Here’s how to make your birthday cards more personal

Do you ever compose a novel in your head of what to write in a friend's birthday card but end up writing two cookie-cutter, Hallmark card-esque phrases when your pen meets the paper? The disconnect from mind to hand is so real, but so is your ability to bring the biggest smile to your friend's face through writing more personal cards. Here are five ways to elevate "Dear bestie, happy birthday! Love, your BFF" to a precious and heartfelt piece of writing that your pal will treasure for the rest of their life.

Describe favorite memories


Bringing back moments that are special to the two of you is the perfect way for your bestie to show how important their presence is in your life. These memories can be as deep as the day they cheered you up after a breakup or as trivial as your silly multi-lingual conversations in English, Chinese and French, a flex only the two of you have in the friend group. No memory is too minor. Maybe you met at the boba shop when they worked part-time over the summer or bonded over your love for sushi as bio partners three years ago—we guarantee they'll be in their feels reflecting on how far your friendship has come.

Mention what you like about them

Shower on the words of affirmation. Your friends will appreciate the time you spent thinking about them when you write about how their involvement in the environmental action club inspires you to speak up about causes you care about. Even someone you don't know very well, like the APUSH classmate you've never seen outside school, will feel connected to you when reading your thoughts on their fire sense of style.

Drop in some inside jokes


Birthday cards don't have to be sentimental and sappy to be personal. If they poke fun (out of endearing love!) at you being vertically challenged, you can talk about how thankful you are to have a telephone pole-like friend who can always reach the top shelf for you. If it's become a running joke how long you have to wait for your chatty moms after church before you can go home, you can talk about how you two will become the talkative parents one day. The humor only you and your BFF understand = instant serotonin boost.

Include a playlist

Individually curated playlists are like love letters in themselves, so when you can't find the exact words to express how you feel, music can be an amazing solution. You can include classic friendship songs like "You've Got a Friend in Me" from Toy Story, a song from the first concert you went to together, the song they showed you when introducing your now-favorite artist, etc. If you have time and want to get really deep into your personalized tracklist, you can add notes on how Taylor Swift's "Fifteen" reminds you of your unbreakable bond and how Conan Gray's "Astronomy" is the musical embodiment of your bestie's Ravenclaw personality.

Use visuals


They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, and a polaroid of you and your bestie in a tight hug can be all you need to express how much you care for them. Depending on what fits most with your taste and your friendship, you can include photographs, printouts of images related to your inside jokes, drawings, cartoons... let your creativity take the leadof celebrating another year of friendship :)

How do you like to personalize birthday cards? Let us know on Twitter @girlslifemag!

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by Elizabeth Huang | 12/11/2021