It’s holiday time, and you all know what that means: a long list of stuff to do and all of the relevant stress. Instead of getting overwhelmed, let your smart phone do the work for you and enjoy a very h”app”y holiday season!
Here are 15 of my favorite holiday smartphone apps in the categories of gifting, travel, entertaining, and even exercise to help you get through the season with ease.
Santa Tracker ($.99) – My kids have always been enormous fans of the NORAD Santa tracker – but using the computer site tends to tie you to the house. Use this app to track Santa, send a letter, or even visit his blog.
Christmas Gifts List (free) – We’ve all done it. You bought a gift for someone and then realized that you spent more on her sister. This app will help you avoid that sticky situation. You can track gift giving by amount, note individual preferences and add wish list items.
Mint.com (free)- The pinnacle of budgeting, now conveniently located on your phone. Manage your money, budgets, expenses and bills in the palm of your hand. Add categories, and never lose money again.
Amazon Mobile (free) – Quite possibly my favorite mobile app, this free beauty puts the entire Amazon store in the palm of your hand. You can search for products, add to your wish list, and order in one click, which is possibly the most addictive aspect of the entire situation.
Christmas Radio (free)- This app is like your Pandora, but all Christmas music, all the time, from stations all over the world. You can even allow the app to keep track of your favorite songs and stations. As a bonus, I’ve used this in the gym to race myself on the treadmill.
Packing To Do ($.99)- I don’t know about you, but every single time I travel I forget something. Next time, I’m going to use this app. Use the prepared lists and cross off items as you add them in to your suitcase, and keep a list of items you still need to add.
Groupon/Daily Deal (free) – I’ve long been a fan of these online coupon sites, except for the fact that I often forget to A) print them or B) bring them with me. Now many of these deal sites offer a mobile app. You no longer need to print the coupon; merely present the loaded page to the vendor.
Pro Football Insider (free) – Not just for die hard football fans, this app can come in handy if you are stuck at a party. It can give you scores, stats and upcoming action for your favorite teams and share little known trivia with you.
Dreidel HD ($1.99)- Forgot your dreidel at the family Hanukkah gathering? No sweat – use this app to play dreidel with up to 4 players total. Fun sound effects and competition makes this app good clean family fun.
Epicurious (free) – The ubiquitous star of the recipe app section, this favorite is tops for a reason. Search by ingredient, create shopping lists, browse recipes by section, shop on the go with lists and even share recipes with friends – this tiny little app has everything you need to create a delicious, healthy dinner. It even comes with cooking friendly photos to help you out of a jam.
Google Shopper (free) – Search for a product by UPC or by typing or speaking the product name. Quickly locate the best price, both local and online and where it can be found. Save to your shopping list and share with friends.
Cards (free to download, $2.99 per card) – Are you one of those people (OK, include me here) who continually forgets to mail thank you cards? Use this app to take a photo, create a card, and it will be addressed and mailed for you. You can create cards on the fly from wherever you are and a quality card will be delivered to your sender with Apple designed postage. Never be thought of as ill-mannered again!
Jillian Michaels Slim Down (free) – All the convenience of the online site in the palm of your hand. This app comes with daily tips from Jillian, slimming recipes and targeted exercises designed to be browsed by type and muscle group. If you upgrade, you can use the message boards to post and respond to questions with other app users.
A Charlie Brown Christmas ($4.99) – I can’t help it. I’m a sucker for that little bald headed kid, and this app ties in my very favorite parts of the show. Play Schroder’s piano, decorate your own pathetic Christmas tree, and sing along with the gang. It’s all the fun of the beloved traditional program right on your phone.
NudgerSize ($.99) – Need a little motivation to get the exercise started? Check out this app – fully customizable to fit your needs. Want a gentle nudge? Need a drill Sargent barking in your ear? Either one can easily be set up. Set up single or multiple voice reminders, in your choice of voice, and sound alerts to encourage you to add more exercise in and get the job done.