Below is a list of Birthday categories with inspiring examples. You can, of course, also mix and match to create a special Birthday message. We hope this guide helps you with the next Birthday card you write.
Happy Birthday Wishes
What do write on a card when you feel the card has said it already? It often happens, but even so, a few short warm words can add your personality to the card. Here are some ideas:
- “Happy, happy Birthday, [Amanda]!”
- “I hope you get to do something fun to celebrate!”
- “You deserve lots of love and happiness. Wishing you that all year long!”
- “[Jason], hope you have a happy [29th]! Love you!”
- “The happiest of Birthdays to the sweetest of daughters.”
- “Warmest wishes for a happy Birthday,”
- “Hope today’s filled with all your favourite guilty pleasures!”
- “Hope you make your [24th] a Birthday to remember!”
- “Go forth from this Birthday and prosper in your [bagpipes playing]!”
- “Another year older, and you just keep getting wiser, funnier, and more amazing!”
- “Happy Birthday to one of my favorite people ever.”
- “Thanks for being here, and for being you.”
- “Warmest wishes and love on your Birthday!”
- “Be safe, have fun, take pictures, and enjoy every minute of this exciting time in your life!”
- “Wishing you a happy Birthday and year ahead.”
The traditional milestone Birthdays are 16, 18, 21, 30, 40, 50, 60, 65, 70, 75, 80, 85, 90, 95 and 100.
Sometimes the Birthday person may not feel this Birthday is different or particularly special from any other year. So, it’s your job to remind them that it is a big deal - a very big deal! The examples below should inspire you.
- “ never looked so great!”
- “Happy Birthday, [James]! Now that you’ve arrived here,  will never be the same again!”
- “Turning  is big! Especially when it’s someone like you, who’s made the most of every year and made such a positive difference to the people around you.”
- “ is a perfect age. You’re old enough to afford the good stuff and still young enough to enjoy it!”
- “Happy [90th] Birthday, [Nana]! Today, we’re celebrating the amazing person you are and honoring the life you’ve lived. Love you so much!”
Funny Birthday Wishes
A great way to personalise a card is to share a laugh and write something funny. You can joke about over-indulging, getting older, or the lack of gifts that comes with age. Anything’s possible, but it helps to know the person well.
- “Happy Birthday to my favourite former grunge rocker!” (Or: goth, punk, hippie, goth, Valley Girl, punk rocker)
- “From your favourite bad influence”
- “Hope your Birthday is happier than me at a shoe sale!” (or: coffee shop, spa, beach, bar.)
- “You get to be the center of attention today! Tomorrow it’s back to me.
- “Have a champers for me! Actually, make it two!” (Or: substitute their favourite drink.)
- “A big Happy Birthday to you and your dog! … I just know how the dog hates being left out.”
- “May the cake calories go straight to your boobs!”
- “‘Party thine ass off!’ as Shakespeare once famously said”
- “I’ll take all the presents you don’t like!”
- “I hope all your wishes come true, even those totally weird ones you have!”
- “Sorry, but here’s no money in here, [Keith].”
- “Stop aging so gracefully, [Helen]. It’s starting to get very predictable!”
- “Well, it takes one to know one! Have a Happy Birthday, you old geezer”
Well, it is better late than never, but some kind of apology, whether sincere or humorous is needed.
- “I’m very sorry these Birthday wishes are late reaching you. I’m sure your Birthday was a good one!”
- “Yes, a little late, but HAPPY Birthday!!”
- “You’re receiving this NOW and not on your ACTUAL birthday because I know you want to keep the celebrations going!
- “At least my Happy Birthday text was on time. That counts for something, right? ☺Happy Belated Birthday!”
- “I know, I forgot your Birthday…until now. Happy Birthday and have a great year ahead!”
For a Friend
A Birthday card to a friend comes straight from the heart. Here are some inspirational examples
- “Happy Birthday to a dear friend I couldn’t live without!”
- “I really appreciate your friendship, and I’m so grateful you’re part of my life!”
- “If life were a sitcom, you’d be the witty, glamorous friend and I’d be the dorky sidekick. I hope you have a GREAT Birthday.”
- “I’m so glad I’ve got a friend like you to go first in this getter older stuff!”
- “Hey, we are OLD friends - like getting older together! I wouldn’t have it any other way”
- “Love you, my sweet friend. Happy Birthday.”
What you write to your Mum for her Birthday is generally the theme of love, appreciation, and upbeat wishes. But it depends on the kind of relationship you both share.
- “Happy Birthday Mum, with so much love and thanks.”
- “Mum, you’re definitely the best. Love you.”
- “Wishing you a wonderful day on your Birthday, Mum. With much love, [your name]”
- “Time goes on and I’m more and more grateful to have you for my Mum.”
- “Hope your Birthday brings some time to relax, do your favourite things, and remember how much you’re loved.”
- “I don’t say it often enough, but it’s always true: I love you. Happy Birthday Mum.”
- “For all the days you’ve made us happy…all the ways you make us smile…happy Birthday, Mum, with lots of love.”
- “Wish I could be there to celebrate with you, Mum. Have a fun-filled Birthday.”
- “Happy Birthday from your favourite! (I probably don’t even need to sign my name after that, do I?)”
- “With love from the reason for most of your gray hairs.”
- “Happy Birthday, Mum. You’re very loved and cherished.”
