How to Write a Card for Important Occasions

A blue greeting card and a white envelope

Want to make someone’s day? Then surprise them with a handwritten card.

While texts and emails are a great way to send a quick response, a handwritten card is perfect for showing just how much you care.

As the sender, you’re taking the time to really think about the recipient. From choosing the perfect card to thinking about the right words, and dropping it in the mail, your care and concern for them really shows. And for the recipient, they get to keep the card and the sentiments enclosed in it for as long as they want–even for a lifetime!

Now, of course, sitting down and actually writing a card may take a little more effort, but it’s so worth it in the end for both you and your recipient. 

So whether you’re trying to write a card for a milestone birthday or find the right words to express your gratitude, we have tips and templates you can use to help you express yourself with ease. 

How to select the perfect card

Before you sit down and write your message, think about the medium you’ll be writing in. After all, the best part of giving a handwritten card is picking out the perfect card for your recipient. 

Here are some pointers to consider when choosing the right card.

What’s your recipient’s personality type?

  • Do they have a great sense of humor? Are you always exchanging funny memes or videos with them? Then you can’t go wrong choosing a card with a funny joke or message.
  • Are they sentimental? If they love inspirational quotes and tearjerker movies, then a card with a poignant quote or message inside will be very meaningful for them. 
  • Are they visual? Creative types will love a card with a beautiful photo or illustration or colorful patterns. 
  • Do they have good taste? We all have that fancy person in our lives with exquisite taste. You can’t go wrong with a card with a classic or stunning design.

What’s the occasion?

A birthday card should look festive and cheerful. If it’s a milestone birthday, then you can certainly opt for a card that is more sentimental and meaningful.

A card for a somber occasion, such as a condolence card or a get well soon card, is obviously one that will be difficult to select. If you choose a card with a simple design and a blank message inside it will leave room for you to speak from the heart and be there for your loved one. 

How to compose the right message for a card

Write a draft. Writing a message in a card can feel like a lot of pressure. You want to say the right thing and you also don’t want to mess up your one card! So before you even write in your card, take out a notebook or sheet of paper and start brainstorming. Think about the sentiments you want to include and what you want to express. Then, you can whittle it down and start editing. 

Refer to a template. When it comes to writing a card, you don't have to pull your message out of thin air. Look at letter templates and examples so that you get an idea for what to compose and the key elements to include. For example, with a thank you card, you’ll always want to include a specific example of what you appreciated. Or with a congratulatory card, you’ll want to wish them well in their new job or thank them for a job well done. 

How to write a card for a milestone birthday

For a milestone birthday, you’ll want to recognize the importance of the occasion while also being mindful that not everyone is going to be enthusiastic about entering a new decade.

You can strike the right chord by including a birthday wish for the recipient and touching on their hobbies or interests. 


I wish you health, happiness, and success as you enter this new and exciting chapter. 

Hope this year is filled with your favorite things: good meals, books, and conversation. 

How to write a card for your boss or coworker

When writing a card for a boss or colleague, your message should be friendly but professional. And don’t forget to consider the occasion. If you’re congratulating them on a new job or promotion you’ll want to mention how great it was to work with them. 


Congrats on your new role in the X office! Thank you so much for your patience, guidance, and leadership over the years. Your new team is so lucky to have you!

How to write a card for a difficult time

A condolence card or a get well soon card will be one of the most difficult messages you’ll have to write. You want to be there for your friend or loved one but you also don’t want to come across as trite or cliched or worse, insensitive. When you don’t know what to say, you can always be honest. Acknowledge that you might not  have the right thing to say and that you may never know what they’re going through. But affirm that you are there for them and thinking of them.

During these times, it might help to remind yourself that the perfect message does not exist. Accept this with humility and write from the heart. If in doubt, you can always ask a trusted friend or loved one for their thoughts on your message. 

How to write a thank you card 

Whether you’re thanking a friend for hosting you in their home for the weekend or a team member for a job well done, a handwritten thank you card will definitely express your appreciation. 

Think about a specific thing or experience that you want to thank them for and include that in your message.


Thank you so much for hosting me in your beautiful home. It was such a treat to wake up to coffee and a delicious breakfast every morning. 

Thank you so much for taking the time to work with our client and being so generous with your time and expertise. 

For more guidance on what to write in a card, read our article here.

Written by JiJi Lee

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