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How to make your out-of-office emails sparkle this Christmas ?

Merry Christmas From ESL Tutoring

Known as the ‘silly season’, the ‘festive season’, the ‘holidays’ or simply ‘xmas’, Christmas is a great opportunity to build positive relationships with your work contacts by incorporating a Christmas message into your out-of-office email.

So, why all these names? The silly season refers to the heightened number of social engagements that occur around this time of year (and with it, the heightened consumption of alcohol, for many in Australia anyway).

The ‘festive season’ is often used for a similar reason to simply saying ‘the holidays.’ It can be considered politically correct to say “happy holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas”, as Christmas is traditionally a religious event, so it acknowledges that not everyone is religious and in increasingly multicultural societies, some people don’t celebrate Christmas at all.

In the case of Xmas, the “X” comes from the Greek letter chi, which is the first letter of the Greek word Χριστός, which in English is “Christ“. It’s also quicker to write/ type!

As many workplaces close over Christmas, you might want to put a note on your email to let people know you won’t be available, and/or to contact somebody else while you’re away.

Most email services provide a way to send out an automatic reply to incoming messages when you aren’t available to check your email. However, it’s always nice to personalise email away notes and make them seasonally relevant.

While there are generic out-of-office emails that do the job, Christmas is a great opportunity to wish your contacts warm regards and brighten their day, which can lead to a good start to the new year’s correspondence. Some ideas are below:

“Hi there, I’m out of the office until (day of the week/ date) with limited access to email. If you require immediate assistance, please email […]. Until then, have a fabulous festive season and relaxing new year.”

Get creative, either by using quotes or a fun description of your vacation plans:

“Hi, I’m sipping pinocoladas under some palm trees until January 2nd. However, if your inquiry is urgent, please contact[ …] And have a fantastic Christmas break!”

Get fun with a gif, or images

“Hello there. I am currently enjoying a Christmas lunch with my family – or making my way through the leftovers between taking naps. While I can’t respond to your email today, please enjoy these dogs in santa hats. And, happy festive season to you!”

Of course, your out-of-office email will need to remain upbeat, have a friendly tone of voice, and not be too personal.

Once you’ve written your stellar Christmas out-of-office email, you can get back to planning what you’ll do over your break… when you’re not replying to work emails!

From all of us here at ESL Tutoring, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


Elizabeth and the Team 🙂