Tech Help: Surviving Christmas Madness

December 18, 2018

First snow decided not to wait until official winter coming, which means that the holiday season is upon us! No doubt that choosing presents for your friends, relatives, and loved ones is a pleasant experience, but sometimes it can be difficult to cope with all the holiday obligations. Gift guessing games, standing in queues, surviving office parties – all of that can make your December a little messed up. Thank goodness we live in the time of technology and there are so many apps, gadgets, and tools that can help us survive Christmas madness.

How to choose the best gift?

If you appreciate an element of surprise, asking your friends and relatives camouflaged questions about presents they want is not a choice. It’s good that choosing a present is such a common thing because in 2018 there is a startup for every problem. The Ukrainian team called GiftHub will help you deal with such a trouble. They developed GiftHubBot – a Telegram chatbot which will assist you in choosing a perfect gift. How does it work: you answer a few detailed questions about the gift-recipient: gender, age, hobbies, tastes in music, books, drinks, food, etc. Afterwards, GiftBot shows you a huge list of personalized presents with direct links to online shops where you can buy them! GiftHub CEO Ihor Levenets claims, that he got the idea when an ex dumped him after an awful Christmas present. Use GiftHubBot, not to repeat his mistakes.

Secret Santa online

As Christmas approaches, Secret Santa becomes an essential part of holiday corporate fun. What can be a better way to learn more about your colleagues and take care of each other? Again, we all live in 2018, right? Of course, you can always write your name on a piece of paper, and draw it the traditional way, but let’s do something techier! Here are a few apps which will help you choose your Secret Santa: Elfster, Draw Names or Secret Santa app. These tools will help you with pair generation and will choose your present-partner impartially. They also offer a few additional features like gift reminders, gift exchange page or the perfect gift list.

Keep calm and save your money

When holidays come, it is always hard to rein in your budget. There’s no better time to show your love and affection than now, with all the presents and gala dinners. Though keeping your budget fit is a difficult challenge. Saving your receipts and calculating all the expenses is a proven method of your personal finance management, but there are other ways that can make life easier. For example, Wallet will help you track your expenses, and what is really great, you can set up a specific amount of money for different items of expenditures. You will also be able to divide your expenses by categories, plan your spendings ahead, analyze your monthly transactions, etc. Evernote – everybody knows Evernote as a note-taking app, but it also can really help you with tracking how much you spend. Moreover, Evernote also has a text recognition feature, so you can simply take photos of your bills – very handy! Expensify – another receipt manager that will keep your finances in control. It allows you to capture receipts, import your credits, and generate reports.

When reality is too small for you


If you have true techies among family or friends, you know how difficult it is to impress them with new products. Finding something mind-blowing can be a real challenge. Sometimes it seems that the reality can’t offer anything interesting anymore, and that’s when VR technologies come in. Virtual reality experience can be a great present for those who are tired of fitness trackers and portable speakers. To enjoy a new experience try out FunLight – an interactive adventure, now only available at Lavina Mall in Kyiv. FunLight is a Ukrainian startup, which provides a 15-minute virtual reality trip, where you can immerse yourself in the world of imagination. Customers can choose one from different scenarios and become a part of an augmented game without any VR headsets.

Relax, take it easy

Pre-holiday madness is probably the most joyful chaos you can imagine. However, listening to the same Christmas song for the fifth time may require a strong stomach. There’s no tech invention that can make Christmas shopping easier and lines shorter, but there are few devices and apps that will help you to cope with the holiday stress.

EMwatch– developed by the Ukrainian team, EMwatch is the world’s first stress tracker and mental adviser. Compared to regular fitness trackers, EMwatch offers expanded features including stress measurement, blood pressure monitor, heart rate monitor: all the indicators needed to keep you calm and mindful even when you are in a supermarket, fighting for the last jar of honey for your Christmas table. The AI-based smartwatch will send you notifications with useful bits of advice.

Headspace – an app which will help you meditate right in the middle of a grocery store. No need for sitting down in the lotus pose – all you need is your headphones, a few minutes, and an intention to calm down. The basic app is free, but if you want to use expanded features and more meditation categories, you’d better subscribe.

For those who aim to control everything, Daylio is worth trying. It records your mood during the day and analyzes stressful situations to prevent a repetition of such incidents and better understand your habits.  It can be tough at first, but after a while, it is interesting to learn how you react to stress. With this app, you’ll know how forgetting to buy milk and returning home with a box of chocolate will make you feel.

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