Our top four favourite festive apps.

Yes we are nearly into December, and what does that mean apart from the gleeful decorating of a Christmas tree, lights lining every street and the requisite mince pie replacing that afternoon chocolate bar? Well it also means it’s time to deck your smartphone with boughs of holly in the form of some seriously Xmas-themed apps. Here, without further ado, are our top five.

Remember the No. 1 game, Hero Bears, made by Help for Heroes? Now it's time to embrace its equally addictive festive sequel, the app, Christmas Bears. 'You will need to navigate your intrepid stretcherbearers through a number of missions, battling icy winds, rolling snowmen and dastardly doves. Run, jump and slide your way through snowy landscapes and get home in time for Christmas,' say the charity. It's a riotously distracting diversion when you're waiting for the bus - even better it's supporting a pretty life affirming charity. If you would like to donate to the Christmas campaign, please get involved: Text BEAR to 70900 or donate online.

PNP on iTunes

Are you on the nice list, or the naughty list? Our editor at The GWG is a big fan of the award-winning website Portable North Pole. She is not alone; the site has had over 125 million videos viewed and millions of app downloads. PNP offers parents the opportunity to create personalised video email messages from Santa Claus. The site asks questions about your child – boy, girl? Naughty, nice? Hobbies? Pets? – to create a very realistic special video message. This year, PNP has taken to Instagram and Twitter for more posts and news from the North Pole. Keep an eye out for their #ElfieSelfies.
Christmas Ringtones on iTunes

Now for an app that will really make you feel the Christmas spirit. It might be slightly time intensive in the sense that the ringtones in particular have to be unlocked and then downloaded to iTunes, but believe us – when you hear ‘It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas’ blaring out of your iPhone, it will all have been worth it.

Find yourself with a few minutes to spare of a lunch break? Then download the booth that will put a Santa-sized grin on your photos; whether it’s antler horns, white bushy eyebrows or a whole new Santa-themed torso you're after then this is the app that delivers. You’ll have to pay an extra 69p if you want access to the ‘Greench’ or ‘Elf’ overlays, but the free version has more than enough to keep you occupied in the interim.
Sing Along Christmas Carols on iTunes

And last but certainly not least, Sing Along Christmas Carols will get you into the festive spirit faster than you can say ‘have you been good this year?’ The free version offers a pretty limited selection of carols (three at last count) but if you commit £2.99, an additional fifty options will appear – and believe us, just listening let alone singing along is sure to engender some Xmas cheer – no matter how grumpy this year has made you.

Updated November 2017