Apps For A Christ-Centered Christmas
For Christians, Christmas is a season of joy to celebrate the birth of Jesus. It is a time to reflect on the miracles that surrounded the nativity and to be thankful. We have searched the AppStore and have found this year's best apps for everyone from kids to adults to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas.
Bible Heroes: The Christmas Story--Bible Story and Coloring for Kids
At the heart of it, Christmas is about the birth of Jesus. There are many apps for telling this great story to children, but the Bible Heroes series does the best job communicating Bible stories through good narration, well-done graphics, and fun interactions with the story.
My Nativity Scene
Kids can then use My Nativity Scene to create their own version of Jesus's birthplace. This is a drag and drop creative app with over 60 characters and items to use to make your own personal nativity scene. You can choose backdrops that are daytime or night, indoors or outdoors. Finished scenes can be easily shared as eCards or saved to the camera roll.
For the less adventurous, Nativity DLX includes a pre-built nativity scene. This app, which attempts a 3-D interface with minor success, is designed to give information about all the living beings present when the Christ child was born. From the cow to the infant Jesus, a description backed in scripture appears with a simple tap. A pleasant voice reads the text, describing the significance and biblical history of each. The app also features twelve instrumental songs with their lyrics.
Children's Bible Daily Prayer
Having deeper spiritual discussions and prayer times with your children can be a difficult thing to approach. The Children's Bible Daily Prayer app offers a great starting point to help kids initiate time with God. Set up like flashcards, each day presents a question card that inspires discussion such as "How did Mary feel when she said these words?" On the back is a related scripture such as Luke 1:46 "Mary said, My heart praises the Lord." This app brings the bible to life by asking questions that encourage children to think. Children's Bible Daily Prayer lands in our Christmas list here because topics are chunked into series, and Christmas time is always given well-planned topics.
How do you get older kids interested in the Christmas story? Make it into a manga! OK, this works for adults, too. NEXTmanga includes five titles that offer previews you can try out before buying. "Manga Messiah" tells the entire story of Jesus, and the 19-page preview goes up to the part where Mary and Joseph (sorry, Miryam and Yosef) are having trouble finding a place to stay in Bethlehem. Even if you don't like manga, this is a fresh and awesome retelling of the stories from the Bible. Even if you don't like the Bible, this is still some really good manga.
Texts From Jesus - FREE
Texts From Jesus offers another way to modernize the message of Christ. Start off your holiday mornings getting a quote from Jesus right on your iDevice. The app also has settings to switch the style of the quotes to hip hop, LOLcat, or modern. The results are...interesting. If you enjoy Texts From Jesus, you can support the app and remove the ads with a 99 cent in-app purchase or by getting the ad-free version.
The Birth of Jesus Christ in Pictures
A step in a more traditional direction, The Birth of Jesus Christ in Pictures is an ebook set to fine art that has been put through colorization and 3-D effects. The addition of a soundtrack as you move through the pages adds to an immersive experience that really connects you to the story.
Jesus Film Media
The people behind the incredibly successful Jesus Film have made their material available as an app that showcases the Jesus Film along with their other video projects. Jesus Film Media also lets you access individual clips with an option to download them to avoid streaming. The birth of Jesus clip, along with everything else in this app, make it a useful tool for sharing hope with others this Christmas.
While putting up decorations, shopping, driving, or whatever you're doing, a little Christmas music in the background can put anyone in a festive mood. Carols puts many traditional Christmas carols into a nice full-featured audio player that's easy to use and not terrible to look at. There is also a section where you can add Christmas songs that may be scattered throughout your music library.
There are many other apps for Christmas carols, Christmas music, and Christian radio stations. However, the best way to get your Christmas music fix is still through Pandora. There are multiple stations for different types of Christmas music, or you can make your own. It is very flexible in how you listen, and has better audio quality than many other streaming options. Some songs now even include the lyrics.