It’s that time of year again: when we spend the better part of a month marveling at the inevitable passing of time. December!? Already!? But once the disbelief subsides, the excitement sets in. It’s the season to take some time off and relax, after all. And it starts by setting some healthy boundaries at work with a holiday out of office message.
When you set your out of office, it’s OK to stick with something short and simple that gets the job done. Or you can make your message more personal, and maybe even funny (if HR lets you get away with it). 😉
Read on for five holiday out of office message examples for different holidays and occasions.
How to write an out of office message for a holiday
If you’re going to be away for a bit, you can always opt for a standard holiday out of office message. Something like:
This message is specific, clear, and perfectly functional. But there might be times when you want to deviate from a traditional message. If that’s the case, you’ll want to consider:
- The holiday in question: You can always tailor your message to the upcoming holiday to keep it festive.
- How available you want to be: Are you planning to be completely off the grid, or do you want people to be able to contact you in an emergency?
- The tone and style: Looking to be a bit cheeky, or is formal the way to go? Have fun with it—if you want!
5 holiday out of office message examples (templates)
Looking for some inspiration? These five holiday out of office message examples are here to give you some ideas of slightly different auto responses you could write.
1. The longer, winter break out of office message
Planning to be out for the whole winter break? You might want to try a message that sets clear boundaries, while still keeping you available for something urgent:
2. The off-the-grid, Merry Christmas out of office message
As an important family holiday, Christmas is one of the few times of the year when it’s OK to say, “Please don’t contact me, nothing in my work life matters right now”—except, y’know, politely and professionally. Try this:
3. The cheeky, I-hope-HR-turns-a-blind-eye out of office Thanksgiving message
Thanksgiving’s been and gone this year, but it’ll roll around next year (and the turkey in this message could also be swapped out for a Christmas roast).
4. The cheery, festive out of office message
This one’s friendly, personal, and firm.
5. The blunt truth out of office message
Sometimes you just need to tell it like it is.
Ready to set your holiday out of office message?
Whether you’re going completely offline or planning to stay semi-available, a holiday out of office message is a great way to let people know if and when they can expect a response. You can also guide them about what to do for urgent messages—by pointing them to another contact or telling them to tag their message as urgent.
Holidays are meant to be, well, holidays, so it’s important to take time off to unwind and set clear boundaries. But whether you choose to do so with a standard message or something more personal is totally up to you.
Frequently asked questions—answered
As a special holiday gift to you, here are some bonus answers to the most common questions about out of office messages. (It’s not exactly a new iPhone, but remember that it’s the thought that counts. 🧑🎄)
How do you put an out of office message on a public holiday?
How do you announce an office holiday?
Just send out an internal memo letting employers know that they’re off for the holidays! Be sure to specify the start date and the end date.
How do you say we are closed for the holidays?
Your team can set up vacation responders to automatically send holiday out of office messages when someone attempts to contact them.
What is an appropriate out of office message?
A bare-bones holiday out of office message should specify that you’re away for the holiday season and include the date of your return. It’s also helpful to let the receiver know who to contact in your absence. Beyond these essentials, you can get creative with your out of office messages by adding a personal touch—but do keep them polite and professional.