The holidays are fast approaching, with all of the hustle and bustle that they entail. As of today, Dec. 1, we are six days away from Hanukkah and 15 days away from Las Posadas. Christmas is coming in 24 days, and Kwanzaa begins the following day. Whatever holiday you celebrate, you’re bound to be overwhelmed with things to do, events to plan, gifts to purchase and wrap, and parties to attend. Still, if you do it right, the holidays can (and should) be filled with cheer, tradition, family, and fun. These five apps will help you savor the magic of the holidays, making them fun, relaxing, and memorable.
Parcel – Delivery Tracking
When you’re ordering your gifts online, you want to make sure they arrive on time for the festivities. Parcel can help you keep track of these deliveries, letting you know the delivery status on your iOS devices and Apple Watch from 265 different delivery services, including UPS, USPS, FedEx, DHL, and more. Parcel is available for free on the App Store, and requires iOS 8 or later.
Whether you’re going over the river, through the woods, or across the mountains, you’ll want to keep up with what the weather’s doing. The snarky robot behind Carrot Weather will let you know in her typical blunt and abrasive manner whether you’ll get that White Christmas or just another dull, dreary holiday. Carrot Weather is available for $3.99 on the App Store, and will run on any device running iOS 9 or later.
Keeping track of everything you need to do in preparation for the holidays can be a chore in and of itself, but it doesn’t have to be. Keep things organized, be prepared, and everything will go nice and smoothly. How do you do that? The free app Todoist is a great way to keep up with all of your holiday preparations, letting you share your tasks with your kids, spouse, parents, and friends to make sure everybody is on the same page this holiday season. Todoist is a free download on the App Store, requiring iOS 8 or later to run.
Curious about whose version of “Silent Night” you’re listening to? If you can’t tell the difference between Bing Crosby, Michael Buble, Frank Sinatra, and Al Green, there’s nothing to fear. As soon as the song comes on, all you have to do is open Shazam and let the app tell you who’s singing and what album it’s on. Shazam even gives you the option to find the track on Apple Music, for those times when you’re listening to the radio and hear something you want to add to your own library. Shazam is available for free on the App Store, and it will run on any device that is running iOS 7 or later.
Once the holidays are officially over, you’ll have tons of pictures and videos to sort through and share. Using Splice, you can make a special delight to savor those memories, turning your photos and videos into a highlights reel or montage. You can use Splice to trim, crop, and add special effects like a Ken Burns filter, and even set appropriate background music like Christmas carols from your iTunes account or Splice’s library of tunes. Using Splice, you can take your photography and videography to the next level, then easily share the results with friends and family on Twitter, Vine, Instagram, or Facebook. Splice is available for free on the App Store, and requires iOS 8.1 or later.
Each of these apps serves its own purpose, which all fall in nicely with the routine of trying to keep the holidays sane but still memorable. You can go crazy with the fun and excitement, but save yourself the headaches of forgetting who’s getting the ugly sweater and who’s going to get coal in their stocking.