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Apps that Will Make Your Christmas Better in 2017

Updated on January 24, 2017

When it comes to the holiday season, most of us get together with family and other loved ones to celebrate. No matter how you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, The New Year, and whatever else, it usually involves lots of traditions, food, gifts, games, and other festivities. That means there's at least a little bit of planning, shopping, organizing, and general preparation.

Oftentimes this is the most stressful part. We try to do all of this while maintaining our busy schedules, staying within a budget, and not burning the place down. Most of us don't have unlimited spending power combined with the skills of Mr. Fixit and Betty Crocker.

So how do we make this easier on ourselves? We do live in the information age, don't we? Don't most of us carry around little powerful devices with us wherever we go that can practically get us any piece of information ever that doesn't require a high-level government security clearance? And thanks to Wikileaks, sometimes that doesn't even stop us. So how can we use this great piece of modern technology to our advantage during the holiday season to help relieve a bit of the stress of the season? We have gone out and found the best mobile apps that will help you save time, money, and frustration during this year's holiday season. So get your thumbs ready, it's going to be a much smoother ride this year.

Every single one of the seasonal stresses we mentioned above can be easily helped with a mobile app. And we've found the best ones to get the job done. Here is what we're going to cover:

  • Food Network in the Kitchen
  • Apps to Entertain the Little Ones
  • RetailMeNot
  • Biltapp

Taking Care of the Food

First, we are going to tackle the food, because that's the most common part of preparation for the holidays. You don't have to have a lot, but if you have some good food, you'll probably have a good time. There are lots of recipe apps and sites out there. So it's hard to go wrong with any of the top recipe resources, but we suggest the Food Network in the Kitchen App. Here's why:

  1. The app has thousands of recipes that are constantly being added to.
  2. The app has the financial backing of a TV network, which means it has all the resources to be a good app. Any bugs are quickly fixed with new updates. And it's not going away.
  3. It's well designed. It has recipes that have been tried, tested, and recommended by professionals.
  4. It has how-to videos for some of its recipes.
  5. You can personalize the recipes to add your own notes or substitutes.
  6. You can save recipes and notes in your own digital recipe box. No more searching for that 40-year-old index card your grandma gave you.
  7. You can even create a shopping list by added food items and other ingredients directly from a recipe.
  8. Search recipes by ingredient or chef.

And the list goes on, but you get the point. This app is amazing, and it's only getting better. The main point is that not only does it give you the information and instruction that you need, but it also helps you organize it all to eliminate a lot of the hassle of cooking.

Entertain the Little Ones

For many of us, the holidays mean family. And with family, sometimes that means kids. And don't get us wrong, we love kids. They're great. They bring a magic to the season that we tend to lose as we grow older. Their joy and energy is contagious. It can also be exhausting at times. So when we need a brief break from the little ones, or perhaps just the need to get a couple things done around the house without someone pulling on your leg, there are some great holiday themed apps to entertain the children. We found a page that has already gathered the best ones, so we figured we wouldn't reinvent the wheel here. Get them here.

Saving Money

Which type of Holiday app could you use most in your home?

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One of the biggest potential points of stress leading up to the holiday season is money. You want to show your love for the people you care about, and this time of year gift-giving is usually a part of it. Though presents are definitely not the reason for the season, it feels good to give a token of appreciation to a loved one. So we thought we would suggest the RetailMeNot App to help you do that without breaking the bank. Search by store, item, or location. It has online coupon codes and printable coupons for tens of thousands of stores and websites.

Putting Gifts Together

So you've made it all the way to the big day, or maybe the night before. You got the food taken care of, presents bought, and all the little ones tucked in their beds (and hopefully not behind a tablet screen). There's just one thing left to do - put together that thing you bought. Ugh! Just when you thought it was time to relax and enjoy the fruits of your labors, you have to bust out your tool set and attempt to follow instructions on a little piece of paper that was not written by anyone who speaks English as a primary language. Countless parents and others have spent the late hours of the night and early hours of the morning struggling with product assembly and trying not to swear loud enough that the kids wake up and Santa is too scared to come down the chimney. If only there were real elves available for hire. Well, there aren't, but there is a really cool app that could make this whole user assembly thing much easier. It's called Biltapp and it's amazing. It has step by step 3-D interactive assembly and maintenance instructions that you can rotate and zoom. It even has voice over instructions that tell you what to do next. How cool is that?!? It's a relatively new app, so it's still gaining steam and adding to its product line, but once you use it, you'll never want to go back.

So there you have it; four ways to make the next holiday season a whole lot smoother and less stressful. Technology can't solve all our problems, but it sure can help out during the most wonderful time of the year.

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