While I think the holidays are best spent putting away your cell phone and enjoying friends and family without the distraction… there are so many ways that cell phones can make your holidays even merrier, that rather than detracting from your enjoyment, they enhance the season!
1. Stream Christmas carols while decorating for the holidays. Nothing will get you into the Christmas spirit more than some of your favorite Christmas songs in the background.
2. Let the kids watch their Christmas specials. Frosty, Rudolph, and all the other classics are available for streaming on many subscription services, and you can find a lot of them for free on YouTube. It’s a great way to occupy kids in the car on the way to dinner at Grandma’s or even while shopping to distract the smaller kids from seeing you throw those stocking stuffers in the cart.
4. Show Pinterest some Interest. You’ll find a little bit of everything on Pinterest, including recipes, home décor ideas, and crafts that you can do with the kids.
5. Shop the sales. Whether you shop online or just browse to find deals, your cell phone can be a life saver. For example, if you’re in Walmart looking at the latest fancy gadget, you can check the competitors for prices to see if it’s less expensive somewhere else. Bonus to this: Some stores (Walmart included) will price match, so if you pull up the fancy gadget and it’s ten dollars less somewhere else, you can just show the cashier your phone and get the lower price.
6. Download apps that help you save money. There is an app for everything, but there are certain apps, like Ibotta, that will give you cash back for shopping at certain stores and buying certain things. All you have to do is take a snapshot of your receipt.
7. Photo collages. Whether you’re taking the kids to see Santa, visiting family, or even just come across an amazing light display, your phone’s camera can help capture your memory. But often, we are on picture overload during the holidays. Rather than posting 4 or 5 pictures to Facebook or Instagram at a time, consider using a picture collage app (like Photo Grid) to group them for one post.
8. Checking flights. If you’re going to be traveling, it’s super helpful to be able to log on to the airline and find out if your flight is going to be delayed due to inclement weather, or if someone you’re supposed to be picking up from the airport will be late.
9. Fun apps. While we already discussed apps that save you money, there are hundreds of fun apps for Christmas things. You can “elf yourself”, have a “Merry Grinchmas”, watch Santa’s reindeer live, and those are just the tip of the North Pole.
10. Phone calls. Yes, this is the actual primary purpose of a cell phone, though it seems to have become the last thing we use it for. Call people you don’t see too often and wish them a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
This season, keep your phone close by. You never know when you’ll find the perfect opportunity to make the holidays a little bit more merry and bright because of it.
Do you have ideas to add? What are your favorite apps or ways to use your cell phone to enhance your holidays?