What to Write: Birthday Wishes for Grandma

What to Write in a Birthday Card

Sending a birthday wish to grandma? You’re doing the right thing. The only thing grandma digs more than her grandkids is knowing that they were raised well enough to acknowledge important events (like her birthday) with a card! You’ve done the thoughtful thing, and got the card—now how do you say “Happy Birthday, Grandma” in a way that will feel authentic and personal to her? Well, glad you asked! When it comes to what to say to your grandma on her birthday, we’ve got you covered.

What’s in a Name?
Perhaps the card you purchased uses the word grandma or grandmother in it, as in, “Birthday wishes for you, Grandma.” But, let’s say that you call her Grandma Kate, Gran, Bubbe, Nana, Granny, Oma, or Mamaw. Address your personal message that way.

  • Nana Ann—From your [oatmeal-chocolate chip cookies (that you counted as a healthy snack), to your singing me to sleep], my childhood was made better in a million little ways by all of the wonderful things you are. You deserve a wonderful birthday. Talk to you soon!
  • Happy Birthday to the Best Bubbe in the world!
  • Mamaw—Hope your day brings you a million smiles!

Make it personal.
Chances are that your birthday card for grandma did a good job of conveying wishes for the day, but you’ll want to add something that only you would say to only her.

  • Granny Ellen — Hope your birthday has all things good, [from the chicken pot pie at Bob Evans to you shouting “Bingo” in a hall filled with friends]!
  • I looked for a card that said, [“Wishing you a day filled with good gossip, cake, and an evening filled with Matlock and Murder she Wrote reruns,”] but I couldn’t find one!

Poke fun…at yourself.
Did Grandma get an advanced degree in spoiling you? Tell her.

  • Grandma Jean, you helped make me what I am today—a spoiled brat. But I’m a spoiled brat who loves you! Happy Birthday, Granny!
  • Sleep in and don’t lift a finger today. In other words, pretend you’re me.

When in doubt, add love. (Just like Grandma would do.)

  • Grandma Sue, hope your day is as amazing as you. Love you!
  • Hope it’s your happiest birthday ever. I love you!
  • With appreciation and love for all you are.
  • Happy birthday and love always!
  • Love, Phyllis, Dan and the girls.

All you really need to do is tell her how much she means to you. Not very close with your grandma? A simple wish for a happy day is always appropriate and will make her day special for the sheer fact that you thought of her and were kind enough to let her know.

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Brian P. Cleary is a senior writer-editor in the digital division of American Greetings. He started his life in greeting cards 35 years ago, and has written in verse and prose ranging from a prayer to a pun. He is also an author of 53 children’s books, selling more than 3 million copies.