Since a very long time I have used conky to display things on my desktop. For getting birthday notifications I today share a small script called print_birthdays.sh, that outputs recent birthdays that were filtered from a text file with many birthday entries like
dd.mm.yyyy FIRSTNAME MIDDLENAME LASTNAME
by using awk. The output will be something like
~$ print_birthdays.sh 08.04. Dasy McMillan > 10.04.1955 Dad (59) 13.04.1987 Anne (27)
Today’s birthdays are marked with an arrow and other birthdays within the specified range of days are displayed. The script will also check the birthday list for changes and sort the content by date if it was changed lately, so you can just add new entries at the bottom and the lines will (after a while) be in chronological order. Have fun with this.