What constitutes a nice birthday message depends on the recipient, but most people enjoy happy birthday messages with humor, personal sentiments or heartfelt well wishes. Before delivering a happy birthday message, a person should consider whose birthday it is as well as his relationship to that person.
If the person having a birthday is a close friend with a robust sense of humor, a funny birthday message is the most appropriate. Possibilities for making a happy birthday message funny include poking fun at the recipient's age, giving him a gag gift or embarrassing him in a good-natured way. However, anyone deciding to employ edgy humor in a happy birthday message should make sure he knows the recipient well enough to be clear on what topics are off-limits.
Someone wishing happy birthday to a romantic partner, parent or relative should opt for a message that is more personal or heartfelt. This could be as simple as mentioning something that they've shared together over the past year.
Finally, anyone who has racked his brain and still cannot come up with the perfect birthday message should keep in mind that it's hard to go wrong by deferring to a simple, tried-and-true, "Happy birthday!"