“It’s the least wonderful time of the year,” sang a frazzled Andy Williams as he desperately flicked through the Argos catalogue, searching in vain for the perfect Christmas present for great-auntie Nina. Probably.
With the Big Day a mere 39 days, 14 hours, 31 minutes and 11 seconds away at the time of writing, the traditional gift panic is looming fast – did you get uncle Bill socks last year? How much can you spend on the office Secret Santa without looking like a Scrooge-like cheapskate? What circle of hell did the Luvabella doll climb out of? Luckily, a simple app can help you cope with the festive stress.
Christmas Gift List, available for Android (there’s a near-identical app for iOS called The Christmas Gift List Lite), isn’t going to win any awards for complexity, but it’s a potential Yuletide lifesaver. The app is essentially a tool for keeping track of the Christmas presents you have – and haven’t – bought and wrapped.
To add a recipient, click on the top-right “Add a Person” face icon, before inputting their name and your budget for their gift. As you already know, The Big Tech Question has been particularly good this year…
Repeat the process for everyone you’re giving a present. It’s a laborious slog, but it’ll pay off in the long run. You can then update their profile with gifts by pressing the icon in the top-right corner of the screen. As the app hails from the US, you’ll need to change the “$” to a “£”. Tap the top-left menu button, head to Settings | Currency and then change the symbol.
Once you’ve started the painful process of shopping, Christmas Gift List will give you a status bar for each person, with the useful option to select if the gift has been wrapped yet.
Tapping on the Stats tab will also bring up an overview of how the purchasing is going – along with an ominous countdown.
Yes, you could easily make your own present-planning “app” in Excel, but, with Black Friday next week, who’s got the time for that? Plus, Christmas Gift List will guarantee that you’re not left red-faced at a family gathering when your mum asks “what have you got your long-lost cousin-three-times-removed Alan, who has walked all the way from Sheffield to open your present?”
PS You only have a few days to sign up for the reddit Christmas present exchange!