It's that most wonderful time of year for Christians, when friends and families can bond, share quality time together and exchange gifts. And your smartphone can join in on the fun. Send out holiday greetings, count down to the big day, play holiday-themed games and more with this assortment of the best Christmas apps.
Keeping track of the holiday shopping for your friends and family can be an organizational headache. The Christmas List app for iOS devices helps you plan out your Christmas gift shopping, with budgeting per-person, shopping lists that can be categorized by store, gift status tracking (shipped, received, wrapped, and so on), and more. It's a helpful set of organizational resources, though, at $1.99, it doesn't come free.
For a free gifts list manager on Android devices, check out the Christmas Gift List app. Users can set up customized gift lists, creating profiles of people they plan to send presents to, as well as jotting down gift ideas and their budget, complete with personalized notes, images or a link to each gift idea. Once the list is done, you can mark items as "bought" and "wrapped," and the app will keep track of how many more items need to be bought and wrapped, the amount left in your gifts budget and the number of days left before Christmas.
Part of the problem with holiday gift-shopping is the worry that the gift is something that your friend or family member might not want, need, or find special. Giftster (Android, iOS) gets around that by serving as a gift ideas registry that you can sign up to with friends and family, allowing each user to create a list of items they'd like or prefer, and which friends and contacts can mark as something they've already bought. Users can record things like clothing sizes, rank gift ideas, and set the visibility of particular gift lists, and set up a Secret Santa among particular groups of contacts. The app's also great for other occasions like birthdays, weddings, and other gift-giving celebrations where you don't want to double up.
The holiday season can be incredibly hectic, with social obligations like company and neighborhood parties, get-togethers, family reunions, as well as shopping. Picniic (Android, iOS) is a handy family organizer that busy parents can use to coordinate their holiday schedules, planning out a shared family calendar for parents and kids, as well as to-do lists for things like gift-shopping, and a family locator. A premium subscription starting at $11.99 a month adds more features like an information locker and recipe planner. It's not strictly a Christmas app, but it is a helpful addition to the app arsenal of harried parents this time of year.
Dr. Seuss's classic Christmas tale, How The Grinch Stole Christmas, is brought to life as an interactive e-book app for Android and iOS devices. The app is lavishly illustrated with pictures from the storybook. The story can be read out loud by a narrator, or you can record your voice as you read along. Heartwarming and neatly presented, How The Grinch Stole Christmas makes for a nice Christmas story to share and enjoy with kids.
A Charlie Brown Christmas brings the 1965 TV classic to life as an interactive storybook app for Android and iOS devices. Narrated by Peter Robbins, the original voice of Charlie Brown, the app features dialogue, sound effects and illustrations from the original, as well as modern flourishes such as mini-games and interactive illustrations.
Red Stamp (Android, iOS) allows you to create customized greeting cards from the comfort of your device's screen. Card creation is a snap, with numerous templates, customizations, and the ability to add your own images and text. There's a generous selection of templates, with more collections available as in-app purchases. While you can commission and mail your custom card, Red Stamp also allows you to email, share or download your card.