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What to Write in a Birthday Card: 70+ Lovely Messages

Image of birthday cake with candles

Birthdays are a special time of the year. In fact, birthday cards are still the best-selling card type, accounting for more than half of the total cards sold. It’s usually a time for reflection and celebration. We reflect to see how far we’ve come and we celebrate the gift of life, friends, and all the beautiful things we have enjoyed so far. One simple way to make the day extra special for the celebrant is to let them know with our words how much we value and appreciate them being around. In this post, I share a couple of tips and as much as 70 sample birthday messages to guide as you try to decide on what to write in your birthday card.

There’s also a Pinterest pin at the end of this post that you can save to your board for easy reference in the future. So let’s dive right in!

Tips on What to Write in a Birthday Card

  1. Speak from your heart. When it comes to signing a birthday card, simple and heartfelt always trumps verbose but superficial. That’s not to say that you cannot write long birthday messages. Of course, you can! But the idea here is to remember that your goal isn’t to fill the whole card; rather, it is to write a heartwarming message that makes a special day even more special for the celebrant.
  2. Address them using nicknames and terms of endearment. If your daughter loves it when you call her “sweet pea” or your wife gives a big grin in excitement when you call her “nutter butter”, using those nicknames when writing this card can only make your card feel extra special.
  3. Applaud the celebrant’s growth, success, and achievements of the last year. For a lot of people, birthdays are a great time to look over the past year and just celebrate how far they’ve come. So as you celebrate, feel free to throw in some congratulatory message. This would add an extra layer of personality to your note and would be really appreciated.
  4. Wish them well in the new year. For many of us, birthday and anniversary celebrations are similar to new year’s day in the sense that the calendar is resetting in one form or the other. So while birthdays are a time of celebration, they are also a time for setting new expectations of what we want to achieve in the new year. So wish the celebrant well in the new year and feel free to be specific whenever you know they’d appreciate it.
  5. Share a joke. Jokes are always welcome in birthday cards because of the lighthearted nature of the celebration. So by all means, feel free to share one in your card message.


What to write in a birthday card

What to Write in a Birthday Card For Friend or Best Friend

  • Happy Birthday, Margot! May all your dreams come true in the new year.
  • Birthdays come around every year, but friends like you only come around once in a lifetime. I hope you have a smashing birthday! Love ya!
  • On this once-in-a-year occasion, I just wanted to pause everything to wish my super amazing best friend a very happy birthday!
  • Today is more than a day because it’s your BIRTH-day. Happy day of birth to you, Chloe!
  • My love for you is so big, that it has reached Seattle, U.S.A! Happy 24th birthday!
    (Tip: Use this when sending a card to your friend who stays quite some distance away from you. Replace Seattle with the name of whatever city they live in)

What to Write in a Birthday Card For Spouse or Significant Other

If you are married or dating the birthday boy or girl, here are a couple of ideas of what to write to in your birthday card.

To men

  • The happiest of birthdays to my prince charming! I love you, Lucas!
  • To the man who has brought me nothing but joy and happiness in our 5 years of journeying together, I wish you all the happiness in the world today and always. May this day be as special as you are.
  • “We” would never have existed without today – your birthday. I cannot imagine what life would have been for me if you hadn’t shown up today, 35 years ago. And that’s why this day is super special to me. Happy Birthday, Henry!
  • Just one day in a year would never be enough to celebrate your brilliance, kindness, strength, and irresistible charm. You are more than words could ever describe and you hold a special place in my heart. Bon anniversaire mon chéri!
  • Happy Birthday, Jordan! Thank you for another year of fantastic memories. I love you dearly…

To women

  • “Happy birthday my mocha skin, caramel-flavored, sweetie pompom! I am always made in the moments I say “I love you!”
  • To my friend, my wife, my soulmate, my ride-or-die chick, and the mother of my kids, I wish you all the best on your special day! You are more than words can ever describe. I’m forever yours!
  • Happy Birthday, Darling! For all that you are and all you do, I just wanted to say thank you.
  • Today would have been like any other in my calendar, except that this day, 30 years ago was when my darling wife showed up on earth. I love you to the moon and back, Debbie! You are my everything!
  • Sandra, everything I’ve ever wished for in a woman is in you. When I found you, my search ended! You deserve the best of birthdays. Many happy returns of the day, baby!
Happy Birthday Cake for wife

