When a friend or family member has a birthday, we want the perfect thing to write in the birthday card to make them feel special. Birthday wishes can go a long way toward helping a loved one know how you feel about them and making them feel important and loved. Our collection of birthday messages ranges from the funny to the profound, from the lighthearted wish to the serious expression of love. You’re sure to find what you’re looking for to help whatever you’re trying to say — whether it’s in a text message or a sweet poem — strike just the right note.

Table of Contents:

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Happy Birthday Wishes

Birthday wishes make special days even brighter for the friends and family in your life who are important to you. Whether you’re looking for a fun and lighthearted message to take the sting out of a milestone birthday or purely celebrating and sharing in the fun of blowing out a few candles, these happy birthday messages will help your loved ones feel important on a day that’s all about celebrating them. Oh, and remember, we’re your headquarters for all things birthday, for everything from original ideas for kids’ birthday parties to classic cakes even the most exacting Southern grandmother will love.

  • Happy Birthday! Another year, and you’re just getting sweeter.
  • You look ageless, grow wiser and actually get more fun every year. Happy birthday.
  • It’s your special day — the day you get free dessert at a restaurant in exchange for being stared at by everyone in the place!
  • I can’t wait to celebrate with you tonight — happy birthday!
  • Happy birthday! I want to make a toast to you — when can we meet up for drinks on me?
  • I know you hate surprises, so I’ll just tell you know: I want to celebrate with you; when can we meet?
  • Older, wiser, and you don’t look a day over 25! Happy birthday!
  • I love you for so many reasons, and today you’re giving me an excuse to eat cake, so it’s really over the top. Happy Birthday!
  • Remember, on your birthday, calories don’t count, hangovers evaporate, work deadlines can be missed and your kids can take care of themselves.
  • You’re incredible and my greatest wish is to be more like you. (I know you’re supposed to get the wish today, but I cheated!)
  • I think today should be a national holiday, but until they make that official, let’s just do our best by eating cake, drinking champagne and blowing off as many responsibilities as possible. 
  • YOU are a person who deserves to be celebrated. Happy birthday … and many more!
  • It’s your birthday! It’s a big deal! I know you haven’t invited all the neighborhood kids over for a party or anything, but I think we could track down a pinata if we really tried. Okay, kidding, but let’s do something special!
  • Remember, you get a birthday WEEK, not just one day. But today’s extra special, and I hope you’re being showered with gifts and attention and cake!
Getty Images / Jessica Peterson

Funny Birthday Wishes, Puns, and Jokes

A birthday is the perfect time to share humor and be funny (or even be “punny” with birthday puns) — it’s a celebration, and nothing helps us celebrate more than laughter. So we’ve pulled together our favorite ways to say “happy birthday” in a funny way, including the best birthday jokes, funny puns and hilarious wishes to make laughter a part of the celebration.

  • They say “what goes up must come down,” but that doesn’t apply to age.
  • Birth is very shocking. Right after I was born, I was so surprised I didn’t talk for almost two years!
  • Always be specific when asking for jewelry for your birthday. Otherwise, if you ask for diamonds, you might get a deck of playing cards.
  • Q: Why does cake feel embarrassed by ice cream?

A: Because ice cream is so much cooler.

  • Q: Why does birthday cake need a pick-me-up?

A: Because it’s always feeling crummy.

  • Q: Why are pickles so good at celebrating birthdays?

A: Because when something is a big dill, they really know how to relish it.

  • Q: What did Jenny’s favorite teddy bear say when she offered him a slice of birthday cake?

A: “No thanks; I’m stuffed.”

  • Q: What’s the one thing you can always count on getting every single birthday?

A: Older.

  • Q: What does every birthday end with?

A: Y

  • Q: What did the little ghost ask the mommy ghost to make for his birthday?

A: “I Scream” cake.

