12 ‘Open When It’s Your Birthday’ Letter Ideas & Examples

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It’s hard to be far away from someone you love when it’s their birthday. Whether you’re in a long-distance relationship, sending a child off to college, or just missing someone who’s far away, giving an “Open When It’s Your Birthday” letter can help you feel closer. 

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An Open When It’s Your Birthday letter is similar to a standard birthday letter card. But some key differences make an Open When Letter a unique option. 

What’s an ‘Open When It’s Your Birthday Letter’?

An Open When It’s Your Birthday letter is a note or card that you give to someone ahead of time, so they have it available to open on their birthday. 

Whereas you typically mail a traditionally birthday card, you can give your loved one an Open When It’s Your Birthday letter (still closed in an envelope) when they leave home. Then, they already have the letter ready to open and read on their birthday. And that makes an Open When It’s Your Birthday a unique, creative, and supportive way to say, “Happy birthday” to someone you love. 

Why give an Open When It’s Your Birthday Letter? 

Giving an Open When It’s Your Birthday has the added benefit of helping your loved one feel supported when they’re leaving for a trip or moving away. They know that you’ve already taken the time to write them a birthday letter, well ahead of time. 

You can also include an Open When It’s Your Birthday letter in a set of Open When Letters, to give your loved one even more support for different occasions. 

Open When It’s Your Birthday rules

Some rules that apply to all “Open When” letters, including Open When It’s Your Birthday letters. Those rules are: 

  • Only open when the letter really applies (in this case, on your birthday if you’re the recipient). 
  • Only open one letter at a time (if you give multiple letters). 
  • Don’t throw the letters away. 
  • Open the letters when you’re alone. 
  • Don’t peek!

You should make sure your letter-receiver knows the rules for Open When letters so they don’t open the letter early or break the other rules. You can tell them in person, or you can write down the rules on the back of the envelope. 

If you give your loved one a set of Open When letters, you can create an “Open When Your Receive These Letters” letter that contains all of the rules. 

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Tips for Writing an ‘Open When It’s Your Birthday’ Letter

If you’ve decided to write an Open When It’s Your Birthday letter, you might not know where to begin. Here are some tips if you want to write a great Open When It’s Your Birthday letter. 

1. Write from the heart

When you’re writing your Open When It’s Your Birthday letter to a loved one, it’s best to write from the heart. Your message doesn’t have to be Shakespear; it just has to be sincere and supportive. Wish your loved one a happy birthday in your own words and in your own way.

2. Think about past birthdays

If you’re not sure what to write in your Open When It’s Your Birthday letter, think back to past birthdays you celebrated with your loved one.

Consider dinners you shared, your loved one’s favorite surprises and birthday gifts and treats, and other memories you’ve had together. You can reference those experiences in your letter to your loved one. 

3. Give some words of encouragement

Being away from people you love on your birthday can be hard. If your letter-receiver is far from home, and they’re not surrounded by friends and family, it’s a good idea to offer some words of support.

In your Open When It’s Your Birthday letter, remind your loved one that they’re missed, loved, and cared for by everyone back home. 

4. Think about where they’ll be

If your loved one is leaving on a long trip or even moving away, think about where they’ll be (physically, mentally, and emotionally) when they open the letter.

You can include that information to make your recipient feel like you're there with them when they open your letter. For example, if your significant other is attending college far away, you can encourage them to take a break from studying to celebrate their birthday. 

5. Share a laugh

Another great birthday gift you can give just by writing a letter is your sense of humor. In your Open When It’s Your Birthday letter to a loved one, include an inside joke you’ve shared together or something else you know would make the recipient laugh. 

‘Open When It’s Your Birthday’ Letter Ideas

An Open When It’s Your Birthday letter can be more than just a letter. Here are some ideas to help you make a loved one’s day by adding even more to your Open When It’s Your Birthday letter. 

1. Buy or create a colorful card

You might be writing an Open When It’s Your Birthday letter, but you can include that letter in a colorful birthday card, too. If you want to put your artistic side to work, you can create a birthday card yourself. 

Otherwise, head online or to the drugstore to pick up a card that you think your loved one would like. 

2. Include a gift card

You can help your loved one feel even more supported by giving a gift card for a birthday cake, a birthday spa experience, or a nice dinner at a nearby restaurant. 

You might not be able to spend the day with your loved one in person, but you can still give the gift of a  memorable birthday experience. 

3. Send a package

If you want to give a gift to your loved one on their birthday, in addition to your letter, you can give an Open When It’s Your Birthday package. Make sure to write “Open When It’s Your Birthday” on the outside of the gift box, which you can place inside a shipping box if you ship the gift. 

All of the same rules apply to an Open When It’s Your Birthday gift, including the rule of only opening the package when it’s your recipient’s birthday. It’s also a good idea to write a thoughtful Open When It’s Your Birthday letter, too. 

4. Sneak in some confetti 

For even more birthday flair, you can sneak some confetti, birthday candles, or streamers into your Open When It’s Your Birthday letter. 

You can even find birthday cards that have the confetti or streamers pop out as a birthday surprise when the recipient opens the letter. This added touch can help your letter-receiver feel like you’re there celebrating with them, in person. 

5. Get signatures from friends and family

You can offer even more support to your loved one by gathering signatures and comments from friends and family members. Reading through short messages from everyone who’s cheering them on back home can be an amazing birthday gift. 

‘Open When It’s Your Birthday’ Letter Examples

If you’re facing writer’s block in writing your Open When It’s Your Birthday letter to a loved one, reading through some examples can help. And even though it’s best to write from the heart and use your own words, you can still take inspiration from the examples below when you’re composing an Open When It’s Your Birthday letter. 

“Open When It’s Your Birthday” letter: spouse or significant other

Wishing you a beautiful birthday, even though I can’t be there with you on your special day. From the very first moment I saw you, I was hooked by your charm, good looks, and kind eyes. And while you’re far away, all of the memories we’ve shared together are constantly in my mind. 

Everyone tells me how proud they are of you and you’re amazing accomplishments. And I have to agree! You’re so brave and hardworking, and I just know you’re doing great things.

Happy birthday, my love! I’m wishing you wonderful experiences on your journey, today and every day you’re away.

“Open When It’s Your Birthday” letter: friend or family member

Happy birthday! You’re another year older and another year wiser. And even though I can’t be there with you, I wanted to make sure you enjoy the day of the year that’s all about you!

So here’s $20 to spend however you’d like (but I insist you spend it on ice cream cake). I can’t wait to see you again, and you can bet we’ll celebrate your birthday again when you finally get back! 

Giving an Open When It’s Your Birthday Letter

Open When letters are a great way to support a distant loved one in a range of situations and for a variety of occasions. They’re especially useful if you’re not sure when your letter-receiver will want to open the letter, such as an “Open When You’re Sad” letter. 

In those situations, you can’t simply mail a letter just before the occasion because you don’t know when it’ll be. But Open When letters also work for birthdays, holidays, and others events that you know are coming up. You can give your loved one an Open When It’s Your Birthday letter to take with them when they leave home, rather than mailing it, or you can mail the letter well ahead of time. 

No matter how you choose to give it to your loved one, an Open When It’s Your Birthday letter always shows how much you love them and care for them, even when they’re far from home. 

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