Glittery choice of apps

APPY CHRISTMAS: Little helper Abbie Napier picks out the best holiday-themed apps.
APPY CHRISTMAS: Little helper Abbie Napier picks out the best holiday-themed apps.

Digital masterminds worldwide have come up with apps to help you get organised, keep the kids entertained and unlock your inner party planner.


iPhone only, free (all features, 99c)

This app is multi-purpose and can help with everything from prepping your gift list to a live countdown to Christmas day. Forgot to buy the advent calendar? Christmas!! provides a virtual one. The gift list allows you to enter names and present ideas, checking them off as you go.

Norad Tracks Santa

Android and iPhone (free).

This app went live on December 1 and uses Google Maps to track Santa, culminating in his gift-route on Christmas Eve. When not getting festive, Norad monitors North American airspace and has all the latest tracking and detecting technology - ideal for keeping an eye on Santa.

Angry Birds Seasons

iPhone ( $1.29), Android, free

Angry Birds Seasons is a constantly evolving version of the original game. It adds themed touches to the game for special holidays like Halloween and Easter. Every year a Christmas update is released on December 1. From then, every day until Christmas, a new and exciting level is unlocked for players to attempt.


iPhone and Android (free)

iFinger is a handy tool for those who struggle with the perfect gift wrapping. Enter the dimensions of the gift and it will calculate how much paper you need. Then it provides instructions on the best way to wrap the gift for the tidiest effect. It's only limitation is that it does not respond well to weirdly shaped gifts.

Free Christmas List

Android only (free)

If you want a gift list app without all the extra functions, this is it. Simple and effective. Free Christmas List lets you create a list for each person, tracks your projected costs, and ticks them off when you're done. Handy for keeping a lid on costs and remembering the obscure cousins.

Christmas Carols

Android (free)

Disagreement on the words to Silent Night? Get this app for karaoke style lyrics. Some even have Glee versions. [iPhone option below]

Sing Along Christmas Carols

iPhone (free)

This app provides lyrics for carols for iPhone.

Letters to Santa Claus

iPhone (99c)

Sending letters to Santa has never been easier. No more mad dashes to the letterbox to make the post deadline. This app lets your children write as many letters to Santa as they want, then send them off. Cunningly programmed to avoid arousing suspicion, the app delays the response letter for about an hour. Kids can also attach gifts like cookies to the letter. Also importantly, the app does not make promises the requested gifts will be delivered. (No broken hearts on the day).

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

iPhone ($4.99), Android ($6.36)

Cuddle up on the couch and dive into this storybook app, How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Recently updated, the new version has enlarged art and highlights each word as it is read, to help children learn. You can also record your own voice instead of using the standard narrator, and each scene has its own background audio, bringing the book to life.

Christmas Card Maker

iPhone (free)

Make your own virtual Christmas cards then send them out to your contacts straight from your phone.

Christmas RADIO

Android (free)

Listen to over 50 Christmas radio stations worldwide using this app. It has a bit of everything festive - rock carols, religious music, Christmas jazz, and even a station claiming to be broadcasting from the North Pole.

The Press