Birthday Tidbits & Trivia

We love birthdays at GiftSimple. And we believe that everyone should get a gift they really want. But where did the practice of birthday celebrations come from? We did a little digging (i.e. searched the internet) and came up with the following birthday trivia. Let us know what you think in the comments or on our Facebook page. Have you heard any of these tidbits before?

1. The first birthday celebrations were pagan in nature. It was believed that on a person’s birthday he is susceptible to evil spirits so family and friends would gather around the birthday celebrator to protect him.

2. The early Christians and Jews rejected the celebration of birthday as it was considered idolatrous. This changed during the Roman Empire, due to the prominent religion at the time, Mithraism, which was later supplanted by Christianity.

3. The custom of lighting a birthday cake with candles began with the Greeks who worshipped Artemis, the goddess of the moon. That’s why the traditional shape of a birthday cake is round, to imitate the moon. The candles represent the moon’s glow.

4. Close to two billion Birthday Cards are sent each year in the U.S. alone, accounting for nearly 58 percent of all cards sent. Wouldn’t you prefer a contribution to your gift on GiftSimple?

5. The most common birth date in the US is October 5 and the least common is May 22.

6. The day of the week in which the most babies are born is Tuesday while the fewest are born on Sunday.

7. The Sultan of Brunei hosted the world’s most expensive Birthday Party to celebrate his 50th Birthday on July 13, 1996. The cost was $27.2 million.

8. You might celebrate your birthday every year, but your actual birthday only occurs once every 7 years. Not counting the leap years, the date you were born on moves each year to the following day of the week. This means your annual celebration is actually for your birth-date - not your birth-day! In truth the actual day you were born on occurs only every 7 years.

9. The melody of “Happy Birthday to You” comes from the song “Good Morning to All”, which was written and composed by American siblings Patty Hill and Mildred J. Hill in 1893.

10. A person’s Golden or Grand Birthday, also referred to as their “Lucky Birthday”, “Champagne Birthday” or “Star Birthday”, occurs when they turn the age of their birth day (e.g. when someone born on the 23rd of the month turns 23).

11. In some historically Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox countries it is common to have a ‘name day’ or ‘Saint’s day’. It is celebrated in much the same way as a birthday, but is held on the official day of a saint with the same Christian name as the birthday person.

How many of these have you heard before? Leave a comment or post on our Facebook page. And remember, if you’re saving up for something, GiftSimple can help you pool contributions from friends and family. Get the stuff you want from the people you know!

Source: Wikipedia, The Holiday Spot, philSTAR and others

Back to School Tech Gifts on GiftSimple

August is in full swing and that means “Back to School” is just around the corner. When I look back on college, I remember the fun, the freedom and all the friendships; but, we tend to look back with rose-colored glasses, forgetting about all the stress and anxiety we felt. So if your child, or someone you know, is heading off to school soon, he or she might be freaking out. How can you help? By making sure they have everything they need to succeed. CNET has published its annual back to school tech guide, comprising gift ideas for any budget. Here are their Top 5:

All-in-one Printer

It might be the norm to submit papers via email but there are still times when it will be necessary to do it the old-fashioned way - paper and ink.  The Epson Stylus NX430 can help with any students printing-copying-scanning-faxing needs for $80. 

Epson  StylusEpson Stylus


Unless you want your kids college experience documented as a shmorgas-board of Facebook photos, a real camera might be a good gift idea. CNET picks the Canon EOS Rebel T3i for $610.

Canon Camera

Mindless Entertainment

School might be a place for learning, but sometimes a student just need a break. That’s where gifts like a new TV or Roku box come in. Perhaps these gifts will result in more movie-nights and fewer keggers. Suggested models include the Panasonic TC-P50ST50 for $1,200 and the Roku HD for $60. 

Panasonic TV  Roku


A computer is likely the most important tool for any student. Students will need a solid computer for trolling Facebook, downloading music, and of course writing papers at 3am. CNET suggests a Dell Inspiron 14z for $900.

Dell Inspiron 14z


Students will have one less excuse for not calling if you buy them a smartphone before heading back to school. Rumors have the new iPhone coming out in September, so hold off buying one now. Instead, CNET recommends the Motorola Droid Razr Maxx for $100. Students will appreciate it’s long battery life and durability. 


Let us know in the comments what back to school gifts you’re planning to buy and what you think about the picks above.  What will you be listing on GiftSimple?

Get Dad the Gift He Really Wants for Father’s Day

Dad might say “I don’t want anything” when you ask him what he wants for Father’s Day. And he might be happy with a phone call and and “I love you,” but what if you could help him buy something he’s been saving for - the gift he really wants but can’t, or won’t, buy himself? GiftSimple can help you organize a group gift for Dad. And if you’re the kind of person that waits until the last minute, don’t fret - GiftSimple is quick and simple! Learn more at or by visiting our app on Facebook.

