A friend asked me to be a godparent for his first child. Due to Covid, I really haven't seen my godson since his first birthday so he really doesn't know me. I am sending a birthday gift with a card. He knows me by my handle since we have played some online games together. How should I sign the birthday card?

Have a great birthday!

Uncle Bob? Godfather Bob? Bob? Bob Smith? Mr. Bob?

1 Answer 1


Generally it's best to work out titles with the child's parents. Some people feel very strongly about their title and choose it themselves. For example a grandmother might be Nana, Granny, Grandma etc. Others, especially nonrelatives, don't mind what they are called and are happy to let the parents choose or go with a default "Auntie" or "Uncle" often given to close family friends. So ask yourself, if the child did visit you, and wanted your attention, how would you want to be greeted? "Unca Bob"? Just plain "Bob"?

Then check with your friends, since this hasn't come up before, that they are ok with your choice. Many parents don't like their children calling adults by unadorned first names, for example. I've been overruled in my "call me Kate" wishes by parents who insist on Mrs Gregory or Auntie Kate. Since these friends of yours are close enough to name you a godparent, you're close enough to have a quick chat about their preferences as well as yours.

Finally, when it comes time to sign the card, you don't need a single title to do all the heavy lifting of reminding him who you are. You can write something like

Happy Birthday from your doting godparent, Uncle Bob. Looking forward to playing more [whatever system your handle is on] together. Remember [Child's Handle] doesn't always beat [Your Handle] :-)

Now you've solved the problem of writing something more than just Happy Birthday in the card (I always felt, with the nieces and nephews I didn't see often, that I really didn't know what to write), asserted your godparentness, reminded everyone how you want to be greeted, and helped connect this card to the person the child plays with online. Mission Accomplished.

  • 1
    I wanted to add, there is no salutation specifying godparent, godmother or godfather In fact, I see my godparents once every 10 years or so, and the subject of me being their godson, or them being my godparents, has never come up. Likewise with my godsons, the subject has never come up!
    – Awesome
    Commented Mar 27, 2022 at 5:29

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.