Here's Exactly What You Should Be Writing in a Birthday Card (2024)

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  • Simple Birthday Messages for Anyone
  • Birthday Messages for Mom or Dad
  • Birthday Messages for a Spouse or Partner
  • Birthday Wishes for a Friend
  • Birthday Wishes for a Coworker

Shopping for the right gift birthday gift can be tricky, but finding the right sentiments to write in a birthday card, especially something that's not repetitive from years past, can be harder.

Pairing that "perfect present" with warm "Happy Birthday!" wishes, either in a card or spoken face-to-face is just as important as the thing they get to unwrap. Studies even show that recognition and acknowledgment fosters connection, strengthens bonds and reinforces relationships. But don't sweat it it you're not quite a wordsmith: We’ve compiled a comprehensive list of birthday wishes and messages to share with your co-workers, best friends and family members as a guideline for what to write in a birthday card, no matter who in your life is getting another year older.

From work acquaintances whom you may not know that well to the people who know you best, like your sister — this roundup has you covered. These funny, sweet and heartwarming birthday messages are sure to make the people in your life smile as they ring in their personal new year.

Simple Birthday Messages for Anyone

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  • They say to take every birthday with a grain of salt. I say take it with a whole bunch of salt, and bonus points if it accompanies a large margarita. Make yours a double. Happy birthday!
  • Smart, good-looking, and funny! But enough about me. Happy birthday!
  • Pst, don’t grow up! It’s a trap. Happy birthday!
  • You don’t look a day over 16! From a distance, with my eyes closed. Happy birthday!
  • Happy birthday! I’m really glad you were born today. My life would be so totally boring without you there to watch.
  • Your big day is becoming a serious fire hazard. Blow them out! Quick! Oh, and happy birthday!
  • Wow, another year under your belt. Just let me know how old we’re telling people you are now. Happy Birthday!
  • Forget about the past you can’t change, the future you can’t predict and definitely forget about the present because I didn’t get you one. Happy birthday!
  • It’s your birthday, you know what that means. Time for you to smile awkwardly while friends and family botch your birthday song. Good times!
  • Don’t count the wrinkles, count the blessings. Happy birthday!
  • We may need a fire extinguisher to put out all the candles on this cake. Happy birthday!
  • As you blow out your candles, remember to kiss your youth behind. Happy birthday, old man!
  • Happy birthday! I hope you celebrate this birthday the way you celebrated the first one, naked and screaming.
  • Did someone turn up the heat? Oh wait, that’s just your birthday cake. All the candles are turning the room into an inferno!
  • You don’t look a day over 25! That’s of course if I squint and tilt my head sideways. Happy birthday!
  • A true friend remembers your birthday, but not your age.
  • Your birthday is the perfect excuse to get cake wasted. Let’s dig in!
  • Everyone gets to be young once. Today it’s official, your turn is over. Happy birthday!
  • You’re so old, I believe your neighbor’s last name was Flintstone!
  • Don’t worry, I brought you a fabulous gift: ME!
  • Don’t worry about your age, alcohol will make it all better.
  • Happy birthday! At least you’re not as old as you will be next year.
  • Statistics show that those who have the most birthdays live the longest. Happy Birthday.
  • Happy birthday. It’s funny to think that you used to be young.
  • Happy birthday to a guy who still isn’t showing his age… And definitely not acting it.
  • Happy birthday – I’m so glad you’ll always be older than me!
  • I would wish you a happy birthday, but year after year…it’s starting to get old!
  • They say gray hairs symbolize wisdom. I guess you’re the wisest one in the room! Happy birthday.

Birthday Messages for Mom or Dad

  • I really won the parent lottery when God made you, my mom. Happy birthday!
  • I’m the luckiest person on earth to have a dad like you. Happy birthday!
  • Wishing my one and only favorite mom a very happy birthday!
  • Wishing my mom an amazing birthday!
  • You do so much for our entire family, so today is all about you! Happy birthday, mom.
  • Happy birthday to the world’s greatest dad! I’m so grateful to have a strong role model who’s as understanding as you.
  • Wishing the best mom on the planet a wonderful birthday!
  • No one in the world compares to you, mom. Hoping you have an absolutely fantastic birthday.
  • Your love is unmatched, and your special day should be just as magnificent. Happy birthday, mom.
  • Thank you for all that you do for us. Today, we’re celebrating the most wonderful mom in the world. Happy birthday!
  • Dad may this day bring you an abundance of joy. Happy birthday!
  • I hope all your wishes come true today and always. Love you, dad. Happy birthday, big fella!
  • You’ve been my greatest inspiration. Happy birthday to the most loving, caring and warm-hearted person on earth. I love you mom!
  • I’m so grateful to have a dad as awesome as you! Happy birthday to the man who continues to teach me how to be a better person.
  • I want to thank you for lighting my path and always believing in me. You’re one in a million, mom. Happy birthday!
  • Happy birthday to my favorite girl. Being your daughter is the greatest blessing I could’ve ever received!
  • I wholeheartedly appreciate all the sacrifices you made for me when I was growing up. I hope you know how much you mean to me. I love you to infinity and beyond, mom. Happy birthday!
  • Since I was a little kid, I’ve always admired your kind heart and compassion for others. You’re the greatest example of what it means to be a warm and loving person. Happy birthday, dad.
  • There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t thank my lucky stars to have a mom as cool as you. Happy birthday!