Here are a few Father’s Day gift suggestions. Let us know what you think in the comments below.

1. Apple iPad ($499

Is your Dad the only one of his friends without an iPad? Does he keep coming up with an excuse to use yours?  Now’s the perfect time to chip in an buy it for him.

Apple iPad

2. Flying Lessons or Other New Experience 

Why not help Dad afford that new experience he’s been wanting to try. Whether it’s learning to fly a plane, golf lessons, car racing or a yoga retreat, GiftSimple can help you pool money from friends and family to help Dad experience something new!

Flying Lessons

3. Wine Tour or a Great Bottle of Wine

Has Dad been dreaming about going on a wine tour of Tuscany or Bordeaux? Help make his dream a reality. Or consider buying him a great bottle of wine from that region with a note suggesting he list the trip on GiftSimple and start saving up for next year! 


4. Sports Tickets

Whether Dad prefers baseball, football, basketball, hockey, or NASCAR, tickets to a big sporting event are a great way to make him happy and spend some quality time together. 


Let us know in the comments what gifts you gave Dad this year. 

Happy Father’s Day! Love you Dad!

Creative Ways to Give Cash Gifts

The end of the school year means it’s time for graduation gifts and teachers’ gifts. Our last post outlined Practical Gifts for Grads using GiftSimple (see below). Cash is the most practical gift, but can sometimes seem impersonal.  Here are a few ways to get more creative with cash giving:

1. GiftSimple (of course!)

GiftSimple is a social gift registry, where users register for gifts and tap into their Facebook network to pool contributions from friends and family. It’s like layaway, with a little help from your friends. And GiftSimple can also be used to organize group gifts for others. Perfect for end-of-year teacher gifts, or that friend who won’t tell you what he/she wants. Visit us at, follow us on twitter @GiftSimple, visit out page on Facebook, and view our boards on Pinterest.

2. Box of Chocolates Money (

Box of Money

This clever gift is sure to get a smile. While it’s a great way to give your Grad cash, it can be used for almost any occasion. If the gift recipient is leaving on a trip, you can include the currency of their destination.

3. Money Soap (

Money Soap

Talk about delayed gratification! Putting money in soap might be slightly cruel but it is definitely creative. And a great way to make sure your Grad keeps his hands clean!

Do you have other creative ways to give cash gifts? Tell us in the comments below or write on our Facebook Wall.

Happy Cash Gifting!

You Shouldn’t Have! No, Really… The Worst Gifts (Part 1)

At GiftSimple our goal is to make gifting simple. We want to help you get the stuff you want from the people you know. Emphasis on “the stuff you want.”  At some point we have all received a bad gift. But have you ever received a gift so bad that you were rendered speechless? Something so terrible you couldn’t re-gift it because there was no one you disliked enough? We asked our customers to share their worst gifts with us.  Here is a preview with some of our favorites. If you have a bad gift you would like to share with us, comment below, send us a message or post on our Facebook wall.

1. A Re-gifted Book

I love books. They are usually a safe bet if you are buying me a gift. However, a re-gifted book, with a handwritten note from the original gift giver to the gift receiver (who is now the gift giver), is not OK!  A lot of people re-gift but be sure to check for any personalization before passing the gift along to a new recipient. 

2. Coupons

If someone needs to shell out their own money to enjoy your gift, then perhaps it’s not really a gift. Discount coupons and Buy-One-Get-One-Free vouchers aren’t gifts.

3. Pets

Puppies might be adorable but they are also a huge commitment. Pet ownership is a responsibility that should never be imposed on someone by a gift.

4. That Questionable Thing From Your Basement

If you’re not sure what something is, chances are the person you are giving it to won’t know either. Calling something a “conversation piece,” doesn’t make it a good gift. Some things are better left in the basement (or the trash).

5. A Scale.

Really? I can’t believe anyone thought this was an appropriate gift. Weight is a very sensitive topic for many people. No matter how fancy, a bathroom scale screams “you should lose some weight.” And is that the right message for a gift? I think not!  Editor’s Note: This includes gym memberships. Unless specifically requested by the recipient, giving someone a gym membership is not a good idea.

More to come!

Please continue to send us your gifting horror stories and you might find yourself featured in our next blog post. 

GiftSimple is a social gifting site (and Facebook app) for all of life’s events. Register for the gift you want and tap into your social network to pool contributions from friends. The money is yours to use on whatever you like, whenever you like, and wherever you like!

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