What to Write in a Birthday Card For Parents and Grandparents

For Mom

  • Your birthday is always an opportunity to celebrate the amazing mom that you are. Thank you for all you are and do for us.
  • To my wise, loving, caring, kind, and beautiful mom, I just wanted to say “Happy Birthday!” You are worth celebrating every day of the year.
  • Happy Birthday, Mom!! I am so blessed to have you as my mother and true friend! You’ve been a huge blessing to me and I just wanted to take today to celebrate the great woman that you are. Love you loads!
  • You are amazing, mom! So I just thought I’d tell you today. You deserve everything beautiful and happy. I hope the new year brings you all that.
  • Hope today is filled with laughter, love, and joy. Wishing you that all year long too!

For Dad

  • No one wears [50] as good as you, Dad! Wishing you many happy returns of the day!
  • I wish every kid had a father-figure like you. Having you in my life has made all the difference. Happy Birthday, Dad!
  • When I hear the words “strength”, “stability”, “leader”, the only picture that comes to mind is you, Daddy. Wishing you a day that is as special as you are. Lots of love!
  • Dad, I have often wondered what I did to get such an amazing father like you. Wish you many more years in health, wealth, and prosperity. Have a fabulous birthday!
  • Happy birthday to my dad, my hero, my mentor, and role model. Thank you very much for teaching me how to live, love, and play basketball. 😄 I celebrate you, Dad!

For Grandma

  • Happy oldieth birthday, Nana!
  • Grandma Janet, thanks for being the glue that holds our big family together.
  • We all feel blessed to have you in our lives. Happy birthday to you!
  • Happy Birthday, Grandma Rose! Thank you for all the amazing stories you’ve told us as kids. They keep getting better each year so we hope you’ve reserved some for the new year. 65 looks great on you! Wishing you many more in health. With love from Alex, Ani & Carla!
  • To the youngest looking granny in the world, hope your day brings you a million smiles! Happy Birthday, Granny!
  • Only the best moms get promoted to grandma. Grandma Elise, you’re not only the best mom but also the best grandma! I have nothing but love and admiration for you. I hope you have a fantastic birthday today!

For Grandpa

Happy Birthday Grandpa
  • The man, the myth, the legend. Happy birthday to you, Gramps!
  • To the coolest grandpa in Texas, Happy Birthday, Captain!
  • Happy 60th birthday Pops! Thank you for your wisdom and counsel over the years.
  • Thank you Papa for the way you have brightened our lives and that of countless others that have come across your path. We love you so much and so do your grandkids. Have a beautiful birthday celebration!
  • “Grandpa, you mean the world to our family! We celebrate the amazing life you have lived today and always. May your birthday be filled with good friends and good times! We love you, Grandpa!

What to Write in a Birthday Card For Kids

For Son

  • Happy birthday, son. You have filled our lives with so much joy. We love you so much, Carl!
  • On this day, years ago, I received one of the best gifts I have ever received. It’s being such a joy to watch you grow, Jesse. Happy birthday, little man!
  • My first womb escape, you’re my pride and joy, today and always! I’m so proud of the young man you are becoming. Happy Birthday, Jo-Jo!
  • Happy birthday to the prince of our castle! You are so full of promise and I can hardly wait to see what the new year holds for you, Ethan. Have an incredible celebration!
  • No matter how old you get, you would always be my Cutie Patootie. I love you very much, Noah! Have a fantastic celebration!

