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Birthdays were made for celebrating, but phrases like “happy birthday,” “best wishes,” and “birthday greetings” are as fresh and exciting as week-old birthday cake. The next time you want to celebrate someone on their birthday, why not send them a handwritten card (or personalized ecard!) with an inspiring, humorous, or uplifting quote from a famous writer, actor, musician, or visionary?

We’ve compiled a comprehensive list of noteworthy quotes on the subject of birthdays, life, and the passage of time that will suit every person on your list — young and old alike.

For a lift

  1. “Go, shorty, it’s your birthday.” — 50 Cent
  2. “To keep the heart unwrinkled, to be hopeful, kindly, cheerful, reverent — that is to triumph over old age.” — Thomas Bailey Aldrich
  3. “Age is whatever you think it is. You are as old as you think you are.” — Muhammad Ali
  4. “Birthdays are inevitable, beautiful and very particular moments in our lives! Moments that bring precious memories back, celebrate the present times and give hope for the future.” — Babe Arish
  5. “Let us never know what old age is. Let us know the happiness time brings, not count the years.” — Decimus Magnus Ausonius
  6. “They say it’s your birthday / It’s my birthday too, yeah / They say it’s your birthday / We’re gonna have a good time / I’m glad it’s your birthday /Happy birthday to you” — The Beatles, “Birthday”
  7. “You don’t get older, you get better.” — Shirley Bassey
  8. “Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be, the last of life, for which the first was made.” — Robert Browning
  9. “We turn not older with years, but newer every day.” — Emily Dickinson
  10. “It is never too late to be what you might have been.” — George Eliot
  11. “Every birthday is a gift. Every day is a gift.” — Aretha Franklin
  12. “Today is the oldest you have been and the youngest you will ever be again. Make the most of it!” — Nicky Gumbel
  13. “Every year on your birthday you get to start anew.” — Sammy Hagar
  14. “In other words, live vicariously, beautifully, and excitedly, discover, love, dare, and act as there is nothing to lose.” — Andy Hertz
  15. “The way I see it, you should live everyday like it’s your birthday.” — Paris Hilton
birthday quotes with lighting candles on birthday cake
  1. “Whatever with the past has gone, the best is always yet to come.” — Lucy Larcom
  2. “The purpose of our lives is to be happy.” — Dalai Lama
  3. “Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you!” — Dr. Seuss
  4. “My life is better with every year of living it.” — Rachel Maddow
  5. “Please don’t retouch my wrinkles. It took me so long to earn them.” — Anna Magnani
  6. “Love the life you live. Live the life you love.” — Bob Marley
  7. “Don’t just count your years, make your years count.” — George Meredith
  8. “Keep smiling, because life is a beautiful thing and there’s so much to smile about.” — Marilyn Monroe
  9. “A birthday is not a day to fear. It is a day to celebrate and look forward to the coming year.” — Byron Pulsifer
  10. “Birthdays come but once a year, celebrate and be of good cheer.” — Robert Rivers
  11. “Because time itself is like a spiral, something special happens on your birthday each year: The same energy that God invested in you at birth is present once again.”— Menachem Mendel Schneerson
  12. “With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come.” — William Shakespeare
  13. “Your birthday is the beginning of your own personal new year. Your first birthday was a beginning, and each new birthday is a chance to begin again, to start over, to take a new grip on life.” — Wilfred Peterson
  14. “Do your dance, it’s your birthday.” — Usher
  15. Love the giver more than the gift.” — Brigham Young

For a laugh

  1. “Let them eat cake.” — Marie Antoinette
  2. “The secret of staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age.” — Lucille Ball
  3. “I like birthday cake. It’s so symbolic. It’s a tempting symbol to load with something more complicated than just ‘Happy birthday!’ because it’s this emblem of childhood and a happy day.” — Aimee Bender
  4. “A friend never defends a husband who gets his wife an electric skillet for her birthday.” — Erma Bombeck
  5. “Nice to be here? At my age, it’s nice to be anywhere.” — George Burns
  6. “At twenty years of age, the will reigns; at thirty, the wit; and at forty, the judgment.” — Benjamin Franklin
  7. “A diplomat is a man who always remembers a woman’s birthday but never remembers her age.” — Robert Frost
  8. “Put candles in a cake, it’s a birthday cake. Put candles in a pie, and somebody’s drunk in the kitchen.” — Jim Gaffigan
  9. “All the world is birthday cake, so take a piece, but not too much.” — George Harrison
  10. “Age is not important unless you are a cheese.” — Helen Hayes
birthday quotes with girl holding flower cake
  1. “Old age is fifteen years older than I am.” — Oliver Wendell Holmes
  2. “Middle age is when your age starts to show around your middle.” — Bob Hope
  3. “When it comes to birthdays, I think there are two camps. There are people like me, who choose to treat it like any other day, and then there are the ‘birthday people.’ You know, those people who claim the full month in which they were born as their own. — Dan Levy
  4. “Birthdays are good for you. Statistics show that the people who have the most live the longest.” — Larry Lorenzoni
  5. “The reason I met my husband was because I remembered a friend’s birthday. The moral of the story is: Remember people’s birthdays.” — Julianna Margulies
  6. “Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.” — Groucho Marx
  7. “The first hundred years are the hardest.” — Wilson Mizner
  8. “When the candles on your cake burn down before they are all lit, you know you are getting up there.” — Catherine Pulsifer
  9. “Middle age is when you still believe you’ll feel better in the morning. — Bob Hope
  10. “Eventually you reach a point when you stop lying about your age and start bragging about it.” — Will Rogers
  1. “You know you’re getting old when you get that one candle on the cake. It’s like, ‘See if you can blow this out.'” — Jerry Seinfeld
  2. “Just remember, once you’re over the hill you begin to pick up speed.” — Charles Schulz
  3. “Let us respect gray hairs, especially our own.” — J. P. Sears
  4. “The good thing about getting older is if you don’t want to do something you can say, I’m too old to do that!” — Kate Summers
  5. “You know you’re getting old when the candles cost more than the cake.” — Bob Hope
  6. “Birthdays are a great time to stop and appreciate gravity. Sure, it makes things sag as you get older, but it also keeps your cake from flying all over the room, so you don’t have to chase it.” — Greg Tamblyn
  7. “The older you get the better you get, unless you are a banana.” — Betty White
  8. “The old believe everything; the middle-aged suspect everything; the young know everything.” — Oscar Wilde
  9. “As you get older, three things happen: The first is your memory goes, and I can’t remember the other two.” — Norman Wisdom

