What To Write In A Birthday Card

Before carelessly signing and sending the next birthday card to a friend or relative, take time to plan a message that accents your good wishes.

Life can be so fast-paced that we pat ourselves on the back in merely remembering to send a birthday card to someone we know, even if it is late. In fact, stores now sell a hefty number of "belated birthday" cards for those of us who forget.

But in taking the time to buy, sign, and mail a birthday greeting to someone we care about, it may be worth the time to write a few personal lines of message to underscore genuine sentiment.

Psychologists and romance writers will confirm that words mean a lot to some people. While others may prize thoughtful gifts or quality time, words that praise, affirm, or encourage serve as a gift in themselves to those who take language seriously.

If you plan to send someone like that a birthday card, here are a few points to keep in mind that can double or even triple the value of your act:

1. Choose a card style in keeping with the recipient's personality. Some folks enjoy humor while others prefer a cutesy touch. Still others appreciate a religious tone to the cards they receive. Find out which style is apt to appeal to your intended recipient and choose accordingly. Take care to pick up a matching envelope.

2. Use an attractive, neat pen that won't smear or skip. Avoid one that reflects light to cause glare. Look for an open space on the inside of the card for your message. Write small enough to ensure your phrasing will fit. It may be a good idea to practice writing the message on a piece of paper first to be sure you don't run out of space after you start.



3. Write neatly. A hurried scrawl may suggest a careless attitude. Apply your best calligraphic technique to make your message readable and attractive.

4. Start with a greeting. You may want to include the date first, especially if it is likely the reader will keep the card for future reading. Call the person by the name you typically use, whether a given or nickname.

5. Match the tone of your message to the style of the card. If the card is humorous, try to be funny. If serious, be thoughtful. If a religious style is apparent, offer a blessing. Depending on how well you know the person, tailor a short or longer inscription.

6. Commemorate the occasion. You can recall meaningful events from the past year or project coming highlights of the next, such as a graduation or wedding. You may want to refer to "inside" jokes, experiences, or insights that can bind you even closer by including them in the card.

7. Close with a final, positive thought. It may be an indication of your ongoing friendship, a promise of future celebration, a last compliment, or a hopeful pledge. Quoting a verse of scripture or poetry adds a reflective touch.

Detailing a birthday card to celebrate the birthday can make the recipient feel special. Use your words wisely and well, as they can become useful tools of building solid relationships.

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