Things to Write in Birthday Cards

by William McCoy

Although the birthday gift you give can have more "wow" factor than the card, a thoughtfully worded message lets the person celebrating a birthday know exactly how you feel. Take some time coming up with your message to ensure it's memorable, whether you're writing to a spouse or other loved one, a close friend or a work colleague. How you write the message depends on the nature of your relationship with the person.

Keep It Simple

Wishing the person a happy birthday should be the main focus of your card's message, regardless of whether you buy a card that already has a printed message or opt for a blank card. A simple greeting is "Happy birthday," followed by the person's first name. You can also add the person's age with a greeting such as, "Happy 30th birthday, Emma!" It's conventional to add a sentiment such as, "Hope you have a great day" or "Best wishes for the year ahead."

Messages for Loved Ones

In addition to sharing your birthday wishes, use your message to express your love for a spouse, partner or close family member. For a spouse or partner, write a message such as, "Happy birthday to the best husband in the world. Love you with all my heart." For a parent, write a message such as, "Happy birthday, Dad! Thanks for always being there and being such a good role model." A message such as, "Happiest of birthday, Grandma! You're such an inspiration," is suitable for a grandmother.

Colleagues and Friends

Adjust your greeting if you're writing to a work colleague or a friend. For someone at work, write something such as, "Happy birthday! Don't work too hard today," or "Happy b-day to someone I'm always happy to see in the lunchroom." For a friend, you can write a jokey sentiment such as, "Happy birthday to the oldest one in the group," or get a little sappy with a message such as, "I don't tell you enough, but I hold you very dear to my heart. Happy birthday."

Quotes and Closings

An appropriate quote from a poem or song can help bring your card's message to life. Think of a song or poem that the person favors or use an uplifting message, such as Dr. Suess's famous quote, "Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you!" The way you sign your card depends on your relationship with the person celebrating a birthday. A sentiment such as "Lots of love" works for a spouse, partner or family member, while "All the best" is suitable for a work colleague.

Photo Credits

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About the Author

Toronto-based journalist William McCoy has been writing since 1997, specializing in topics such as sports, nutrition and health. He serves as the Studio's sports and recreation section expert. McCoy is a journalism graduate of Ryerson University.