Last night, Chris and I went to a friend's house to celebrate her fiftieth birthday. She really wanted to throw a huge fiftieth birthday bash, but sadly that will have to wait. We had to ask ourselves what to write in a birthday card in the age of quarantines.
Unfortunately, gathering in a small group at home is about all you can really do to celebrate a birthday during the current pandemic. Luckily, the birthday girl and her bests were all currently healthy and able to meet up. A few of us have already had COVID-19 and most of us have had to quarantine due to exposure at some point during this outbreak. I've also had friends who were not as lucky and had to quarantine themselves during their actual birthday, when they would have been celebrating. Of course, we don't want to minimize the fact that so many people have died of this terrible disease. But the term "gallows humor" came from somewhere, right? It's human nature to push on and find some basis for humor to keep us going together.
While our understanding of the novel coronavirus changes daily, there's something about human nature that doesn't change: we need friendships, smiles and laughter to get us through the most difficult of times. In that light, we want to offer a few ideas about what to write in a quarantine birthday card. At the very least, we hope you find a few ideas here about what to write in a birthday card during a pandemic, even if the card itself doesn't specifically acknowledge the current COVID-19 lockdowns and the chaos we've been thrown into lately.
Let's face it: quarantine is a terrible time to have a birthday. But, as we've written previously, it is a good time to think about the people you love and actually write and send a greeting card.
If you want to say something meaningful but you're just not sure what exactly to write in that quarantine birthday card, don't worry. We'll run through a couple of ideas that will hopefully cure your writer's block and get you going.
First, start out with a greeting. I like the traditional "Dear X" greeting, so I'll just start with "Dear John," and get right to it.
Next, go ahead and acknowledge that this isn't the best time for a birthday. "It must really suck to be at home quarantining instead of celebrating your birthday like we did a couple of years ago in Nashville. We had such a great time!"
We have a funny card Chris designed that says "This Year No One Will Know You Drank the Whole Bottle So Go Ahead Bottoms Up It's Your Quarantine Birthday." Just because we've put a pause on society, doesn't mean we have put a pause on birthdays. Show your friends and loved ones you care even during these difficult times.
Now, why not take some time to imagine what you'll do someday soon once the quarantine period passes? "I can't wait to see you and Jessica again soon! Maybe by your next birthday, we'll be able to go out on the town again and celebrate for real." Imagine what you would have been doing and let your friend or family member know that you look forward to a day in the future when you can get together again in person.
Alternately, think back to the best birthday party you've been to with (or for) your greeting card recipient and remind them of those great birthday memories from the past.
One of our local papers, the Mountain Mirror, recently published an article from Sonia Young who talked about the joys of reliving her previous summer vacations. She stayed home this summer, but she revived all the wonderful memories of beach trips past. What a great idea! Why not take some time to indulge yourself and look back through all those photos you took years ago and have rarely if ever been back to spend time with? It's one thing to take a million selfies and birthday party photos but quite another to actually spend the time looking through them and reflecting on the fun time you had. Why not go a few years back on your computer or smartphone and find photos from a previous birthday party? Dig up something truly fun—or embarrassing—and mention it in the card.
If you're referencing previous birthday fun, it's nearly guaranteed to be one of the most meaningful birthday wishes your friend will receive this year. It's just too easy to make a quick Facebook post and be done with it.
Even when you don't know exactly what to write in a birthday card, especially during quarantine, your tiny bit of foresight and effort will go a long way toward making your loved one feel special.
Don't believe me? Think back to the last birthday card you remember receiving. What did the sender write? Anything more than "Happy Birthday"? For me, I remember opening the mailbox and opening the card, but I definitely don't remember what was written inside. Anything heartfelt will make your card stand out from the vast majority of birthday cards people send out today. Don't worry so much about what to write in the birthday card, just don't forget to send it!
Now more than ever, with quarantines in place and colleges closing campuses, it's going to be important to stay in touch and encourage each other. The risk of people feeling isolated on their birthday is higher than ever before. So take five minutes today, buy a birthday card, and when you get it in the mail (hopefully from us), send it back out and make someone's day. Your quarantine happy birthday wishes may end up making someone's day!
It can be difficult to come up with exactly the right phrasing for a birthday card, but remember: it's more important to send the card than to get every word right.
Let us know what you came up with, which card you selected and for whom. Also, did you get any feedback once your friend or family member opened the card? We love hearing how people react to our greeting cards. It's really what keeps us going in this small business. Leave us a comment below or hit us up on social media; we'd love to hear from you.