9 Ways Technology Can Make Your Holidays Easier
Your holiday to-do list is growing, growing, and growing some more. And oh, how awesomely, amazingly, magical it would be to have some sort of help, right? Well, look no more: We have some of the best tech-type options to make life with littles easier around the holidays. Whether you need help organizing Santa’s wish list or you need assistance prepping for the holiday meal, these apps, AI options, and other techie treats are certain to come in handy.
1. Giftster (Free on iOS or Android): You need major help organizing your holiday shopping list, and Giftster is here for you. Available for iOS or Android, this app allows you to start a family gift exchange, registering for what you really want, and viewing what your fam and close friends want too. And bonus: Giftster also has a Secret Santa function!
2. Alexa: This one is a no-brainer. If you have an Amazon Echo ($100) or another Alexa-enabled device, the voice assistant can help you in almost every way during the holiday season. And hey, your littles can command Alexa too. Ask Alexa to play a game with the kids to keep them busy, get the winter weather, order dinner, and fill your Whole Foods holiday shopping list. Alexa’s skills are kind of a perfect match for your holiday to-do list.
3. Google Assistant: Like Amazon’s Alexa-enabled devices, Google Home ($129) has Google Assistant, which is awesomeness at its best. Start up your family-friendly holiday playlist, set all-important prep reminders, stream movies for the kiddos (with Chromecast), and control your home with this smart device. There’s also a read-along feature, where you can read select Disney books with your little ones and they’ll come to life with sound effects and music. If you don’t have the physical book, just ask Google to tell you a story from its library.
4. Santa’s Bag (Free on iOS): Manage your holiday shopping with this iOS app. Create notes for each recipient’s preferences, email your lists, add photos, and check out the Christmas countdown timer. This app makes your gift-giving life so much easier. Seriously.
5. Grocery Pal (Free on iOS and Android): Your holiday meal shopping list is kind of mountainous, and getting it all might just break the holiday budget. But wait: Grocery Pal is here to rescue you. Create shopping lists, browse sales at popular stores, and find the best prices possible. This is an ideal option for the busy mama who just doesn’t have time to compare costs, prep for the holidays, *and* carve out cuddle time with the kiddos.
6. Artkive (Free on iOS or Android): Available for either iOS or Android, this app lets you archive your offspring’s art all in one place. (That means no more bulky piles of papers cluttering up your guest room.) How can this help you out during the pre-holiday time? The zillion Santa paintings, reindeer drawings, and snowman sculptures all need to go somewhere. And that place isn’t your kitchen counter — it’s Artkive!
7. Cortana: Microsoft’s intelligent assistant answers all kinds of questions, can play music from your phone, or can basically organize your holiday momming life. Cortana can help you on your Windows 10 PC, but it works across multiple devices too.
8. Google Calendar (Free): It seems so simple, but Google Calendar is a serious scheduler that can keep your holiday plans on track. Your kiddo’s pre-K holiday play, dinner with the in-laws, and everything else you need to do are all in one place with this easy-to-use iOS or Android app.
9. Nest: Get connected with this smart home device. You can watch the kids play in the family room while you’re in the kitchen (always supervising your tots), crank up the heat before you get home, and watch for holiday package deliveries while you’re away.
What’s on your holiday to-do list? Share how you get it all done and tweet us @BritandCo.
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