Getty Images / Steve Prezant

Birthday Wishes for a Friend

We might be past the days of birthday parties with cakes, ice cream and Pin the Tail on the Donkey, but we can still have a fun time celebrating our friends’ birthdays! Share birthday wishes for a friend in a card, by text message or with a gift; here are some ideas for creative and fun ways to share happy birthday wishes with your BFFs and life-long friends.

  • I won’t say your age because then I’ll have to admit my age, but it doesn’t matter because we don’t look it anyway, right? Happy birthday my friend!
  • You may not be older than me, but we both know you’re wiser. Happy birthday!
  • So, how do you actually look YOUNGER every year? I need your secrets! Happy Birthday!
  • A hangover is tomorrow’s problem — today, it’s your birthday! Let’s celebrate!
  • How about I do errands for you today and you just hang out in a coffee shop and drink cappuccino? I have a few hours open later — it’ll be my gift to you!
  • You’re a wonderful person, and you’re looking gorgeous, too. Here’s to many more years of defying gravity!
  • Happy birthday! Let’s go take advantage of all the free stuff you get on your birthday — here’s a list to get us started! 
  • I’m so glad you never act your age — let’s go have some fun tonight!
  • A toast to you, birthday girl!
  • Here’s hoping you get to hear your husband say, “I have a present for you — and it’s jewelry!”
  • I’m thinking of you today; I’m so thankful you’re in my life, and I hope you have a very special birthday!
  • Happy birthday, friend! Let’s set a date for cake this week.
Getty Images / Compassionate Eye Foundation / Natasha Alipour Faridani

Birthday Messages for Family

Recognizing family birthdays is an important way to stay connected. If you’re lucky enough to spend special days with family, these family birthday messages can be a starting point for what to write on a card for almost anyone — your daughter, son, niece, mom or dad, or even a sister-in-law or brother-in-law. When you’re far apart, sometimes even knowing you remembered is enough to help someone feel close to you. So, we’ve compiled some celebatory wishes for family to help you show that you care.

Happy Birthday Daughter

  • Happy birthday to a wonderful daughter. I’m so proud of you every day, and I hope today is magical for you!
  • Well, the hours of labor were definitely worth it — I could not be prouder of you and amazed by what you’re doing with your life.
  • Happy birthday to my little girl! You’re a woman now, but today I’m remembering your little pigtails and funny comments to me and your dad. Hope you have a happy day!
  • Today is your birthday, and it’s the anniversary of the greatest joy I’ve ever known coming into my life. I love you, dear, and I’m so proud of you

Happy Birthday Son

  • Happy birthday, son! You make me proud every single day.
  • I’m so proud of the man you’ve become; I could not be happier to be your mother. I hope you have a wonderful day!
  • Celebrate! Enjoy today, and be so, so happy. (And maybe go a little easy on the beer … sorry, I had to.)
  • Son, you’ve made me prouder than I ever could have imagined. I’m celebrating you today, and I hope you are, too!
  • I can’t help but remember you as a little boy today, but I’m also so impressed by the man you’re becoming. You are handsome and kind and disciplined, and I am so proud of you. Happy birthday!

Happy Birthday Sister

  • Happy birthday, sis! I’m glad we’re past the days of pulling hair and fighting over cake!
  • You’re so beautiful and wise and kind … guess it runs in the family! Happy birthday, sister!
  • I miss you every day, but especially today. I wish we could hit the town, get some drinks and do some shopping, but can we take a rain check until next time I see you? Today, I hope you feel special and celebrated!
  • Consider this your ticket to drinks on me — can’t wait to see you, sis! Happy birthday!

Happy Birthday Brother

  • I was always mom’s favorite, but I guess you’re okay. Happy birthday, bro!
  • You’re my big brother, and I still look up to you. Thank you for always being there for me. I hope you have a great birthday!
  • I’m so proud of the man that you are, and I’m glad you’re my brother. Happy birthday!
  • Who knew all those years when you tormented me that someday I’d be glad to have you in my life? But I really am! Happy birthday to the very best brother and a very good man!

