15 handy app ‘elves’ to get you through the holidays.
Published: November 27, 2019
By: Pam Molnar
Surviving the holiday season requires a little super power, a little creativity and a lot of organization. While it wouldn’t hurt to have Martha Stewart’s number in your phone contacts, most of us are not that lucky. Instead, we have come up with 15 must-have apps that will make your holiday more organized, more helpful and more fun.
- ELFSTER. If you are doing a Secret Santa gift exchange between friends, coworkers or family, this app is for you. Simply add your groups’ emails and it randomly chooses your exchange. It also includes wish lists so you know everyone’s preferences. This free app is available for iPhone and Android.
- JUSTWINK. If holiday cards have become a chore, download the justWink app for iPhone or Android. Developed by American Greetings, this app offers cards that can be sent directly from the app as email, text, social media greeting and even snail mail. Bonus features include voice recordings and gift card attachments.
- THE ADVENT APP. Available for iPhone, this app allows you to create personalized Advent calendars for 99 cents for family and friends. Every day they will receive a free personalized photo, text or a gift selected by you.
- ELF YOURSELF. Make silly dance videos of up to five people with images from your phone or Facebook. The app is free, but downloading and sharing the videos costs from 99 cents to $6.99.
- AMAZON SHOPPING. Wouldn’t it be great to do all your shopping on your phone? This app is also great for price comparisons while shopping locally. With a subscription to Amazon Prime, you can also get free shipping and free access to Prime Video and Music.
- ALLERGY EATS. This is a great guide for finding allergy-friendly restaurants in your area. Simply type in the allergen and your location in the search. The results are ratings based on actual experiences by other families. You have the option to leave comments, too.
- ONE TODAY. This generosity app showcases a non-profit cause daily with a video and story. You can also browse for those causes that are closer to your heart. Make a donation of at least $1 with all proceeds going to the cause. Inspire others by encouraging them to match your donation or pay it forward by matching theirs.
- PINTEREST. Looking for a last-minute recipe while you are shopping? Pinterest offers millions of ideas for recipes, crafts, games and so much more. Pins will take you directly to the recipe or directions so you will have everything you need while at the store.
- SIGN UP GENIUS. It takes a village to get through holiday planning and Sign Up Genius is a great way to divide up the tasks. Use it for bringing food to a potluck, driving the carpools or shift schedules at work.
- CHRISTMAS RINGTONES. Get into the spirit of the holidays by assigning Christmas ringtones to your frequent callers, texts and other alerts. There are several free versions available for iPhone and Android.
- CAPTURE THE MAGIC. This is a great app for kids who are questioning the reality of Santa. Take a picture of a room in your house and add Santa, elves or reindeer to the picture to “prove” they exist. The free app is available for iPhone and Android.
- HEADS UP. This fun app will be the hit of your next party or even just a time-killer while you wait in line at the store. Hold the phone up to your forehead facing the other players. They give you hints as to the word or phrase on the screen and you have to guess what it is.
- ARRIVE. With all the online purchases being made, it is hard to keep track of the packages. Download Arrive, which syncs your email with Amazon, eBay, Walmart, and many other online stores, to track all your package deliveries in one place.
- SHUTTERFLY. What do you do with all those photos you take during the holidays? Get them off your phone and store them on Shutterfly for free. In addition, get free 4 x 4 or 4 x 6 prints through the app version only.
- MINT. Keep track of your spending with this budget app. By having all your financial information in one place, you can track spending, investments and create a budget. Mint is made by Intuit, who created Turbo Tax and QuickBooks.