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The days get shorter, the nights colder, and for some reason people keep putting tiny lights everywhere. Christmas is coming, and with its clashing celebrations of family togetherness and consumer alienation we have quite a lot of diversity in how we approach the holiday. Apple has responded by allowing dozens of Christmas related applications, each with its own angle.
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One time honored tradition is the Advent Calendar, which counts down the days of the month until you finally reach the Holy Grail of Christmas day. There are over twenty of these on iTunes, and you may want to spend the money to find one that tells the Christmas story well. There is a free version up, but it gives new meaning to inexcusable advertising.
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Santa, as the secular alternative to the Jesus phenomenon, is iconic to believers and non-believers alike. One fun application that only runs you $1.99 is Santa Times. This is a creative “newspaper” that gives you articles about St. Nick, as well as maps and a built in Advent Calendar. This may be one of the better all-inclusive Christmas applications.
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There are plenty of applications that offer one-note entertainment but are fun none the less. Christmas Sounds Free, as the name implies, simply has a whole bunch of Christmas sounds you can play over your phone. This is profoundly useless in any real world situation, but may add to the cheer rating of your phone. There are a variety of other Christmas sound and music applications, many of them only running a couple dollars. One of the best of these is Christmas Songs that has thousands of Christmas songs for only $1.99.
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Nothing establishes the holiday season more deeply than a traditional story from the annals of Christmas history. iTunes, as part of their collection of free classic books, has both The Christmas Carol and Twas the Night Before Christmas available for download. Though the controls can be a little touchy and the auto-scroll is somewhat awkward, this is still a nice way to read from these fantastic volumes.
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Every holiday season needs an effective way of cataloguing and communicating exactly what we want others to blow their hard earned cash on. A Christmas list application is perfect for this, and there are quite a few out there. Unfortunately there are no worthwhile free versions, but Better Christmas List is nice and under three dollars.
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Beyond these there are numbers of other apps, ranging from a three dimensional Christmas tree to a snow globe that you can shake and see the flakes dance. There is absolutely no shame in relishing the season, as long as you have a little space on your phone.