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For inspiration

  1. “Live not one’s life as though one had a thousand years, but live each day as the last.” — Marcus Aurelius
  2. “There are two great days in a person’s life — the day we are born and the day we discover why.” — William Barclay
  3. “The years teach much which the days never knew.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
  4. “You were born and with you endless possibilities, very few ever to be realized. It’s okay. Life was never about what you could do, but what you would do.” — Richelle E. Goodrich
  5. “Live the full life of the mind, exhilarated by new ideas, intoxicated by the romance of the unusual.” — Ernest Hemingway
  6. “Men do not quit playing because they grow old; they grow old because they quit playing.” — Oliver Wendell Holmes
  7. “Life is ours to be spent, not to be saved.” — D. H. Lawrence
  8. “The great thing about getting older is that you don’t lose all the other ages you’ve been.” — Madeleine L’Engle
  9. “And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” — Abraham Lincoln
  10. “Today you have added another candle of knowledge and wisdom to your life. May it give you the power to enlighten the whole world.” — Debasish Mridha
birthday quotes with happy older couple
  1. “It takes a long time to become young.” — Pablo Picasso
  2. “Old age: A great sense of calm and freedom. When the passions have relaxed their hold, you may have escaped, not from one master but from many.” — Plato
  3. “Our birthdays are feathers in the broad wings of time.” — Jean Paul Richter
  4. “To know how to grow old is the masterwork of wisdom, and one of the most difficult chapters in the great art of living.” — Tom Stoppard
  5. “No wise man ever wished to be younger.” — Jonathan Swift
  6. “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So, throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover!” ­— Mark Twain
  7. “God gave us the gift of life; it is up to us to give ourselves the gift of living well.” — Voltaire
  8. “Wisdom doesn’t necessarily come with age. Sometimes age just shows up all by itself.” — Tom Wilson
  9. “From our birthday, until we die, / Is but the winking of an eye.” — William Butler Yeats

For perspective

  1. “I realized it was only me who was stopping myself from living my life.” — Jennifer Aniston
  2. “Old age is like everything else. To make a success of it, you’ve got to start young.” — Fred Astaire
  3. “A birthday is just another day where you go to work, and people give you love. Age is just a state of mind, and you are as old as you think you are. You have to count your blessings and be happy.” — Abhishek Bachchan
  4. “We grow neither better nor worse as we get old, but more like ourselves.” — Bernard Baruch
  5. “There are three hundred and sixty-four days when you might get un-birthday presents, and only one for birthday presents, you know.” — Lewis Carroll
  6. “Old age isn’t so bad when you consider the alternative.” — Maurice Chevalier
  7. “Don’t regret another birthday, the good news is that you are alive and can celebrate it.” — Catherine Pulsifer
A birthday ad showing gift ideas for October birthdays.
  1. “If we could be twice young and twice old, we could correct all our mistakes.” — Euripides
  2. “A child whose birthday is coming up is so excited, they count down the days. But as we get older, we seem to lose the excitement. We need to rethink and be happy we have reached another birthday.” — Theodore W. Higginsworth
  3. “Each ten years of a man’s life has its own fortunes, its own hopes, its own desires.” — Goethe
  4. “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the result of other people’s thinking.” — Steve Jobs
  1. “Life really does begin at forty. Up until then, you are just doing research.” — Carl Jung
  2. “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.” — Helen Keller
  3. “Most of us can remember a time when a birthday — especially one’s own — brightened the world as if a second sun has risen.” — Robert Staughton Lynd
  4. “The best birthdays of all are those that haven’t arrived yet.” — Robert Orben
  5. “How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?” — Satchel Paige
  6. “Youth has no age.” — Pablo Picasso
  7. “A birthday is a time to reflect on the year gone by, but to also set your goals for the upcoming year.” — Catherine Pulsifer
  8. “Each day is a new beginning. I know that the only way to live my life is to try to do what is right, to take the long view, to give of my best in all that the day brings, and to put my trust in God.” — Queen Elizabeth II
  9. “May you live all the days of your life.” — Jonathan Swift
  10. “Life is ten percent what happens to me and ninety percent how I react to it.” — Charles Swindoll
  11. “Cherish all your happy moments; they make a fine cushion for old age.” — Booth Tarkington
  12. “The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.” — Oprah Winfrey

Rebecca Razo has over 20 years of experience in book and magazine publishing, editorial project management, and content creation. She has overseen the creative development of hundreds of books, and she writes across multiple categories, including art, DIY, home decor, lifestyle, and more. Originally from Southern California, Rebecca now lives in the Pacific Northwest where she enjoys hiking, reading, baking, and cuddling with her two dogs and cat.

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