Happy Birthday Mom

  • I can’t express how much you mean to me, Mom. I’m so thankful for you every day. Happy birthday!
  • Everything I like about myself, I learned from you. Thank you for being my role model, Mom. Happy birthday!
  • I take comfort in the fact that you’ll always be older than me — even if people do think we’re sisters! Happy birthday, Mama!
  • I owe you a whole lot of cakes — today I start attempting to pay up! See you later at the party, Mom, and happy birthday!

Happy Birthday Dad

  • Words are not enough to express how much you’ve done for me, Dad. I love you very much. Happy birthday!
  • Happy birthday, Dad. You always made me feel so special, and I hope you know how much you mean to me. I love you!
  • My best qualities came from watching you. Thank you for being an example for the best way to live, Dad. Happy birthday!
  • I can never beat the parties you threw for me, but I can try — see you later at the party, Dad. Happy birthday!

Happy Birthday Niece  

  • You are the sweetest niece ever, and I love spending time with you. Hope you have a happy day today!
  • I’m ready to be the cool aunt who spoils you on your big day, so think about what you want to do today! Happy birthday!
  • I’m older and wiser, so listen to me when I say — have fun and enjoy yourself today!
  • Let’s go to a fancy dinner to celebrate someday this week, just you and me. I want to give you your gift! Happy birthday!

Happy Birthday Nephew  

  • You’re the best nephew in the world, and I love hanging out with you. Have a great day today!
  • I’m ready to be the cool aunt who gets you something your parents don’t approve of, so let me know what that’s going to be. Happy birthday!
  • From your old and wise aunt, let me give you some advice – have so much fun today!!! Happy birthday!
  • Consider this one coupon to whatever action movie your mom refuses to see with you. Happy birthday to my favorite nephew!

Happy Birthday Cousin   

  • Happy birthday, cousin! I hope you have the greatest day!
  • Happy birthday to the one person I could always count on to make family gatherings more bearable. Hope you have fun today!
  • I’m so glad we’re related! I hope you have an amazing day today, and I look forward to seeing all the details on Facebook!
  • You’re not just my cousin; you’re my friend, too. I’m so thankful for you! Happy birthday!

Happy Birthday Sister in Law   

  • You might be the first thing ever my brother and I agree on — we both think you’re fantastic. I hope you have a wonderful day!
  • I feel so, so lucky to have you in my life. Who knew when I got a sister-in-law, I’d also be getting a friend. I hope you have the happiest of birthdays!
  • Thanks for putting up with our crazy family — you deserve all the gifts for that! Happy birthday!
  • My gift to you is two new stories you can use to embarrass my brother. Happy birthday!

Happy Birthday Brother in Law

  • I’m so thankful my sister picked you to spend her life with; I hope you have a happy birthday!
  • I’m so happy that we’re not just family, but we can all be friends, too. Very glad you’re in our lives — happy birthday!
  • Well, you put up with our crazy family, so we know you’re pretty much a superhero. Happy birthday!
  • Hope you have a great today today filled with beer, cake and no one making you watch a romantic comedy!
Getty Images / Kupicoo

Birthday Wishes for Your Spouse or Significant Other

You’ll do something for your significant other’s birthday — that’s a given. But how do you share your feelings as birthday wishes? We have the perfect sweet and romantic birthday wishes for your partner, wherever you are in your relationship.

Birthday Wishes for Husband

  • Happy birthday to the best husband I could ever hope to have. I’m so proud of you, and I hope we can make today really special!
  • Thank you for putting up with all my to-do lists and for always being there for me. Let’s make today special as we celebrate YOU!
  • Today, your wish is my command! I’m making your favorite dinner, we’ll have some cake, and let’s make today the best day ever. Happy birthday!
  • I’m so thankful I get to be your wife. You are strong and loving and brave and kind, and I hope you have the most wonderful birthday yet!

