During the holiday season it has become tradition to travel across the country to visit family and friends. We cook wonderful and elaborate meals, fill our plates with too much food, pepper our social media feeds with what we are thankful for and cute photos of our kids and or pets in festive garb. Many of us rush out the door during the early hours the Friday after Thanksgiving to wait in lines at superstores to get the best deals. And after arriving home frazzled and drained, I am sure the promise to never forget about what the holiday season is actually all about is uttered… that is, until Cyber Monday rolls around. And then we spend the next few weeks panicking about what to buy others and what type of drink options to have at the party we’re hosting, while trying to squeeze attending our coworker’s charity fund raiser into our schedule that is already filled with lunch meetings, holiday plays, and potlucks.
Stress is unavoidable during the holiday season. The below list of apps is here to help you stay focused on what I believe most of us believe the holiday season is all about… GIVING and BEING CONNECTED. Even while you are busy, these apps make it easy to give and stay connected.
All apps listed are available on iOS and Android devices for free unless otherwise notated.
Their slogan: “Elfster is a FREE gift exchange website to make gift-giving easier. We make Christmas, holidays and other gift exchanges free, easy, and fun!”
Through this app, you can get gift ideas for friends and loved ones in the “shop” section that is arranged by categories of interest, price range, and even links to items on Amazon and Etsy. You can also set up a Secret Santa gift exchange, as well as utilize their free online giving platform for your family and friends, local community, charities, and business. Additionally, you can share gift wish lists with family members and friends so they know not only what you want but where to get it.
Their slogan: “Raise money for charity when you walk, run, or bike.”
Through this app, bikers earn up to 10¢ per mile; walkers and runners earn up to 25¢ per mile. Select which charity you’d like to run, walk, or bike for and press “start.” The app tracks your distance and earns money for the organization you selected. Organizations include, Feeding America, Autism Speaks, DoSomething.org and more. This is a great way to earn money for an organization during the holiday season (and even after) while staying fit or just walking the dog.
Their slogan: “One app, any cause, any time.”
If you are traveling during the holidays, this app makes it easy to donate to a cause that is important to you while you are on the go. You only have to follow three easy steps: 1) Choose a donation amount 2) Select the fundraising campaign to which you’d like to contribute, and 3) tap “Give Now”. This app also makes it incredibly easy for those who are leading fundraising and donation campaigns to track details so that when tax time rolls around you have all the information you need in reports.
These apps allow you to decorate a Christmas tree and share it with others through social media, email, and SMS. This is a great idea for those family members who won’t be able to come over to trim the tree with you this year. It can also keep the kids occupied.
Their Slogan: “Share your world & watch live video with just your phone.”
If you want to share video of your kids opening their gifts, playing in the snow, or singing in the choir, this app helps you capture and share these timeless moments. It’s also a great way to share your moments, in live action, with family and friends who are on the other side of the country or world.
6. Pinterest is a great platform to use for sharing holiday recipes with others, and to get ideas for new traditions; for instance, gingerbread cheesecake bites. There are also a lot of great ideas for decorating the house and hosting parties.
There are so many apps out there for the holidays. Share your favorite app to use during the holidays with others, below.