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10 apps to make the holidays a little less stressful

Easing the holiday crush from your phone. (Bigstock)

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year!” or at least it is supposed to be. For many of us, the holidays are less about merry and cheer and more about stress and overwhelm. Party planning, greeting cards, shopping, traveling….the planning and to-do lists seem never-ending.

This holiday season give yourself a break. Check out these apps which assist in everything from developing your party menu to finding the best deal on the hot new toy.

1. Retail Me Not: Find coupons for more than 50,000 stores on this shopping lover’s best friend. Just type in the store name and any relevant offers and deals will pop up. The app will also notify you of sales at stores that you have saved to your favorites and prompt good deals at additional stores based on your favorites and past preferences.
2. Food 52: This app and Web site are a party planner’s dream. Food 52 provides extensive menu and recipe recommendations for holiday party planning. It also features written and video tutorials on everything from how to set the table to how stuff a turkey. If you are entertaining this holiday season or really any season, this app is a must.
3. Pocket: Do you frequently e-mail yourself links, articles, or recipes so that you can view at a later date? Pocket will take care of all of that for you. This app saves Web sites, recipes, videos and articles in one place. When you come across an article or Web site that you would like to save for later, you click a button and it will automatically be stored in the Pocket app. Perfect when you are planning travel, holiday shopping, or party planning.
4. Waze: This app notifies you of traffic patterns, speed traps, and alternative routes. You know — to grandmother’s house you go.
5. Martha Stewart Cocktails App: Cocktail recipes, bar snack suggestions, how-to videos and drink-mixing tips from the one and only Martha Stewart. With this app, holiday entertaining just became a bit more fun.
6. Little List: With Little List you can create a wish list of gifts by child as well as provide useful information for gift givers like clothing sizes, child’s interests, and your shipping information. Little List also includes gift recommendations by age range. Once you have created lists for your children you can easily share via Facebook or e-mail. This app provides the easiest way to answer “What does Bobby want for Christmas” and the best way to ensure that your child receives gifts that he/she will actually use and appreciate.
7. Shop Savvy: ShopSavvy allows you to compare the price of one item across different stores and sites just by scanning a barcode. You can also like products and store pages to get price and sale alerts. It’s an easy way to ensure you are paying the lowest price on all your holiday gifts.
8. TripIt: TripIt allows you to store all of your travel information for an upcoming trip in one place. You simply forward all of your air, hotel, car rental, and restaurant confirmation e-mails to the TripIt e-mail and the app automatically transforms the info into a master itinerary.
9. Evernote: Evernote is perfect for the multi-tasking parent. In this app you can create text, photo and audio lists and check off tasks when complete. Heading into the holidays, this app will provide the perfect place to organize and store gift lists and holiday to-do’s.
10. Touchnote: This is the perfect app for the proud parent who didn’t get around to ordering fancy holiday cards. Send greeting cards or postcards from your phone in less than minutes – postcards are $1.99 and greeting cards are $3.98 (price includes postage). You select the template, insert a picture, type a note and caption, enter the address (which is then saved in your Touchnote address book), and hit send…all from your phone. Ideal for holiday cards, thank you notes, or sending a quick note to say hello.

Anjali Varma is the mother of two boys and owner of Bethesda’s Kidville. She is also the founder of the Modern Mompreneur.

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