Birthday Wishes for Wife

  • Happy birthday to the most wonderful wife a man could ask for. I’m so lucky to have you, and I feel that every day.
  • I want you to know that I see all the things you do for me every day, and they mean so much to me. Thank you for working so hard to create a beautiful life for us; I hope I can create a beautiful day for you.
  • Your wish is my command today, sweetheart. I can’t wait to take you out to dinner later. Happy birthday!
  • I am so blessed to spend my life with such a wonderful woman; you are the most amazing wife and mother I’ve ever seen, and I love spending time with you. Happy birthday, honey!

Happy Birthday Girlfriend

  • Happy birthday to the best girlfriend ever! Let’s make today special … and take some good Instagram pics to make everyone jealous.
  • Happy birthday! I know things are new for us right now, but I’m enjoying being with you, and I think we have a bright future. But today, let’s celebrate our present — with presents!
  • I’m so lucky and happy to have you in my life. Happy birthday to the girlfriend all my friends are jealous of!
  • I want to make today special for you — can’t wait for dinner tonight! Happy birthday!
  • I love you, and I’m so happy we found each other. Let’s celebrate you today! Yay!

Happy Birthday Boyfriend

  • Happy birthday to the best boyfriend ever! Let’s get some beers and celebrate!
  • Happy birthday! I know our relationship is pretty new, but I’m really enjoying having fun and seeing where things go for us. Hope today is great!
  • I’m so thankful you’re in my life. Happy birthday to the boyfriend everyone wishes they had!
  • I love you, and I’m so grateful that you’re my girlfriend. Now, let’s celebrate!
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Birthday Wishes for Co-Workers

Wishing a coworker happy birthday or sending birthday wishes for a boss can go a long way toward cementing (or improving) your relationship with people you see at the office. These ideas for sending a quick birthday email can keep things professional while still making the day fun for a coworker.

  • Happy birthday to one of the people who makes coming to work every day worth it!
  • Because you were born, we get to eat cake today!
  • The best days are the days you get a piece of cake in the middle of the day — so thanks for having a birthday!
  • I personally think we should have a company holiday today to celebrate your greatness, but corporate didn’t go for it. Happy birthday anyway!
  • If your coworkers are like your family, you’d be my annoying big brother. But happy birthday anyway!
Caiaimage / Robert Daly / Getty Images

Happy Birthday Quotes

Sometimes, the words of others can help you find exactly what you want to say. From serious reflections on life to funny birthday quotes, we have a collection of famous sayings perfect for any birthday card.

Funny Birthday Quotes  

  • The secret of staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age. — Lucille Ball
  • You know you’re old when the candles cost more than the cake. — Bob Hope
  • There is still no cure for the common birthday. ― John Glenn
  • A diplomat is a man who always remembers a woman’s birthday but never remembers her age. — Robert Frost
  • Old age isn’t so bad when you consider the alternative. — Maurice Chevalier
  • Birthdays are good for you. Statistics show that the people who have the most live the longest. — Larry Lorenzoni
  • I’m 60 years of age. That’s 16 Celsius. — George Carlin
  • I’m at an age when my back goes out more than I do. — Phyllis Diller

Inspirational Birthday Quotes

  • The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate. — Oprah Winfrey
  • God gave us the gift of life; it is up to us to give ourselves the gift of living well. — Voltaire
  • There are two great days in a person's life — the day we are born and the day we discover why. — William Barclay
  • A birth-date is a reminder to celebrate the life as well as to update the life. — Amit Kalantri
  • It’s not true that people stop pursuing dreams because they grow old, they grow old because they stop pursuing dreams. — Gabriel G. Marquez
  • Age is opportunity no less than youth itself. — Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Birthday Quotes for a Friend

  • Youth is happy because it has the ability to see beauty. Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old. — Franz Kafka
  • The great thing about getting older is that you don't lose all the other ages you've been. — Madeleine L'Engle
  • The years teach much which the days never knew. — Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • It takes a long time to become young. — Pablo Picasso
  • Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art. — Eleanor Roosevelt
  • Birthdays are nature’s way of telling us to eat more cake. — Edward Morykwas
  • Everything I know I learned after I was 30. — Georges Clemenceau
  • The old believe everything; the middle-aged suspect everything; the young know everything. — Oscar Wilde