Birthday Messages for a Spouse or Partner

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  • You’re the cherry on top of my favorite dessert. Happy birthday, baby!
  • You get more amazing every year. Hope your birthday is, too!
  • If it was up to me, I’d celebrate you every day. Happy birthday to my soul mate.
  • I fall more in love with you as the time goes by. Cheers to another year around the sun with my sweetheart.
  • Happy birthday to the love of my life. Let’s live it up today and every day!
  • Your love gets sweeter with every year. Happy birthday to my one and only.
  • I look forward to spending 100 more birthdays with you. Happy birthday, sweetie.
  • When you blow out your candles, I hope your wish is for us to be together forever. Happy birthday, babe.
  • There’s no greater gift than the love you give me every day. That’s why I’m showering you with hugs and kisses today. Happy birthday!
  • Wishing my favorite person on the planet a wonderful birthday. Today is all about you, baby!
  • When I look into your eyes, my heart still melts. Wishing you the best birthday yet!
  • Every year that goes by, I fall deeper in love with you. Cheers to celebrating yet another birthday together!
  • Being with you is one of the biggest blessings in my life. I never take your love for granted. Happy birthday, honey.
  • You’re the best thing to ever happen to me. Happy birthday to my lover and best friend.
  • My love for you is everlasting. May this year bring you everything your heart desires and more. Happy birthday to the love of my life.
  • You’re the honey to my bun. We will always go together. Happy birthday, sweet pea!
  • There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t thank God for bringing us together. Happy birthday to my better half.
  • Waking up to you every morning never gets old. Happy birthday!
  • We may get old, but our love never does. Wishing my baby, the happiest birthday ever.
  • I love growing old with you. Happy birthday to the person who will always be by my side.

Birthday Wishes for a Friend

  • Happy birthday! Stay golden, girl.
  • Your friendship means the world to me. Thank you for being YOU. Happy birthday, friend.
  • True friends are there through the good times and the bad. I’m forever grateful to have you as one of mine. Happy birthday!
  • I can’t wait to celebrate you and all of your awesomeness. Happy birthday, friend.
  • On this day, many years ago a wonderful human being was born. And that person was my dear friend. Happy birthday!
  • You’re the Thelma to my Louise. Happy birthday to my favorite partner in crime!
  • Your friendship is one of the greatest gifts I’ve ever received. Happy birthday, friend.
  • Thank you for all of the fun memories we’ve made together. I can’t wait for more out-of-this world adventures! Happy birthday!
  • Friends are one of God’s greatest gifts. I’m so lucky to have you in my life. Happy birthday!
  • Nobody can make me laugh the way you do. Happy birthday!
  • Today is all about you. Let’s get cake wasted!
  • Even when we’re 100 years old, we’ll always keep our youthful spirit and gossip like teenagers. Happy birthday, old lady!
  • Happy birthday to my best friend and ultimate secret keeper. You’re like a vault and for that I’m forever grateful!
  • Thank you for being an amazing friend. Happy birthday!
  • We’ve been friends for so long, I can’t remember who’s the bad influence! Happy birthday.
  • No matter the distance, our friendship will always remain strong and intact. Happy birthday!
  • I’m so blessed to have an amazing friend who I can always count on no matter what. Happy birthday to my BFF.
  • Happy birthday to the person who has the best friend in the world!
  • Happy birthday from one superstar to another!
  • Here’s to another year of laughter, love and crazy shenanigans! Love you, friend. Happy birthday.
  • Nothing like having someone you can talk to about anything. Thank you for being a friend. Happy birthday!
  • Your friendship means the world to me. Thank you for being a shoulder to lean on after all these years. Happy birthday!

Birthday Wishes for a Coworker

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  • You make coming into work bearable. Thanks for being my favorite cubicle mate. Happy birthday!
  • You make work fun. Thanks for always brightening my day. Happy birthday!
  • Thanks for being my favorite coffee run buddy. Happy birthday.
  • Wishing you a work-free day. I just hope your workload doesn’t fall on me. Happy birthday!
  • I wish you didn’t have to work on your birthday, but I’m glad you did. You make every workday better. Happy birthday!
  • Your warm laughter always lifts the mood in the office. Thank you for being a bright light. Happy birthday!
  • I hope you enjoy your special day to the fullest. Enjoy!
  • I couldn’t have chosen a better work wife/husband. Let’s get this party started!
  • There’s nobody I’d rather spend 8 hours a day with every day. Well, of course, other than my family. Happy birthday!
  • Can’t wait to celebrate with you! There’s nothing like a birthday happy hour!
  • May all your birthday wishes come true. Cheers!
  • I don’t know what I’d do without my favorite work buddy. Happy birthday.
  • Wishing you a great birthday and a memorable year ahead.
  • Happy personal new year!
  • Hope your special day is filled with happiness and love!
  • Wishing you an awesome cake day.
  • Hoping your birthday brings you many reasons to celebrate today.
  • May all your wishes come true! Happy birthday.
  • Happy birthday. Hope you have the best day ever!
  • Can’t keep calm, it’s my work bestie’s birthday!
  • It’s such a pleasure working with you. Wishing you a very happy birthday!

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Karla Pope

Karla Pope is a longtime writer, editor and blogger with nearly two decades of editorial experience. She’s written for a variety of outlets including Good Housekeeping, Woman’s Day, People, Parade, WebMD and more. Her coverage includes entertainment, beauty, lifestyle, parenting and fashion content. If she's not exploring New York City with her two young children, you can find her curled up on the couch watching a documentary and eating gummy bears.

Here's Exactly What You Should Be Writing in a Birthday Card (7)

Annie O'Sullivan

As a member of the Special Projects Team, Annie works with the GH Tested program writing up product reviews and roundups and helps plan and run annual expos and events like the GH Parenting Summit, Xmas in July Expo, Cleaning Summit, Winter Essentials Expo, and more. When she’s not working, she can be found running, listening to true crime podcasts, designing graphic collages, or sipping on a margarita.

Here's Exactly What You Should Be Writing in a Birthday Card (2024)


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