Still shopping for gifts?

By Meg Rivera

‘TIS the season. ‘Tis the season of long lines, endless versions of Jose Mari Chan and the Chipmunks. ‘Tis the season of beribboned salesladies telling you of the mallwide sale, and the time of shopping so much that your debit card chafes.

This, dear readers, is your writer’s idea of the first circle of Hell. And even if Christmas Day just flew by, you still owe people presents, and it’s quite a list. I barely take the time out to do this for myself. Why on earth would I want to do this for other people? I know there are many others out there who feel the same way. The holidays are supposed to be a time of family and friends, certainly not one of bad moods from standing in one line too many.

This week, we clear away the inner shopping Grinch and try to make things a little easier for the reluctant shopper. Here are three apps that should take the strain out of the holiday shopping season – and the next – and put a little of the Holiday spirit back where it counts.

App-Gift-ItApp name: Gift It

App developer: Switchback Media LLC

Available on: iTunes, Google Play

Easy to use: The video tutorial at the beginning is the best I’ve ever seen. It’s straight to the point, and it doesn’t muck about. Great for parents who are wanting to commit their lists onto their devices instead of paper.

Overall comment: The free version of the app allows you to create gift wishlists and share them. This is about what you need the app to do, however the paid version gets rid of apps and password-protects lists to keep the little ones away from the big surprise. Simple pimple, an easy four clicks out of five.

App-ToastApp name: Toast

App developer: GiveaToast GmbH

Available on: iTunes, Google Play

Easy to use: Fairly simple. I would see a more tech-savvy crowd using this, since it can connect to cool things on Pinterest and Svpply.

Overall comment: Right off the bat, I can see how this app would fail. You need a Facebook account to log in, which leaves the non-Facebook crowd out in the cold. But looking past that, this app would be good for those who are difficult to shop for. It also allows you to share or ‘toast’ people who have bought you the things you want on your list. By sharing your gift lists on social media or email, it would certainly make things simpler for those who are shopping for you. Three clicks out of five.

App-Discount-CalculatorApp name: Discount Calculator

App developer: Chuchu Train Productions

Available on: iTunes, Google Play

Easy to use: I wouldn’t trust you with a fork if you couldn’t use this. Type in the original amount, the discount and it calculates it for you. How hard could it be?

Overall comment: If the idea of a good deal makes you squeal like Liberace discovering glitter, then this would make you very happy. Times are hard, and discounts seem to be everywhere. Use this to calculate your total savings, then sit back and ride out that high, you discount junkie! Four clicks out of five.

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