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10 Funny Out-of-Office Message Ideas for the Holiday Break

10 Funny Out-of-Office Message Ideas for the Holiday Break

Originally posted Dec 2022; Updated Dec 2023

Taking some time off for the holidays? Need a unique out-of-office message to use while you’re gone? We’ve got you covered!

Rather than offering the same old out-of-office response, why not use your email autoresponder to connect with your contacts? Instead of just sharing the details of how long you’ll be gone and who to contact while you’re out (important and useful, but boring), use your autoresponder to showcase your personality.

Here are a few funny out-of-office message ideas — feel free to steal them for your own use, or simply use them as inspiration to get the creative juices flowing.

1. The Overachiever

the overachiever

If you’re the type of person who will pack as much activity as possible into your time off, this is for you. Whether you’re checking off bucket list items or simply making headway on your to-do list, lean into your ambitious side and share what you’re planning to do in your email.

Here’s an example:

Thank you for your message!

As much as I’d love to tackle the task you’re emailing about, I’m out of the office until [return date] taking care of my own to-do list!

If you need to get a hold of someone while I’m reorganizing closets, scrubbing my house from top to bottom, hosting Christmas and NYE gatherings, taking down the holiday decorations, and driving my kids all over town, feel free to contact [contact name] at [contact email]

Otherwise, I’ll respond to your message when I get back to my day job.

Happy Holidays!

[Your name]

2. The “Always Selling” One

the salesperson

This one is for the salesperson who can’t bear to lose an opportunity to sell. Use your out-of-office message to highlight helpful lead-generating content, like a recent blog post, an eBook or guide, the landing page for an upcoming webinar, or your email list.

For example:

Hello, and thank you for your email!

I’m currently out of the office until [return date] with limited access to email. If you need immediate help with something, please contact [contact name] at [contact email].

In the meantime, are you on our email newsletter list? If you’re not, you should be! You’ll get a regular dose of helpful [company name] content delivered right to your inbox. It’s easy to sign up: just click here [link to sign-up page] to enter your email address so you don’t miss out on all the good stuff!

And once I’m back in the office, I’ll be sure to get a hold of you to discuss your needs.

Happy Holidays!

[Your name]

For this one, make sure to include a link to the content or signup page you’re promoting, as well as a strong CTA to give recipients a clear action to take.

3. The “Too Much Cold Medicine” One

sick day out-of-office email

Maybe you’re not taking vacation time over the holidays—maybe you’re out sick instead. 🤒  (BTW, we’re sorry you’re sick and we hope you feel better soon!) But even a sick day out-of-office message can be a chance to connect with your audience through humor. 

Here’s an example:

Dearest colleague,

I regret to inform you that I can’t respond to your message right now because I feel like an angry cat has climbed down my throat and an elephant is sitting on my head. I have retired to my bed where I will remain until the plague has passed, sipping on a cocktail of Nyquil and Gatorade while I watch an endless stream of terrible holiday movies. 

Please forgive my absence and take some time to be grateful you aren’t me right now.

I’ll respond to your message as soon as I’m in my right mind and back in the office. Until then, feel free to contact [contact name] at [contact email].

Wishing for death,

[Your name]

4. The Full of Holiday Spirit One

full of holiday spirit

Love the holiday season? Wish you were an actual elf from the North Pole? Let it show in your out-of-office message!

For example:

Ho ho ho!

I will be out of the office until [return date] watching holiday movies, drinking eggnog, and eating Christmas cookies. (Here's my favorite Gingerbread Cookie recipe if you'd like to join in on the holiday spirit!) 

I'll respond to your message once I’ve made it through the seven levels of the Candy Cane Forest, through the Sea of Swirly Twirly Gumdrops, and back to the office.

Until then, have a happy holiday!

[Your name]

Include a funny GIF or a link to your favorite holiday recipe or movie (or a combination of all three!) to really share the joy of the holidays.

5. The Inspiring One

inspiring out of office email

Or use your autoresponder email to inspire your contacts with gratitude by including a list of the things you’re most grateful for this year. With this one, you can either be sincere or goofy — or a mix of both!

Here’s an example:

Thank you for your email!

I’m out of the office until [return date] and will respond to your message at that time. Meanwhile, I’ll leave you with a list of the things I’m most grateful for this holiday season:

  • My family and friends
  • Coffee
  • A warm and comfortable home
  • Donut Fridays
  • The neighbor who plowed my driveway this morning
  • Fresh snow to ski in
  • Coffee
  • My heavy-duty phone case
  • A holiday table full of delicious food (and wine, can’t forget the wine!)
  • My health and that of my loved ones
  • Technology that makes life easier, like out-of-office autoresponder emails!
  • Did I mention coffee??

And, of course, I’m grateful for you! Wishing all my clients and colleagues a safe and happy holiday,

[Your name]

6. The Snarky One

snarky out-of-office email

This one might be a little passive-aggressive, but it’s definitely on-brand for the holidays. The idea here is to send your contacts a “thank you note” of sorts for the “gift” of receiving their email.

Like this:

Thank you so much for your email. I love it almost as much as the socks Aunt Doris gave me for Christmas. When your message hit my inbox, I immediately knew it was going to be something special…the kind of gift you just don’t get every day. And I was right!

