It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but it is also the most stressful. The thought of late night shopping on a cold, dark Thursday evening, or having to face the dreaded queues is enough to put anyone off. What’s more, for anyone who watched Arnold Schwarzenegger in a blind panic trying to buy a Turbo Man action figure in Jingle All The Way, you will be aware that the sooner your Christmas shopping begins, the better.
This isn’t always easy because of work and other commitments – plus, it’s probably not the best idea to take children along to the shops as questions will be asked. This is when your smartphone can take centre stage in making Christmas shopping a little bit easier.
Create a list
There are so many list creating apps available, in fact, most smartphones have them integrated on the home screen already, such as the iPhone.
Make sure you use these digital lists rather than writing down on bits of paper- not only will you be less likely to misplace them and be able to keep on top of what you need to be buying, but it also means that if you have a passcode in place on your smartphone, no prying eyes will be able to find out what will be waiting for them under the tree.
Keep an eye on costs
Obviously before you can begin shopping for Christmas, it’s important to know that you have the funds readily available. The majority of banks now have smartphone apps which can be downloaded and are easy to use if you need to check your balance, pay bills or make transfers.
There would be nothing worse than incurring a fee due to Christmas shopping taking you slightly overdrawn so just make sure you keep up to date with what has been spent and what is available. You can also set up alerts with a lot of banks so that you receive a text when you’ve hit a specific available amount, which just keeps everything in check a bit better.
This is when the fun really begins! Most retailers have smartphone apps that you can use in the same way you can while online browsing. Simply download the app of your choice, for example, ASOS, Argos, New Look, Amazon and Not On The High Street all have iPhone apps (in fact, Not On The High Street also has a handy little gift finder feature if you were stuck for inspiration!).
From this, you can browse and choose gifts at any time of the day or night and from anywhere that is most convenient for you, even if it’s just while you have a quick ten minute coffee break at work. Shopping apps allow you to pay for your goods safely and securely and you can often pick the date of delivery from the app too.
Keep the kids on their toes
So this may not be completely relevant, and perhaps it is a tiny bit mean, but sometimes it is necessary to keeping children well behaved towards Christmas.
There are a number of ‘naughty or nice’ apps that parents can download and use to keep the children in check should they become a little bit naughty. Some of these apps can even light up to show you when Santa is watching!