Skip Hallmark and Create Quick, Personal Birthday Cards
Cards for all events, not excluding birthday cards, are either overpriced and impersonal or cheaper at a discount store with an equally unimpressive message. This shouldn’t be too surprising to anyone, since these cards are generally made to suit all personalities and of all cultures; they’re plain sentences sugar-coated in nice-sounding words. Do you really want people to remember you as the person who gave them a happy birthday card that could’ve been written by your co-worker’s mailman (or someone equally random)? If not, then heed my advice and I’m sure you’ll make someone genuinely happy or at least give them a chuckle. Maybe when it’s time for your birthday, they’ll even remember that you gave them this well-thought-out card!
Something I try to abide by is always making the cards I’ll be giving away from scratch and adding personal memories in there. The card ideas always end up unique and genuine. If it’s a long-lasting friend who’s being celebrated, then you could write one special memory that’s occurred during the year every year—this way, when they go through all of their birthday cards when they’re old, then they’ll have a trail of potentially forgotten memories to reminisce on. (Naturally, this is assuming that they keep all of those cards.) Maybe decorate the card with something related to the memory; for example, if something heartwarming or hilarious happened at the beach, leave a “Happy Birthday” trail of glue on the outside flap of the card and sprinkle sand on it. If you want to go really wild, you could even glue a seashell or two on it.
Best Birthday Cards Hit Close to Home
I don’t know your friends or family, so I really can’t tell you what to write in the happy birthday cards you’ll be giving. If you don’t meet too often or cannot remember/do not have any unforgettable memories from the current year, then think back to previous years. If you’ve known the person as far back as their childhood, then you could muse over one of those long passed days; try tying in the memory to a personality trait that you admire or–if they had no admirable traits—how much they’ve grown since then! I’m a firm believer of themes, so perhaps you could theme the contents of the card around the present. For example, going back to my beach example, you could create a beach kit for them, complete with a bucket, towel, suntan lotion, and swimsuit.
Now, perhaps you’re a funny lad (or lass); if you see yourself as such, then please do not go to the funny birthday cards section. Don’t even consult it for ideas. When you open the card that presents the half-naked girl/guy on the cover, you will never find them unclothed on the next page. I’m serious. And if anything, then this will only be depressing for the receiver of the card. Instead of those cards, try to remember an inside joke to weave into your message inside the card. If you don’t have any inside jokes, then try making a joke regarding something that only the receiver will understand—you could even make this a subtle joke in case they don’t react well, in which you can respond, “It wasn’t a joke: I meant it.”
Cheap and fast alternatives to store-bought birthday cards
If you don’t want to buy supplies for the card, then you don’t have to! You have all of the supplies needed for at least free birthday cards at home—granted you own paper. Besides, the content is the important part here, not the appearance. However, if you do want a nice look, making a window card is easy: fold the card down once length-wise; fold over it again width-wise; and then cut out a box or a heart or whatever shape on only one of the layers in the folded card (it should be a rectangle at this point)—an X-Acto knife works pretty well here. You can draw in the window, write a message, or glue embellishments inside!
Perhaps you don’t even want to go to the birthday or are physically unable to: you’re in luck! The Internet allows you to send free email birthday cards, and there are so many of them you could spend a week trying to decide which one’s your favorite. They do have preset happy birthday cards, but I generally try to get the ones that just have a nice design and add my own message on the inside. That way, you can show that you care with simple birthday cards even though you may not be physically available!
written by Rebecca, birthday December 3rd