online and I had to share. Use it at your own risk and definitely make sure it’s only going to your coworkers, not external enquiries.

I am currently out of the office and probably out-of-my-mind drunk. Enjoy your work week.

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