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What to Write in a Birthday Card for a Friend

Birthday cake with candles for friend

Friends come in all manner of shapes and sizes, from your childhood friend turned bestie, to the new cool friend you just met, to your amazing work pal, and even your brutally honest girlfriend who’s always there to kick your rear when you are out of line. Granted, our friends can be a pain at times but we’ll all agree that the joy they bring into our lives is truly immeasurable. So it’s only natural that we want to seize the opportunity of their birthdays to tell them how much they mean to us. The reality however is that we can sometimes find ourselves staring at a blank card, with no clue how best to start. If you find yourself struggling with what to write in a birthday card for a friend, you’ve come to the right place.

Some Helpful Tips

Here are a few questions to keep in mind as you write. Some of these ideas require you to think just a little bit but if that’s all it takes to come up with a really thoughtful message, I’ll say that is worth it.

  1. Appreciation: What are you most grateful for when you think about this friend? What are some of the things they have done or said to you that you have found most helpful? Here are some other ideas of what to thank your friend for.
  2. Share compliments: What qualities do they possess that make them unique and special to you? Is it their dependability, loyalty, trustworthiness, ambition, drive, thoughtfulness, generosity, selflessness, enthusiasm, persistence, their ability to listen to you without being judgmental, or just the plain fact that they are fun to be around?
  3. Congratulate and wish them well in the new year.
  4. Finally, having a beautiful set of blank greeting cards (or more specifically, a set of blank birthday note cards) handy means that you can always pick out the perfect card that would suit your friend’s personality and the occasion.
Birthday Message to Friend

General Birthday Card Messages

Regardless of whether you are trying to decide on what to write in a birthday card for a friend you just met or someone you’ve known for a while, I hope these inspire you:

  • Congrats on completing another trip around the sun! Enjoy every moment of your special day, Lara!
  • Hey Girl! Thank you for making so many ordinary moments, extraordinary. I hope that wherever the new year takes you, it’s every bit as amazing as you are. Lets party!!!
  • Brad, I know you’re going to make an amazing 32-year old [insert age]! Have a smashing birthday!
  • Yo Birthday Boy! Just in case my best efforts to make you feel special fall short, I just wanted to let you know how that you mean so much to me and I am genuinely grateful for you.
  • I’d never have guessed when we met, that we would become such good friends. But looking back now, I’m so glad our paths crossed. You have enriched my life in more ways than you would ever know and I wish you a birthday that is as fabulous as you are. Enjoy your day, darl!
  • Sometimes I wonder what I ever did to merit such a friend as you. Here’s wishing you a birthday that is as special as you are.
  • Happy Birthday, Michelle! Here’s wishing you a birthday full of love, laughter, happiness, and every beautiful thing your heart desires. Enjoy your day!
  • You are no longer the oldest person I know in their 30’s [insert previous decade]. Now you’re the youngest 40-year old I know. Happy Birthday, Kirk!
Sweet birthday card message for friend

What to Write in a Birthday Card for a Friend: Short & Sweet Messages

  • Wishing you a big slice of happiness, today and in the days ahead!
  • You were my “BFF” long before it was ever abbreviated! And you always will be, Chloe. Hope you have a beautiful birthday!
  • I didn’t think there was anything I could love more than pizza, but then I met you. Happy Birthday, Winnie!
  • February 16 [insert birthday] used to be just another ordinary day…until you came along and made it special!
  • Most things don’t get better with age. Except you! Today’s all yours – so have fun!
  • The happiest of birthdays to a friend I couldn’t live without. Hope you make your [31st] a birthday to remember!
  • Happy birthday to the coolest guy I have ever had the privilege of knowing. Now that you’ve arrived here, [30] will never be the same again!
Cute birthday message for friend

What to Write in a Birthday Card for a Friend: Express Gratitude

  • From virtual coffee hangouts to spa dates to our breathtaking adventures in Hawaii – our friendship makes life infinitely more exciting! Thank you for all that you are. Happy Birthday, Samantha!
  • Happy Birthday, Olivia! Thank you for always being honest with me, even when I didn’t want to hear it. You are a friend worth celebrating today, and always. Have a fantastic celebration!
  • I decided a long time ago that I don’t need a certain number of friends to be happy, I just need a number of friends I can be certain of. So thank you Brad for always being reliable and dependable. I hope you have the best of birthdays today!
  • Happy Birthday, Beautiful! Thank you for helping me appreciate many of the little things in life. I feel blessed to have you in my corner.
  • Waddup, Birthday Girl! If there’s anyone truly deserving of an incredibly happy day – it’s you. Thank you for always being a ray of sunshine on my most cloudy days. Have the best birthday ever!
  • Forever friends. Friends forever. No matter how I say the words, here is what I want to say: thank you for sticking with me through thick and thin. Wishing you many more candles to blow!
  • For thinking of me as often as you do, for your extreme patience and willingness to forgive, for picking up the phone no matter how early or late I call, for simply being YOU…Thanks, Merlin!
  • It’s true that a friend in need is a friend indeed. I’m so grateful that I’ve been able to count on your friendship in every situation and under any circumstance. Wishing you the best of birthdays!
Funny birthday card messages

