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Countdown begins: Six festive iPad and iPhone apps to help prepare for Christmas

Send e-cards, plan your presents, track Santa, and more

December has arrived already, and we all know what that means... Holidays are coming! So, as Christmas approaches, here are six handy and fun apps to help you get prepared and feel the festive spirit.

Advent 2012: 25 Christmas Apps

Price: Free, universal

This Christmas countdown app offers a free app every day in the lead up to Santa's arrival, as well as some festive mini games to keep you occupied along the way.

Sleeps To Christmas 2

Price: Free, universal

You can also count down to Christmas with the Sleeps To Christmas 2 app. It has new, animated characters including Santa, snowman and gingerbread man, which dance to popular festive tunes while they countdown the days second by second.

Santa GPS

Price: 69p, iPhone

Santa GPS helps you track the man himself as he travels across the globe delivering presents on Christmas Eve. You can count how many days, hours, minutes and seconds there are until Santa arrives at your house, and you can even send him your Christmas Wish List.

Holiday Time Machine

Price: 69p, universal

As Christmas approaches, you might want to get into the spirit, and what better way than by travelling back in time to watch hand-picked festive videos from as far back as 1898. There are more than 2,500 to choose from, so if you start now you might just be able to fit them all in before 25 December rolls around.

Gift Plan

Price: £1.99, iPhone

Started your Christmas present shopping yet? No? Neither have we. But perhaps Gift Plan will help. It aims to enable users to keep track of their gift-buying progress, and make sure they don't leave anyone out. Plus, when Christmas is over, you can use it to plan presents for Birthdays and other occasions too.

Paper Snow 2

Price: Free, universal

And then there are the cards. If you don't fancy handwriting every single Christmas card, you can send e-cards via email, Facebook or Twitter with Paper Snow 2, which lets you cut and create snowflakes and create Christmas cards using a variety of backgrounds, decorations and messages.

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