For Daughter

  • Happy Birthday, Amie! Wishing you many more years of love, joy, health and candles to blow.
  • Today, 15 years ago, the most beautiful daughter in the world made her grand entrance into our lives. And you have been a blessing to us ever since then. We love you dearly, Ashley! Have a beautiful birthday!
  • Happy birthday to the little girl that stole my heart, 8 years ago. I love you, Lucy!
  • The day you were born was the happiest day of our lives. May today and the new year be filled with lots of fun and happiness because you deserve it. Have a wonderful day, Barbara! Lots of love from mum and dad.
  • To the brightest, sweetest, most beautiful girl in the world, thanks for putting a smile on my face every day. You’ve made being your father so easy for me. I love you to the moon and back! Many happy returns darling!
Happy Birthday daughter

What to Write in a Birthday Card For Sibling

For Sister

  • “Happy birthday to the coolest sister! The day is brighter and more fun when you are around.”
  • The best thing about growing up with you as my sister was that I always felt safe knowing you had my back. And I have never been disappointed. Thanks a lot for all you do for me. I love you, big sis!
  • Sisters by chance but friends by choice, all credits to you for your awesome care and nurture. Hope you have a great birthday, Emily!
  • A good sister will wipe your tears away. A great sister will run over the blockhead that caused them. Thanks for being a great sister! You are one in a billion! Many happy returns of the day sis!
  • “People come and go, friends change like the weather but I know my sister is here forever. Happy Birthday, Ashley!”

For Brother

  • Happy birthday to a brother I couldn’t live without. I love you, Oscar!
  • Ain’t no brother like the one I got. Have a fabulous 25th birthday, Jake!
  • “There’s never a dull moment with you in the house, thanks for all the fun and laughter you bring into our lives! May your birthday be full of joy, and may the year ahead be your best one yet! Happy birthday, big bro!”
  • Happy birthday to the only brother who doubles as a superhero! Thanks for always saving the day for me and Alex. You deserve all the love and happiness in the world! Enjoy your day, George!
  • I smile because you are my brother. I laugh because there is nothing you can do about it. Haha! Thanks for always putting up with me and keeping a smile on your face as you do. You’re the best and I appreciate you. Happy Birthday, Sebastian!

What to Write in a Birthday Card For Coworker

  • Your birthday is a promise that life has more to offer you, more goals to reach for, more plans to make, more adventures to take, and more dreams to see come true. Wishing you a fulfilling year ahead. Happy birthday, Greg!
  • Happy birthday to a fantastic team leader and coach! You make working at Johnson Inc. fun, inspiring, and rewarding. Thanks for all you do, Paul!
  • It’s not very often that I get lucky to have someone like you on my team. Happy Birthday, Sarah! I hope you take some time to celebrate today. Have a great one!
  • “May your birthday be the start of a year filled with good luck, good health, and much happiness.” Many happy returns of the day, Jerry!
  • Happy Birthday, Samantha! Wishing you a wonderful year ahead filled with pleasant surprises. Enjoy your day!

Funny Messages

Funny birthday card message
Image by Someecards
  • “Happy independence day from the womb!
  • “Congrats on making your 30th successful trip around the sun!”
  • “Merry YOU-mas!” (Think Christ-mas. LOL)
  • “Thank you, son, for allowing us to give you the best parents in the world. Have a very happy birthday!”
  • “I know it’s your special day but please take it slow. Too many birthdays can kill you.”
  • Birthdays are one of the very few days you can get away with doing stupid stuff. So make the best of today and enjoy it while it lasts. LOL
  • It’s your birthday today and I’m hopping and grinning like a baby monkey. That’s how excited you make me feel. Happy birthday, Sophia!

Belated Wishes

Whenever you have missed a birthday, your first thought might be to skip sending a card altogether. However, your friends and family would still appreciate your card regardless of whether it came late or not. A short message apologizing for the belated wishes would do and you can go right on to send your birthday wishes. Here are some ideas on what to say in your card:

  • Happy birthday…a little late! Here’s wishing you…(insert any of the above wishes)
  • I’m late, I know…but you know what they say about birthday messages – better late than never! So here’s my birthday wish for you: …(insert birthday message from above)
  • No excuse is good enough for missing your birthday! I am very sorry. (Insert birthday message here)

Warm Closings

  • Birthday hugs!
  • Celebrating you!
  • Happy Birthday!
  • Have a great one!
  • Have a fabulous birthday!
  • Many more happy returns!
  • To your happiness!
  • Have a good one!
  • So much love!

Below is a Pinterest friendly photo that you can save to your board…so you can easily pull out this post whenever you want to sign any birthday card

What to write in a birthday card
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