Attending a party during the winter months can help relieve some of the holiday season stress. Enjoying a meal with friends, drinking festive cocktails, wearing an ugly sweater, and listening to Mariah Carey's Christmas album on repeat can make for a great night.
If you're the one hosting the party, the planning process can be hard work. Check out these apps to ensure your soiree is fun, safe, and memorable.
The app essentially voids the need to have lengthy group texts about who is responsible for what and when. With Wunderlist, your to-do list can be as detailed or simple as you want.
Any list you make syncs across platforms, so you can view your tasks wherever you are. Lists are shareable for collaboration with attendees. If someone needs more clarification, you can open the chat window.
You can organize lists into folders, set reminders, and add photos or PDFs.
2. Potluck Hub
With the app, you can create an event, manage your guest list, and send party invitations to your friends from your smartphone's contacts list. As each person RSVPs, you'll get an alert. The only downside is that all your guests need to have the app to RSVP. It's possible if not everyone can (or wants) to use the app, you can simply check on names as you get responses.
The Potluck app includes a potluck feature, of course. As you add food and drinks to the menu, your guests can pick what they'll bring or add another dish.
You and your guests can talk easily in the group chat feature about any extra details. After the event, you can upload photos from your party into the app for everyone to share
A great place to start gathering decoration ideas is Pinterest (iOS, Android). The has tons of DIY holiday decor that are perfect for a party on a budget. You can grab some inspiration from other people's projects or find a step-by-step tutorial.
If you search "Holiday Decorations" the site generates dozens of ways to spruce up your rooms. Tapping an image can link to an article like The Top 12 Christmas Centerpieces, for example. The site also has great ideas if you're celebrating Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or Winter Solstice.
Across the top of the screen, Pinterest gives you other suggestions to narrow your searches like cheap decorations, outside decorations, and projects for kids.
4. Secret Santa App
Gift-giving is probably one of the more expensive parts of the holidays. Big family, offices, and friend groups often turn to Secret Santa or gift swapping games, like Dirty Santa or White Elephant.
If you're gifting on a budget, you should check out the Secret Santa app. If everyone agrees to the terms, you'll just need to get everyone's email address.
After you add the gift stipulations -- like price, where the exchange happens, and deadline -- tap Send and the app will assign a Secret Santa to each user.
A perk about this app is that everyone doesn't need to have the app to participate. The app doesn't save emails and deletes addresses after 30 days.
5. Google Maps
Explore sorts local eateries, bars, and places of interest into categories like Cheap Drinks, Sports Bars, and Coffee Shops. When you long-press a venue, you can add it to a short list.
The short list is shareable so you and your friends can vote on the best spot to have your holiday party.
Sometimes people complain about holiday music, especially when the radio stations start immediately after Thanksgiving. But listening to your favorite holiday tunes is one of the best ways to get into the seasonal spirit.
Music streaming apps will generally recommend holiday stations, albums or playlists after December starts.
Whether you use Spotify (iOS, Android), Apple Music (iOS, Android), Google Play Music (iOS, Android), or Pandora (iOS, Android), find your favorite songs and connect to your smart home device so the house is filled with music.
7. Bar Notes
Bar Notes is a drink recipe site for people to find, add, and share their favorite concoctions. Whether you're just looking for some simple cocktails or more holiday-themed drinks, Bar Notes has almost everything.
The app lists the perfect ways to serve a Holly Jolly Cocktail, Brandy Alexanders, or embellish the traditional eggnog.
8. Heads up
One player holds their phone, screen facing out, to their forehead. The app displays a celebrity's name, a movie, an animal, or accent that the other players must act out. If they act it out well enough, you'll guess right.
Sometimes it's more fun to watch your friends make the attempt. Heads Up films the other players trying to help you guess to save or share.
The app includes 18 themed decks to choose from.
9. Off Limits
The Off Limits app works like Taboo. Players have to guess as many words as possible without saying the forbidden ones. Each card has about five words that are off limits.
The game mixes in elements of Charades, as you can act out a word.
Off Limits has multiple card decks and categories like animals, food, celebrities, travel, and more.
If your group has too much to drink, the venue doesn't have much parking, or you just don't feel like driving, opting for transportation app can be an option.
Depending on your party plans, you can use UberEats to get dinner.
FOLLOW Download.com on Twitter for all the latest app news.
- Best apps to help you shop for the holidays
- Half of 2018 holiday shopping will be purchased on smartphones
- 5 online scams to avoid during 2018 holiday shopping
- Best apps to help you cook for the holidays
- Best Hanukkah apps to celebrate the Festival of Lights in 2018
- 16 tips for your best holiday party ever (CNET)
- 2018 holiday shopping predictions: AI-powered recommendations will generate 35 percent of retail revenues (ZDNet)
- 5 ways to avoid cyberattacks during holiday travel (TechRepublic)