Birthday Quotes for Daughter

  • Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you! — Dr. Seuss
  • I think, at a child’s birth, if a mother could ask a fairy godmother to endow it with the most useful gift, that gift should be curiosity. — Eleanor Roosevelt
  • The heart of the giver makes the gift dear and precious. — Martin Luther
  • Very few people do anything creative after the age of 35. The reason is that very few people do anything creative before the age of 35. — Joel Hildebrand

Birthday Quotes for Sister 

  • We have to be able to grow up. Our wrinkles are our medals of the passage of life. They are what we have been through and who we want to be. — Lauren Hutton
  • We turn not older with years, but newer every day. — Emily Dickinson
  • After all, tomorrow is another day. — Margaret Mitchell
  • Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again. — C.S. Lewis
  • After 30, a body has a mind of its own. — Bette Midler
  • We are always the same age inside. — Gertrude Stein

Birthday Quotes for Mom

  • Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving. — Einstein
  • Our birthdays are feathers in the broad wing of time. — Jean Paul Richter
  • One of the signs of passing youth is the birth of a sense of fellowship with other human beings as we take our place among them. — Virginia Woolf
  • Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been. — Mark Twain
  • None are as old as those who have outlived enthusiasm. — Henry David Thoreau

Birthday Quotes for Son

  • Old age is like everything else. To make a success of it, you’ve got to start young. — Fred Astaire
  • All the world is birthday cake, so take a piece, but not too much. — George Harrison
  • It is never too late to be what you might have been. — George Eliot
  • Men do not quit playing because they grow old; they grow old because they quit playing. — Oliver Wendell Holmes
  • At 20 years of age, the will reigns; at 30, the wit; and at 40, the judgement. — Benjamin Franklin

Birthday Quotes for Husband

  • Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be! — Robert Browning
  • Cherish all your happy moments; they make a fine cushion for old age. — Booth Tarkington
  • Age is a case of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it don't matter. — Satchel Paige
  • If you are pining for youth I think it produces a stereotypical old man because you only live in memory, you live in a place that doesn’t exist. Aging is an extraordinary process where you become the person you always should have been. —David Bowie
  • A man is not old until regrets take the place of dreams. — John Barrymore

Birthday Quotes for Dad

  • With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come.  — William Shakespeare
  • Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at 20 or 80. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young. — Henry Ford
  • Age is a high price to pay for maturity. — Tom Stoppard
  • The years between 50 and 70 are the hardest. You are always being asked to do things, and yet you are not decrepit enough to turn them down. — T.S. Eliot
Getty Images / Dougal Waters

Birthday Poems

Whether you’re looking for something sweet and special for a sentimental birthday wish or something funny and lighthearted, we have a good roundup of birthday poems to share in a card or an email.

A Happy Birthday by Ted Kooser

This evening, I sat by an open window
and read till the light was gone and the book
was no more than a part of the darkness.
I could easily have switched on a lamp,
but I wanted to ride this day down into night,
to sit alone and smooth the unreadable page
with the pale gray ghost of my hand.

Copyright © 2004 by Ted Kooser, Delights and Shadows

A Birthday by Christina Rossetti

My heart is like a singing bird  
  Whose nest is in a water’d shoot;  
My heart is like an apple-tree  
  Whose boughs are bent with thick-set fruit;  
My heart is like a rainbow shell
  That paddles in a halcyon sea;  
My heart is gladder than all these,  
  Because my love is come to me.  
 
Raise me a daïs of silk and down;  
  Hang it with vair and purple dyes;
Carve it in doves and pomegranates,  
  And peacocks with a hundred eyes;  
Work it in gold and silver grapes,  
  In leaves and silver fleurs-de-lys;  
Because the birthday of my life
  Is come, my love is come to me.