Unfortunately, like those socks from Aunt Doris, I’m going to have to return your gift. You see, it’s the holidays, so I’m out of the office, and work emails just don’t fit into my plans. 

That said, when I return on [return date], I’m sure I’ll realize your email was just what I was looking for all along, and I’ll respond accordingly. Until then, it’ll sit snugly in my cozy little inbox with all the other emails I’m ignoring.

Happy Holidays!

[Your name]

P.S. If you desperately need to get a hold of someone, shoot an email over to [contact name] at [contact email] and I’m sure they’ll jump to respond to your message.

7. The Overly Honest One

the overly honest one

Or just be brutally honest (but in a lighthearted way) about the fact that no, you won’t actually be checking your email while you’re out of the office. 

For example:

Hi there,

I’ll be out of the office from [vacation start date] to [vacation end date]. I know I’m supposed to say I'll have limited access to email, but let’s be honest, I have constant access to email…I just won’t be checking it. I’ll be too busy enjoying some much-needed R&R with family and friends to worry about emails.

I will, however, respond as quickly as possible when I return on [return date].

If your request is urgent, feel free to contact [contact name] at [contact email], though they’re probably enjoying the holiday with their loved ones as well. Maybe just take a few days off yourself…you’ve earned it!

Happy holidays,

[Your name]

8. The Storyteller

teller of stories

Any writers out there? 🙋‍♀️

If you enjoy creative writing and have a little more time on your hands, consider creating a (very) short story for readers to enjoy. Then, every time you head out on vacation, include a new episode of the story!


Hi there,

I’ll be out of the office until [return date] and will respond to your message then. If your request is urgent, feel free to contact [contact name] at [contact email].

In the meantime, enjoy another chapter in Molly O’Daniel’s epic journey to find her missing twin sister Mandy… 

When last we met Molly, she had just escaped the clutches of the evil Lord Stanley. It was now Christmas Eve, and Molly was holed up in the cozy cabin of her dear friend Meg, safe and warm and full of holiday cheer. 

It seemed as if the events of the past year were merely a terrible dream. And although she knew it wouldn’t be long before she’d have to move on again, Molly tried to relax and enjoy this quiet moment. But she couldn’t help wondering where Mandy was on this festive day. Was she safe? Would Molly reach her before something truly horrible happened to her?

With a sigh, she added a log to the fire and tucked herself beneath a blanket. And just as she was about to nod off, there came a knock at the door.

Don’t forget to end your story with a cliffhanger, so your contacts can’t wait for you to go on vacation again to continue the saga!

9. The Holiday Movie Marathoner

holiday movie marathon

Do you plan to spend your holiday parked on your couch, blazing through every holiday movie Netflix has to offer? Share your love of the silver screen with your contacts!

Here’s an example:

Hi friend,

I can’t respond to your email right now, as I’m out of the office until [return date]. What am I doing, you ask?

Well, as holiday movies are the BEST movies (don’t even try to argue with me), I’ve decided to spend my time off binge-watching every holiday movie I can find. Classics, animated movies, Die Hard, holiday romance movies with terrible acting…I’ll be watching them all! While snacking on Christmas cookies, of course.

While I’m firmly ensconced in my couch for the foreseeable future, you can reach out to [contact name] at [contact email] if you have an immediate need. Otherwise, I’ll reply when I’m back in the office.

Lights…camera…holiday action!

[Your name]

10. The Snow Enthusiast

snow enthusiast

Do you love snow? I’m talking LOVE, as in every time you wake up to fresh snow, you feel like a kid on Christmas morning. If your idea of a good time is bundling up to go sledding, build snow sculptures, or ski, share your enthusiasm for winter in your OOO message.

Here’s an example:


Have you looked outside?? It’s SNOWING! ❄️

I know, I know, so many people complain about winter weather, but I. just. LOVE IT!! Skiing, sledding, snowman making, tromping through the woods while big flakes fall from the sky…what could be better?? 

This is the time of year when I try to spend as much time as possible outside. So, naturally, I’m out of the office doing just that: playing in the snow! While I’m gone, reach out to [contact name] at [contact email] if you need something urgently. Otherwise, I’ll respond to your message when I’m back in the office on [return date].

Wishing you fresh powder and all the time in the world to play in it,

[Your name]

Tips for Writing a Great Out-of-Office Message

Which one of these out-of-office message ideas is your style? 

No matter what autoresponder message you use, make sure it:

  • Reflects your personality and your company culture
  • Suits your audience
  • Includes the dates or times you’ll be out of the office
  • Includes emergency contact information
  • Includes funny GIFs or emojis to make sure recipients know you’re joking 😉
  • Doesn’t make a joke at someone’s expense (except maybe your own)

Sticking to these rules will help make sure you retain some professionalism amidst the silliness.

Feel free to snag any of the above messages as your own, or, for more help coming up with funny out-of-office message ideas, check out our latest eBook below: Funny Out-of-Office Message Ideas for Every Season!

From all of us at Wild Fig Marketing, we hope you enjoy your time off and have a happy and healthy holiday! 

funny out-of-office message ideas

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