The countdown to Christmas instils a mix of stress and excitement in all of us.
Whether it’s wrapping endless presents, trying to buy all the ingredients for your big meal, or riding the subway with your Christmas tree in tow, the holiday struggle is real.
But whilst everybody else heads out to the over-crowded shops to buy their last minute gifts, be smart. Because as it turns out, there’s only one store you need to visit this Christmas: the App Store.
From keeping track of your parcel deliveries to finding the perfect festive playlist, there are plenty of apps out there to offer a much-needed hand with the old Xmas prep.
Here’s our shortlist of the top ten that you need to download to avoid any Christmas mis-apps. (Sorry, we had to.)
1. Santa’s Bag
When you have a big family, it can be hard to keep track of everyone—let alone their Christmas gifts. Santa’s bag lets you create lists of recipients, set a budget for each person, jot down your gift ideas, and even share your lists. The downside? There’s no excuse for forgetting to buy a present for your second cousin anymore.
Gone are the days of waiting at home between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. on Christmas Eve for a parcel that never arrives. The Deliveries app shows you a summary of all your packages, with a countdown to their expected arrival date. You can even track their whereabouts on a map. One to recommend to your half sister, who’s been telling you that your gift “hasn’t been delivered yet” for the last three years.
3. One Today
Christmas is a time for doing good. And luckily there’s an app for that. Developed by Google, One Today will notify you about a different non profit organization every day, based on your interests. You can choose to donate between $1 to $10 for each project. You can even set up a donation rally with your friends on social media for the ones that really tug on your heartstrings.
Like Tinder, but for food. Yes, you read that right. Tender shows you pictures of food. Like something? Swipe right to get the recipe. If it’s not for you, swipe left to move on. For those who have people to entertain over the holidays and are stuck for cooking ideas, this is the answer to your foodspiration prayers.
5. Christmas Radio
Riffling through your old CD collection to locate your dusty copy of The Beach Boys’ Christmas album from 1964 does not have to be an integral part of the holidays. The Christmas Radio app lets you choose from over 50 festive radio stations, without paying a cent. The hardest part? Choosing between North Pole Radio and Kristmas Kountry.
6. Secret Santa Tombola
It’s happened to all of us. We agree to participate in the office Secret Santa, only to get paired with someone we don’t know the slightest thing about. Luckily, Secret Santa Tombola has your back. The app asks you a series of questions, and uses it’s sixth sense to recommend a gift.
7. Good Food
The Good Food app itself is free, but you pay an extra $1.99 for the festive cookbook. And oh is that a $1.99 well spent. The app provides you with a wealth of Christmas recipes, cooking tools, and a shopping list feature. It even comes with a turkey timer. You can’t say fairer than that.
8. Elf Yourself
Forget to send a Christmas card to your in-laws? Fear not, for now you can paste your face onto a elf, make him dance around to cheesy holiday music, and send a video of the whole charade as a last-minute e-card. You can have up to five elves per video, so knock yourself out. You can even elf your entire family.
Your office Christmas food collection takes app form in Copia. If you’re hosting an event or a company dinner, you can use this app to put your surplus food to a good cause. Copia’s algorithm matches your food waste to a nearby shelter, and sends a driver to take it there for you.
10. How the Grinch Stole Christmas
A Dr. Seuss classic, in app form. Download this animated Christmas story to entertain the kids whilst you’re busy wrapping presents. With built-in activities on every page, it’ll keep them busy for hours. And we won’t even judge you for having a read once the kids have gone to bed.
Hosting a big Christmas party? Cut the chaos with the Typeform guide to stress-free event planning.