11 Tech Innovations That Can Make Your Holidays More Efficient

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Worried that your to-do list is going to cut into your holiday cheer? Let these apps and sites help you plow through your obligations as efficiently as possible, leaving you more time to visit family and eat gingerbread.

1. Get Help Finding the Perfect Gift

Everyone has a few friends or family members who seem impossible to shop for. Fortunately for both the giver and receiver, there’s Gift Suggester, the app that gives you gift suggestions, searchable by category, recipient, personality, or occasion. Of course, feel free to take all the credit for the delight on the recipient’s face!

2. Make Comparison Shopping a Breeze

Most of us don’t have unlimited holiday shopping budgets—and even if you do, who doesn’t love a bargain? TheFind is a search engine that allows you to compare prices on items across multiple retailers. The app also allows you to scan barcodes in-store to make sure you always find the lowest price.

3. Automate Your Holiday Cards

Whether you prefer to send physical holiday cards or virtual ones, Red Stamp Cards is a great resource for all your season’s greetings. You can upload your own photos to Red Stamp’s templates to create customized cards and share them via email, text, or social media. If you’re a devotee of the paper card, Red Stamp will print and send them for you with prices starting at $0.99.

4. Be the World’s Most Efficient Host

With all the extra work this season adds to your schedule, planning a holiday party can be a challenge. Simple Soiree will keep you on track and organized, with e-vites, R.S.V.P. tracking, menu planning, and to-do lists. In short, it’s a virtual party planner. You’ll never forget the ice again!

5. Ace the Cooking

Holiday meal planning comes with added pressure. Chefs often have to cook for larger groups and expectations for a special feast run high. BigOven can help you rise to the occasion. BigOven allows you to plan meals ahead and create shopping lists. You can search their recipe database and add your own by importing them from other websites, and if you have cherished family recipes for the holidays, BigOven can even help you scan them to your collection.

6. Embrace Your Crafty Side

The holidays are the perfect time to spruce up your home with a little crafting. Whether you want to make D.I.Y. gifts or create a festive centerpiece, let the Craft-a-Day Winter Edition app be your daily craft inspiration with instructions for simple, winter-themed ideas.

7. Pack the Perfect Suitcase Every Time

If you’re going away for the holidays, packing can be yet another nagging task. Thankfully, you don’t have to spend much time to get it right. Just use PackPoint to make sure you have everything you need. PackPoint takes duration of trip, weather, planned activities, and even accessibility of laundry facilities into account to build your perfect packing list.

8. Become a Shipping Mogul

The post office can be a nightmare during the holidays, but if you’re shipping gifts to loved ones far and wide, you may have to swallow your pride and stand in line. Stamps.com can save you time and post office-induced headaches by allowing you to print postage and shipping labels at a discount. The service runs $15.99 a month, though they offer a free, month-long trial period. Just in time for the holiday rush!

9. Wrap Like a Master

It’s the thought that counts in gift giving, but a beautifully wrapped package never hurts, either. WrapItApp provides wrapping tutorials based on the size and shape of the gift, and will even let you know what size sheet of paper to use. You’ll be wrapping like a pro in no time.

10. Bake Like a Champ

Cookies are a hallmark of the holidays. Whether you’re leaving them for Santa or decorating them with your kids, download Martha Stewart Makes Cookies. The app gives you access to delicious cookie recipes as well as packaging options for scrumptious gifting.

11. Learn to Relax

No doubt about it, the holidays can be stressful. If you find yourself overwhelmed, don’t be afraid to take a timeout. Take a Break will guide you through meditation exercises for relaxation and stress relief. So close your eyes and remember: The holidays only come once a year!

Now that you’re more efficient than ever, you’ve got that much more time to spend with friends and family. If you can’t be with them in person, Intel® RealSense™ technologies like immersive video chat will let you spend quality time together even when you’re apart. Learn more here: intel.com.