Funny Birthday Card Messages

  • Bold, brilliant, good looking, and funny. Enough about me though. Happy Birthday to you!
  • Sorry there’s no money in here. But happy birthday all the same, Mark!
  • Happy Birthday, Mia! We make such an amazing team: I am smart, talented, and good-looking and you are great at being my friend!
  • We’ve known ourselves so much that we often finish each other’s statements. So, for your birthday, I just want to say… (I’m sure you can fill in the gap…LOL)
  • Forget the past, you can’t change it. Forget the future, you can’t predict it. And forget the present, I didn’t get you any 🙂
  • You’ll always deserve the best! Which is why I’ll always be in your life. LOL. Happy Birthday, Avery!
  • I know the card is late but for a good reason. I wanted to take my time to choose the perfect words: HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
Happy Birthday Quote

What to Write in a Birthday Card for a Friend: Share a Compliment

  • Happy Birthday to the most creative filmmaker I ever met. You are such an inspiration to everyone around you – and especially to me.
  • A special day for a special person calls for special celebration. Hope your birthday is just the beginning of a year full of happiness!
  • What makes you so dear to me isn’t the fact that you are incredibly kind, thoughtful, and caring. It isn’t just the hundreds of inside jokes we share or the numerous trips we’ve taken together. And it isn’t the petty quarrels we sometimes have. It’s ALL of those things put together and the thousand other little things you do. Thank you for being YOU, Lucy! Birthday Hugs!
  • There are friends, there is family, and there are friends like you who become family because of their sheer awesomeness. Happy, happy birthday to you, Sofia!
  • It’s your birthday, let’s party! Cake – check. Candles – check. Drinks – check. Dress – check. Coolest birthday girl ever – check!
  • Friends like you only come along once in a lifetime! I’m pretty sure God broke the mold after you were made.
  • Today isn’t just about celebrating you being a year older. It’s also about celebrating you being a year better. I’m inspired by your commitment to becoming better, year in, year out. Have the best birthday ever, Lucas!
  • You spend a lot of time doing so much for your friends, you sometimes forget to enjoy yourself. So this is a friendly reminder for you to just sit back, enjoy your special day and let’s all celebrate you!
  • “If your birthday is half as amazing as you are, it’s going to be epic. Happy Birthday to the best friend a person could ask for.”
  • I smile brighter, laugh louder, and live better – all because of you! Life is more exciting because of friends like you. Thanks, Barbara – and Happy Birthday!

Happy Belated Birthday Wishes

  • I’m not late for your birthday this year – I’m just early for next year. Happy Belated Birthday, Sam!
  • I’m sorry my card is late. But it really isn’t my fault, I honestly didn’t notice you getting older. LOL. Please accept my sincerest birthday wishes, Emma. Hope you had a great one!
  • “I’m not known to be punctual, but I do care about my friends. That pretty much explains the card. Happy Belated Birthday, Luke!”
  • Better late than never for a birthday card…especially when there’s a Starbucks gift card in it, right? Happy Birthday, William!
  • The birthday card is late, I’m sorry! But the birthday wishes are good on any date. So here’s wishing you a new year filled with smiles, lots of incredible opportunities, and a cascade of amazing experiences. Love you loads!
  • It wasn’t your birthday I forgot – it was the date. Hope your day was all shades of happy!
  • Please don’t blame me that your card came in late this year. Let’s just say it’s time difference. LOL
  • “You are always late!” That’s what you say to me. So I didn’t want to disappoint you by sending your card on time. Did I make you proud? Haha!
  • Hey, birthday girl! To avoid getting you overwhelmed with birthday wishes, I thought it wise to send mine a little late. Smart, right? I’m sure you had fun though. Miss you…
Long distance happy birthday message

What to Write in a Birthday Card for a Friend from Across the Miles

  • Happy Birthday, Ashley! May your day be filled with so much laughter, I’ll be able to hear them across the miles between us.
  • Happy Birthday, Luke! Even though I can’t be there, I’d be raising a glass in your honor. I hope you have a brilliant year ahead – and thanks for all you do!
  • I feel gutted I wasn’t able to make it for your birthday this year. Have a Pina Colada [add recipient’s favorite drink] for me, will you? Or two! And Happy Birthday!
  • My love and prayers are with you on your birthday and in the year ahead. Hoping you get that promotion this year [insert something they are working towards] so we’ll have more things to celebrate next year. Enjoy your day…

Warm Closings

  • Have a great one!
  • Wishing you many more candles to blow!
  • Have a fabulous birthday!
  • Many happy returns of the day!
  • Have a smashing birthday!
  • Let’s party!
  • All my love,
  • It’s time to celebrate!
  • Have the best birthday ever!
  • The day is all yours – have fun!
  • Live long and prosper!
  • Hope all your birthday wishes come true!
  • You’re the best!
  • Enjoy every moment of your special day!
  • Happiest of birthdays to you!
  • Love you to the moon and back!
  • Celebrating you!
  • Birthday hugs!
  • Best wishes,

Putting it all Together

Here is a sample birthday message I put together using the ideas above:

I finally get to do one of my favorite things of the year: celebrating you! Honestly, one day isn’t enough to celebrate how awesome you are but I’m going to try anyway.

Thank you for being able to see past my smile, to know when I’m just not okay. And thank you for going out of your way to be there, even when it’s not being convenient. You truly are the definition of what a selfless friend looks like.

Happy Birthday, Gaga! I love the friendship we share so much, I wish we became friends sooner. But one thing is sure: I would always treasure what we have. Thank you for all you do – and enjoy every moment of your special day!

All my love, Tosin

I hope you found this post helpful. Feel free to check out our other related posts listed below.

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