While we may only get to celebrate our own birthdays once each year, the birthdays of our friends, family, and acquaintances can really add up, and depending on the size of your social circle(s), you might be celebrating multiple birthdays (and writing multiple birthday cards) each month.
The fun and excitement surrounding birthdays seems to shift somewhere in our twenties, when many of us ditch the immense anticipation of our own birthdays and exchange it for excitement for other peoples’ birthdays. Celebrating loved ones often feels more fun than celebrating ourselves, and this is one of the many reasons that so many people grow to love sending birthday cards throughout the year.
But even the best writers and most thoughtful individuals can struggle to write a birthday message that feels meaningful and unique. There are only so many ways to say “happy birthday” after all. Luckily, no matter how many times you’ve wished someone a happy birthday, there are always new and genuine ways to express your excitement for their next milestone. Follow these guidelines in order to write the best birthday card messages year after year.
Focus on the milestones.
While birthdays are special each year, there are a few milestones that really stand out across cultures. This list includes 13, 15 (quinceanera), Sweet 16, 18, 21, 30, 40, 50, and each decade that follows. Milestones like these often warrant a bit of extra attention or celebration, so if someone you know is celebrating any one of these ages, try to call it out in your card and go the extra mile to make them feel loved.
Incorporate a memory from their previous year.
This is where each birthday card starts to shape up differently than the last and incorporates thoughtful, personal touches. Think back on their previous year and call out one or two achievements or memories that you know they’ll love reflecting on. This could include time you’ve spent together, things they’ve accomplished on their own, or challenges they overcame. Make sure to note whether they inspired you, brought joy to your lives, or left a mark on you. This will give them something great to look back on when reflecting on the previous year. If you have a picture from that memory to include in the card, even better!
Express hope or excitement for the year to come.
Tap into your memory to anticipate what they may be looking forward to in their next year. Perhaps it’s an accomplishment like graduation, a career change, starting a family, or even retirement. Maybe it’s a trip they’ve been planning, a bucket list item they hope to check off, or even just spending more time doing what they love. No matter what it is, take this time to express your excitement for their year ahead and wish them well in their pursuit of happiness. This is where the authenticity shines through; as their loved one, you know how to best support them along their journey.
Before signing off, be sure to extend best wishes for their day and remind them just how much you care for them. Your card is sure to be a hit if you’ve followed these steps and incorporated sincerity throughout!