30+ Short Birthday Wishes for Your Son or Son-in-Law


Everyone appreciates a card on their birthday. Happy birthday cards are an excellent way to connect with the people you love on their day of celebration and reflection. But if you’ve been sending cards or well-wishes to your son or son-in-law for years, it's nice to switch it up. 

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Consider these warm greetings and reminders of your love as you pen your next card. Some are serious, others just joke around. Whichever your preference, we have a range of ideas for you below.

Funny Birthday Wishes for Your Son

Not every son will love a teasing birthday wish, but these work great for a family that is always joking and laughing together.

1. “Good job turning another year older!”

A jokey reference to the fact that continuing to age isn’t an accomplishment per se can be a fun way to introduce a birthday card, especially for a particularly ambitious or high-achieving son.

2. “May this be the least belated of your birthday cards. Happy Birthday!”

This is a particularly good way to snarkily acknowledge a birthday card that arrives late. You can get ahead of your belated birthday wishes by making a joke about it.

3. “Another year older, huh?”

Anything that references aging in a silly way can be a goofy way to downplay the occasion while showing your connection and care—even if you aren’t much for showing emotions. 

Paired with a poem about growing older, this might be both a poignant and a fun way to wish your son well.

4. “I deserve a present for remembering your birthday, son!”

If your family jokes a lot, a joke about remembering each other’s birthdays, especially if you live far from each other, can be a funny way to open the card.

5. “Where’s the cake, son?”

Demands for cake are a fun, silly way to address your son for his birthday, since the cake is supposedly in his honor, not for you.

Birthday Wishes for a Son from Mom

If you want to remind your son how much you love him and feel proud of him, these are some good options for birthday wishes.

6. “I still remember the day/night you were born…”

If you’re the Mom who likes to reminisce, a story about your son’s birth can be a sweet thing to mention when reminding him of your love.

7. “I hope you have the most excellent birthday!”

A simple, clear wish for a great birthday fits for a lot of Mother-Son relationships. You can pair a simple wish like this one with a great playlist or another display of affection during his birthday.

8. “This year is an exciting one and I can’t wait to see all you do!”

When something big is happening in the coming year, this is a positive way to affirm that your son will handle all the challenges that come his way.

9. “You are old enough and mature enough to face these challenges, birthday boy!”

If your son is going through a rough patch, a statement that acknowledges his capability and affirms his confidence may be a nice way to conclude the birthday wish.

10. “Greet this year with excitement!”

New beginnings offer many of us hope, and offering your son the hope of seeing his birthday as a new beginning may be a great fit for what he needs. It might even inspire his latest birthday resolution to be making a change in his life!

Birthday Wishes for a Son from Dad

Dads may not always say sappy things to their sons, but a birthday is a great time to share your feelings, even if they're short and sweet.

11. “May this year be your best adventure yet!”

Dads who spend their father-son time seeking excitement and outdoor activities may be able to frame a birthday card in terms of adventures.

12. “I’m so proud of the person you’re becoming.”

It’s a little sappy, but mentioning how proud you feel of your son may go a long way for his confidence.

13. “I am so excited to share (experience) with you this year.”

One great birthday wish is to acknowledge a particular plan that you’ve got coming up or a time when you’ll get to see each other.

14. “I love you, son.”

It’s simple but powerful. It’s not everyone’s relationship—to say it in the birthday card— but it often means a lot.

15. “It’s a wonderful day to celebrate you.”

Reminding your son that you want the day to be all about him can be a really nice focus, especially for very busy families.

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Happy Birthday Wishes for a Son-in-Law

Cultivating a great relationship with a son-in-law can feel like adding a new person to your family, expanding the circle of those you cherish. Here are some ways to wish your son-in-law a happy birthday.

16. “Thanks for being such a great husband for my daughter.”

The focus on your mutual relationship with your daughter can be a nice option if you don’t know your son-in-law particularly well.

17. “I hope you enjoy this birthday to the fullest.”

Emphasizing enjoying his special day is a nice general wish for your son-in-law.

18. “We love all you do as a son-in-law/father of our grandchildren.”

If you've got grandchildren, mentioning his excellent role in your family can be one of the warmest ways to wish him a happy birthday.

19. “We celebrate having you in our family.”

Since your son-in-law is most likely a relative newbie to the family, this can be a sweet wish for him to feel included and loved.

20. “This year will be the best yet.”

A wish for a wonderful new year can be a gentle positive focus, especially for birthdays later on in his 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s.

Happy 18th Birthday Messages

Eighteen is a big milestone for boys, so show your son that you recognize all that he’s achieved and overcome to get to this big day.

21. “Today, you’re a man!”

For a son who has desired independence, this declarative statement can be a sign that he’s achieved a milestone.

22. “It’s been so rewarding to watch you grow up.”

Emphasizing the great years that led to his 18th birthday is also a way to affirm his character and all he’s done.

23. “I’m so excited for all that lies ahead for you.”

Eighteen may feel like an accomplishment for your son, but you've got the perspective to know that many more exciting things lie in his future.

24. “You light up our lives, son!”

Generally emphasizing how much you like spending time with your son works well on his 18th birthday, a sign of his positive influence.

25. “Make the most of this upcoming year.”

With career or further education coming, the 18th year is an important one, and it’s a great time to encourage him to focus in and enjoy it.

Happy 21st Birthday Messages

While 21st birthdays are a big deal for legal alcohol consumption in the United States, they’re also a big moment of greater adult responsibility.

26. “I wish you even more awesome ‘firsts’ in life.”

Playing on the ‘first’ in 21st birthday, this statement reminds your son that he’s got many more milestones and new experiences ahead of him, even as he is hitting a long-awaited goal.

27. “I am excited for all you’ve been learning lately.”

If your son is studying something or taking a training course, reminding him of how all the tests and studying are building to a goal can be a great choice for a birthday wish.

28. “Your independence keeps growing and we’re proud of you!”

The combination of focusing on how your son is his own man but also that you’re confident in his successes can be very affirming.

29. “I wish you as few hangovers as possible!”

This one, more silly than serious, is a nod to a son who has been awaiting drinking alcohol. If he’ll be having a big birthday party to celebrate, this wish is a kindness.

30. “Each year you grow into a better and better person.”

For the ambitious young man or one who is recovering from some setbacks, this birthday wish is a great way to acknowledge that he’s wonderful at his core and that he’s going to build on that foundation.

Making Your Son or Son-in-Law’s Birthday Great

Writing a quick sentiment that reminds your son or son-in-law of how you feel about him is a nice way to quickly and clearly affirm your relationship. Having something a little creative to say will make the card all the more powerful, and picking a card you really like also helps.

Those who miss their sons on their birthdays can tell you that the time flies by so quickly, and cherishing every single birthday together is a worthwhile endeavor. Savor every minute or memory, whether it’s a whole weekend of fun or a simple phone call and card in the mail. Your care means a lot more than you know.


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