Christmas is coming! Too many sprouts, too much mulled wine, too many minced pies, too many home-made decorations… too many Christmas apps?
No chance — it’s impossible to navigate the modern Christmas without a bit of assistance. How long should you cook the Turkey for? Where can you get the best-priced gifts? What is Santa up to on his trip around the world?
Read on as we take you on an app-inspired journey through Christmas!
NORAD Tracks Santa [No Longer Available]
Have you been naughty or nice? Don’t worry, Santa Claus is coming to town anyway. The question is: when? The NORAD Tracks Santa app will help you find out.
The ‘North American Aerospace Defense Command’ (NORAD) has a 56-year-old tradition of helping you make sure Santa isn’t going to miss your town. It all started when a misprinted number on an advert in 1955 encouraged children to call St Nick, but instead forwarded calls to NORAD’s headquarters.
Luckily, they’ve moved with the times and progressed into the digital age. The app on the Play Store features a countdown to Santa’s departure time, a way to monitor Santa’s progress on Christmas Eve, and a game to help you get in the festive spirit.
Before Santa can come calling, you’re going to have to get out and do some serious shopping.
It’s not easy buying gifts for people. Kids will never be satisfied, elderly people already have enough jumpers, and you’ll never be able to afford a Ferrari or facelift to appease your significant other’s midlife crisis. Groupon can help.
There’s lots of ways to make use of Groupon. It saves you up to 90 percent on gift ideas in more than 500 cities around the world. It doesn’t just offer physical gifts, but also experience days such as flying in a hot air balloon or a spa pampering day, discounted rates in 5-star hotels and restaurants, and even cheap tickets for concerts, festivals, and sporting events.
Etsy is an alternative to eBay. It bills itself as the “world’s handmade marketplace” and is especially popular among indie artisans and designers — with lots of its items only available on limited runs or as one-offs.
It boasts more than 17 million items for sale from 800,000 sellers around the world. It makes the app perfect for finding a unique present for that difficult-to-buy-for person in your life, but it also provides you with an outlet if you’re a producer of Christmas-themed gifts.
Christmas List Snowball [No Longer Available]
So you’ve been spent all day fighting the Christmas hordes at the shops and get home to cross-check your purchases with your lists — only to discover you forgot to buy something for Aunty Joan.
You can avoid this nightmare scenario by using a gift organising tool such as the festively-themed Christmas List Snowball.
The app lets you add an unlimited number of recipients so you can track gifts on a person-by-person basis, even if you’ve got a big family. It also includes a way to monitor your Christmas budgets and develop wish-lists, while the paid app adds more advanced features like barcode scanning.
justWink Greeting Cards [No Longer Available]
Presents don’t mean much without an accompanying card. Indeed most people would agree that a thoughtfully written Christmas card with some kind words from a loved one means more to them than any present ever could.
If you’re not going to be physically with someone on December 25th, justWink Greeting Cards is a great solution. Produced by American Greetings — the world’s largest card company — the app lets you send cards electronically by email, social media, or SMS, but also by traditional postal channels.
Personalisation and customisation are key to the app’s appeal. You can add your own words, photos, videos, and even handwritten signatures (though plenty of ready-made content is available too).
Christmas Food [No Longer Available]
Santa has come and gone, the kids are happy, granddad loves his new socks, and everyone’s drinking sherry whilst waiting for Christmas dinner to be served.
Instead of just the usual dried turkey and soggy parsnips, why not try and do something different this year?
Christmas food will put a festive spin on even the blandest of recipes. The app has got your back, guiding you through how to cook the perfect turkey, unique ways of roasting potatoes, and different ways to make Christmas pudding more appealing.
Until the youngsters go to bed, your party games will probably be limited to charades, Monopoly, and cards. Once they’re all tucked up though, the adults of your group can finally enjoy some time by themselves.
What better way to celebrate than by playing some hilarious drinking games?
Wasted Fred is one of the best drinking game apps available in the app store at the moment. It’s got a more professional feel than a lot of similar options, and the four games featured are entirely unique to the app.
You can enter the players and tweak the rules while the app does all the hard work. It’s a guaranteed way to empty out your drinks cabinet!
Once all the hubbub of Christmas has died down, no doubt you’ll spare a thought for those who are less fortunate than yourself, those who couldn’t afford a Turke, or to give their kids the gifts they wanted.
Sadly, Christmas can be a time of immense sadness for a lot of people, and One Today is a great way to try and give something back to those suffering. The app lets you give $1 per day to causes and non-profit organisations that inspire you. It features a new cause every day, with recent projects including helping the 27,000 children who die each year from diarrhoea in Indonesia, Android tablets for the 25 percent of autism sufferers who cannot communicate verbally, and giving gifts to some of the 153 million orphan children around the world.
If the app isn’t available in your area, there are lots of other ways to donate to charities that offer help at Christmas.
Remember, Christmas is about community caring as much as it’s about fun with the family.
Did we miss any?
What apps do you rely on during the holiday season? Did we miss any? Let us know in the comments.
Make sure you also check out our list of pieces to motivate yourself in the New Year.