Birthday Lights by Calef Brown

Light bulbs on a birthday cake.

What a difference that would make!

            Plug it in and make a wish,

            then relax and flip a switch!

No more smoke

            or waxy mess

            to bother any birthday guests.

But Grampa says, “it’s not the same!

            Where’s the magic?

            Where’s the flame?

To get your wish without a doubt,

You need to blow some candles out!”

Copyright © 2006 by Calef Brown, Flamingos on the Roof: Poems and Paintings

When You Are Old by W. B. Yeats

When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;

How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;

And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.

A Birthday Candle by Donald Justice

Thirty today, I saw

The trees flare briefly like

The candles on a cake,

As the sun went down the sky,

A momentary flash,

Yet there was time to wish

Copyright © 1960 by Donald Justice, The Summer Anniversaries

Dean Pictures

Birthday Blessings and Bible Verses

For your friend or family member who values religion and looks to God as a guide in life, sharing a Bible verse or a birthday blessing can be very special and thoughtful. Spread joy and good news from scripture with these religious birthday wishes and prayers meant to encourage and inspire.

  • The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your love, O Lord, endures forever — do not abandon the works of your hands. — Psalm 138:8
  • I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. — Psalm 139:14
  • I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that men will revere him. — Ecclesiastes 3:14
  • See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland. — Isaiah 43:19
  • “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. — Jeremiah 29:11
  • When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. — I Corinthians 13:11
  • Bing confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. — Philippians 1:6
  • Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. — Psalm 90:12

Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com The “NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.™

Getty Images / Hero Images

Belated Birthday Wishes

None of us are perfect, and sometimes we simply forget an important day. Luckily, sharing belated birthday wishes can still convey that we care about a person and want to celebrate them. Here are some of our favorite ways to say “happy belated birthday” to the people we are about.

  • I wanted to stand out from the pack, so I thought I’d wish you a happy birthday a few days late. Oh okay, I just messed up and forgot. I’m sorry!
  • Hope your day was so very happy — I feel terrible that I didn’t reach out on the actual day, but I’d love to make up for it. How’s lunch this week?
  • Whoops! You know me — a little flighty sometimes. Sorry I missed your special day, but I wanted to wish you a very happy belated birthday today!
  • I missed the important day, but I remember the important thing — that I love you and think you’re amazing! Happy belated birthday!
  • Oh no, I spaced out and missed your birthday! I’m back down to earth now, and I want to say I hope your day was oh so happy!
  • I have absolutely no good reason for missing your birthday; I just blanked! So sorry, and I hope your day was fantastic.
  • I’d love to hear all about what I missed; how was your birthday?
  • I bring belated tidings of good cheer — sorry I missed your birthday! Can I make up for it by buying you a drink?
  • Bad news: I forgot to wish you happy birthday. Good news: This means I owe you a post-birthday cake! Hope you had a happy day!
Getty Images / Donald Iain Smith

Text Message and Facebook Birthday Wishes

In today’s world, one of the most common ways to say “happy birthday” is by text or on Facebook. How do you make a Facebook post special? How do you turn a text message into a mini celebration? We have some fun ideas for ways to say happy birthday on social media or text message.

  • HBD to my favorite partner in crime!:woman-with-bunny-ears-partying:
  • Happy birthday to my oldest friend … who really isn’t that old, because what would that say about me?
  • How do you manage to look younger every year — even without a filter! Love you, and can’t wait to see you again!
  • I’d love to give you a hug, but since this is on the internet, I’ll have to hope it’s the thought that counts. Hope you have a happy day!
  • Happy, happy, happy, happy birthday! So glad you’re doing so well! :birthday-cake:
  • Consider this a coupon for a free drink next time we see each other!:clinking_glasses:
  • You’re looking beautiful on your big day — and every other day, too! Hope you have a happy day!
  • Hope your day is filled with friends, family, fun and celebration!
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