The holidays can be a real challenge for a lot of people. It is always one of the busiest times of the year, and the stress that comes with trying to find the perfect gift, even as the number of shopping days starts to run low, can make it tough for anyone to get into a festive mood. If you’ve been finding it hard to get into the holiday spirit this year, and could possibly use a little extra motivation, then perhaps your iPhone or iPad can help. Here are 5 holiday apps guaranteed to get you feeling jolly just in time for Christmas.
Christmas Radio (Free)
Few things can put you into the holiday mood faster than a classic Christmas tune. This app provides access to more than 50 streaming radio stations, each one dedicated to providing the very best holiday music. The app does require an Internet connection of course, but when connected it puts an impressive array of radio stations from around the world right at your fingertips. Christmas Radio even supports AirPlay so you can stream the music to your favorite compatible devices too.
In terms of modern classic Christmas tales, they don’t come much better than A Charlie Brown Christmas. This app not only captures the essence of that wonderful 1965 animated classic, but also brings it into the modern age with a host of fun features. In this interactive pop-up book, you’ll find familiar graphics and animation, as well as music and sound effects, from the show, all brought to life by the wonderful narration of Peter Robbins, the original voice of Charlie Brown himself. Other interactive activities include the ability to play Schroeder’s piano, go caroling with the Peanuts gang, and even decorate your own “Charlie Brown” Christmas tree.
NORAD Santa Tracker (Free)
For more than 50 years the North American Aerospace Defense Command (aka NORAD) has been tracking Santa and his sleigh each Christmas Eve. Using high tech radar and satellite surveillance systems, NORAD provides updates on Santa’s movements, giving eager children an idea of just when he’ll be arriving in their town. This app is the official companion to that tracking program, allowing good little boys and girls to follow Santa’s progress from just about anywhere. Prior to Christmas Eve the app also includes a clock that counts down to the start of Santa’s historic flight, as well as a game called “Thin Ice” that challenges players to help the elves deliver presents on time.
Talking Santa (Free)
This app not only allows you to send personalized Christmas cards to friends and family, but also interact with an animated Santa on your screen as well. Talk into the microphone of your iOS device, and Santa will repeat back your words. Poke, swipe, or tickle Jolly Ole’ St. Nick, and he’ll respond with clever animations, comments, and other sounds as well. Check inside Santa’s bag to see what kind of gifts he’s carrying, and give him some milk and cookies to help put him in a good mood. Fun for kids of all ages, Talking Santa will especially delight the little ones.
Santa’s Christmas Village ($1.99)
If you’re going to be waiting in long lines at the store over the holiday season, at least you should be able to have some fun while you’re doing it. Santa’s Christmas Village provides 17 classic and original games to play, each with a holiday theme. Those games include such options as Mahjong, Sudoku, Tic Tac Toe, and many more. There also 25 classic Christmas songs included in the app to help keep you in the holiday spirit, even if you are out battling the crowds. The carefully crafted holiday-themed art work in this app is charming and whimsical as well.