November is National Family Caregivers Month, but for most BridgingApps clients (and many of our team members), every day is a caregiver work day. As November segues into December, here are our best apps and tips for keeping the holiday season manageable. And more joyful.
Need help coordinating family schedules? Making travel plans? Shopping? Keeping a family member entertained while you attend to holiday duties? These apps got high reviewer ratings in our BridgingApps database.
- Amazon Music: Songs & Podcasts (a good option for creating holiday-song playlists)
- Cooking Matters (a good recipe app for anyone concerned about health, budget, or user-friendliness)
- Cozi Family Organizer (coordinates schedules)
- GasBuddy: Find & Pay for Gas (great for road trips: can sort gas stations by facilities as well as prices and locations)
- Goodbudget Budget Planner (oversees spending categories)
- ICE Medical Standard (keeps medical information handy during travel or public events, quickly accessible in an emergency)
- If I Need Help (if a nonverbal family member wanders or “elopes,” this app provides a QR code where helpers can access your contact number and other important information)
- Instacart – Get Grocery Delivery (among the best apps for food orders that fit individual preferences and health needs)
- MeMinder (organizes tasks so any family member can help with holiday chores)
- Netflix (streams holiday movies and other videos)
- Pill Reminder – All in One (ensures that medication routines aren’t forgotten in the excitement)
- Target (“plan, shop and save all in one place”)
- Tile – Find Lost Keys & Phone (uses “tracker tiles” to quickly locate misplaced items; especially useful in airports or other public venues)
- Transit – Subway & Bus Times (helps plan non-driving trips; do confirm that your city or destination is in its database)
- Tripadvisor: Plan & Book Trips (has space for posting destination photos as well as reviews)
- Waze Navigation & Live Traffic (a navigation app that finds the fastest route under current traffic conditions)
See also these fun holiday apps for children and families:
- Dr. Seuss Camera – The Grinch
- Holiday Charades!
- I Get… Christmas Vocabulary
- Pinkfong Christmas Fun
- Santa Puzzles: Christmas Games
- Sleeps till Christmas
Of course, however good your apps toolkit, plenty of things are still your responsibility. These are our best tips for making December joyful instead of draining:
- Keep your family and your own self-care as top priorities. Never tell yourself that you “should” spend more time on spectacular decorations, recipes, parties, or handmade gifts—no matter what your friends and neighbors do, or what you yourself may have done in the past. Think about what those closest to you really need, this year.
- Schedule a day every week as “family time” and one as “me time,” for catching your breath and enjoying life’s quieter blessings.
- If your family includes natural introverts or anyone with sensory-overload issues, they may need more than a couple of days a week without festivities. Don’t ruin their day (and provoke them to ruin everyone else’s) by dragging them along to the holiday market: arrange for an alternate caretaker so everyone can enjoy the day in their own way.
- Share the work: invite everyone to help with holiday chores, according to what they do best and enjoy most. And definitely include the disabled family member(s). Their best “gift that keeps on giving” may be increased self-confidence, knowing that their contributions are valued.