Warm wishes, love, and thanks, make for a good Birthday message for Dad. Write it from your heart and let your relationship with your Dad guide you.
- “You’re my hero, Dad. Happy Birthday and have a wonderful day.”
- “Birthday and every day, it means so much to have a great Dad like you.”
- “Happy Birthday, Dad! Have a marvelous day and year ahead.”
- “Always a great Dad, you’re also a great friend, too. I love that…and love you.”
- “For everything you’ve done to make our family better, thanks Dad and have a wonderful Birthday.”
- “You’re a smart, honest, loving man, and I’m so proud to be your son.”
- “More than a Dad, you’re the greatest! Happy Birthday, Dad.”
- “Happy Birthday, Dad! Hope the sun is shining, and the fish are biting!”
- “Happy Birthday Dad! With love from the kid who paid attention to roughly half of all you tried to teach.”
- “You’ll notice this Birthday card was NOT sent from a madhouse or worse. Happy Birthday, Dad, and thanks for all your support over the years.”
- “Dad, I’m sure you’ll find a wicked way to spend your Birthday. Have a great day!”
- “You deserve a wonderful lunch and good wine today! And every day for that matter. Happy Birthday to a top-shelf kind of Dad!”
For a Child
The secret here is to keep your wish short, sweet, and fun, and your card will be a hit with the Birthday kid.
- “ years awesome! That’s you!”
- “All hail the Birthday princess! Have a royally sweet [6th], [Emma]!”
- “Yay! You’re a big  today! Love you, big -year-old!”
- “Happy Birthday to the big -year-old!”
- “[Amy], you’re getting to be such a big girl! Happy [4th] Birthday, Sweetheart. We love you!”
- “[James]! How can you be  already? Why it was only yesterday, you were . Have a happy one, Birthday boy!”
- “[John], I’ve got a feeling you’re going to make an amazing -year-old. Happy Birthday!”
- “Hope this whole exciting year of being  kicks off with a fun and very happy Birthday!”
For a Spouse or Significant Other
If you’re in a relationship, this is a great opportunity to strengthen that bond. Depending on your circumstances, it may be a great opportunity for a little flirtatious fun. Here goes!
- “I’m so grateful you came into the world because you make my world better every day. Happy Birthday, Sweetheart.”
- “Thanks for you being you and us being together.”
- “It’s your day, and I can’t wait to celebrate it with you.”
- “I hope your Birthday is the happiest.”
- “Happy Birthday, Beautiful.”
- “Wish you were here for me to spoil today.”
For a Family Member
Family is family. They know you well, so you can mix up your messages from short to long. Warm wishes, love, and compliments all work well for the family. So do “I’m glad we’re family” and “Proud of you” messages.
- “As each year goes on, I’m more than ever grateful to have a [sister] like you.”
- “We still remember the first time we laid eyes on you—on this day  years ago. You were so beautiful right from the start, and with every year, you grow even more beautiful. Hope you know how much we love you and how grateful we are to call you our [daughter].”
- “So proud of the person you are! So happy we’re family.”
- “I’m just amazed by you and so proud to call you my [brother].”
- “Well, Granddad, it’s another year, and I still haven’t come across anyone wiser, kinder, or more generous than you. You’re the best!”
We all experience difficult circumstances at some stage. And Birthdays which should be happy occasions can fall during tough times due to job loss, illness, bereavement, or for many other reasons. A Birthday card is a great way to let the Birthday person know you’re still thinking and wishing them even in the midst of a difficult period.
- “I know there have been difficult challenges for you over the past year, and it’s been great to see how well you have met them.”
- “You made it! What a year it was. Now it’s time to celebrate!”
- “Life owes you some really good times. Hope they start right now.”
- “You’ve had more than your share of challenges over the last year. Now you can look forward to better days ahead.”
- I’m sure next year will be more gentle and sweet to you. That should give you lots of reasons to smile and rest.”
- “I hope this next year is gentle and sweet to you and gives you lots of reasons to smile.”
The kind of Birthday card message you write to a co-worker depends on your relationship with that person. For example, if you’re close to that person, your message would be the same as a normal friend. However, if it’s your supervisor or someone like that, then keep your message more formal.
- “Happy Birthday and all the best for the year ahead!”
- “It’s always a pleasure working with you. Happy Birthday and have a fabulous day!”
- “[Kim], all work and no play makes is as dull as you know what. So don’t work too hard on your Birthday. Make it a happy and fun day!”
- “Unfortunately, I can’t take credit for baking you the cake in the break room. Fortunately, I can totally have a slice in your honour. Yum…and Happy Birthday!”
- “Happy Birthday, and thanks for making work a lot less like work!”
Signing a Group Card
Here are some ideas for when you’re the umpteenth person to sign the Birthday card, and all the obvious messages (and most of the space) have already been taken.
- “Let the b-day fun begin!”
- “Huzzah to you on your Birthday!”
- “Happy Birthday & Happy Year!”
- “Another year more wonderful!”
- “U look 2 good 2 B this old!”
- “Can’t believe you’re a year older!”
- “Here’s to a great Birthday!”
- “Wish for something good!”
- “Whatever you wish, I second that!”
- “Honoured to wish you a Happy Birthday!”
A warm closing before your signature is like the bow on top of the Birthday gift.
- Best wishes on your Birthday and always,
Happy celebrating! xx