Holiday Cheer: There’s an App for That
It’s holiday time and you have meals to cook, cookies to bake and parties to plan. Add this to your ever-growing list of stores you have to visit to get all of those presents bought before your “to-do’s” turn into “I don’t wanna’s.” To reduce a little stress, we have compiled a list of the hottest, must-have apps to help you get some holiday cheer back in to your life.
Holiday traveling with kids can be a pain. Not only are there baby clothes to pack but diapers, strollers and car seats — we’re stressed just thinking about it! Never fear, terrified parents: Packing (+To Do) will keep you organized and prepared. This app allows you to create unlimited packing lists and customize them by deleting or adding items to fit your travel plans. Sample lists are available, as well as lists made specifically for male or female travelers and light packers. Items may be sorted by what’s packed and what’s still unpacked, and those traveling by plane can keep track of their items’ total weight to avoid those overweight-luggage fees.
We are revisiting this app for this edition. If you ever work up the guts/energy/time to plan a large party, Simple Soiree will be your best friend. Start by selecting your party’s theme, location, date and time. Then you can invite guests directly from your iPhone’s contact list or from scratch. Your guests will receive an email with all the details and can click a link to RSVP; the app keeps track of the yeses, nos and maybes. You can also create as many shopping/to-do lists as you want — menu, décor, entertainment — and compile them into one big list to take with you when running errands.
For the Kids: Santa Tracker & Santa Message2U
With Santa Tracker, you will have the ability to track Santa as he gets ready for his Christmas Eve travels. Your kids can see photos of Santa around the world or read his blog to stay informed of all the toy-making happenings at the North Pole. A timer counts down how many days there are until Christmas to get everyone excited for the big day. Our favorite feature is the Santa letter, which lets your child get in touch with Santa — and receive a response in return!
If you need a little extra help in the holiday magic-making department, check out the Santa Message2U app, which lets you record messages as “Santa” and play them back for your kids. The app’s voice-modulation feature makes your voice sound exactly like the jolly guy himself or — even funnier! — one of the elves in the North Pole. You can add in background noises from Santa’s workshop for extra authenticity, and all messages can be saved and replayed for your children as many times as they want.
‘Tis the season of giving, and while shopping for presents is fun, it’s hard to keep track of what you bought, how much money you’ve spent and who you still need to buy for. Enter Better Christmas List, which lets you create shopping groups for family, friends, teachers, etc. and set and track budgets for groups or individuals. (The app conveniently alerts you when you’ve blown your budget.) There’s also a nifty gift archive, where you can list the gifts you’ve purchased to avoid buying two of the same thing.
Lifecards is a lifesaver when it comes to sending holiday postcards. The app has more than 350 templates you can choose from, with spaces for text and up to four photos, which you can rescale and rotate as you please. You can also apply sepia or black-and-white filters to your photos and customize the text color, font and alignment of your holiday greeting. When your cards are done, you can email them straight to friends and family — no cards to print, envelopes to lick or stamps to buy!