Has anyone else, besides me, did a double take at the calendar? Where has the year gone? It's not quite crunch time, but the last minute rush of the holiday season is looming. While we are slightly more prepared than last year, it`s hard not to give in to the stress of getting everything done. How many times have you rushed to get your holiday cards out on time? Misplaced your shopping list and forgot what to get? Want to see who has a cheaper Bold 9700? In charge of carolling this year and have to get all of the lyrics ready?

This time of year is supposed to be about friends, family and immersing yourself in whatever you celebrate. So before you are forced to put your BlackBerry away and partake in the festivities, use it to your advantage. You'll be replacing Merry with Berry, as you whizz through the winter wonderland. Like the big guy checking his naughty or nice list, I searched through BlackBerry applications to present what I thought would be part of a holiday survival guide rather than a gift guide. If you like what you see, don't forget little old me this year. No coal please.

Hey! I saw it first!

I'm sorry that I didn't have time to wrap this list up for you, but I did remember to get a gift receipt in case you didn't like it. I'm sure you will and perhaps you could spread the holiday cheer by adding some application suggestions of your own in the comments section.

Splash Shopper List Organizer

When it comes to shopping, there are two types of people; those who love it and those who hate it. There is always something you seem to forget to pickup. Most other times this could be shrugged off, but not at this time. Oh no, a missing ingredient, decoration or present may spell disaster. Using an application such as Splash Shopper may not help you jump to the head of the line, but you will stay ahead of the game. This application allows you to create and manage multiple shopping lists; keeping Johnny's and Suzie's wish list separate from you holiday grocery list (Mom? Why did Santa bring me a ham?). Add efficiency to your list by including organizational data such as; product, store location and price. If it gets down to crunch time, you can send your list to someone else, while defending the last must-have toy from other shoppers. Splash Shopper List Organizer costs $4.99.


Okay, so you have found the perfect gift, but the miser in you wants to make sure you're not spending too much. How often have you thought to yourself "I wonder if I can get it cheaper over at.." ? Hopefully fellow Canadians can back me up when I say that this season reminds me of the old Canadian Tire campaign 'Give like Santa, Save like Scrooge'. This online solution helps you easily view and compare a products pricing from local and online stores. You can also check out product images, descriptions and reviews. Frugalytics also has a deal of the day for the serious shopaholic in you. Unfortunately, only the United States and the United Kingdom are supported. Frugalytics is free.

Hallmark Mobile Greetings

Itchy, ugly sweaters, kicking and screaming kids, finicky camera timer, there's nothing like taking a family photo for your holiday cards. I'm kidding of course- it's a great way to capture the season and share the joy (can I get any mushier?). You feel a sense of accomplishment as you finally send off your cards just before the deadline. Later on, you realize that you may have forgotten someone. Oh yes, Great Aunt Zelda who live across the country. A card won't make it there in time, so look to Hallmark Mobile Greetings to save the day. Send off holiday greetings from phone to phone with personalized notes. You can also bookmark favourites for future use, which makes sense, as you have over 550 cards to browse through. Hallmark Mobile Greetings is free, but each greeting costs you $0.99.


Call me cheesy, but I like to sing Christmas songs with my family in front of the tree or fireplace. Now I can live with someone being out of tune, but at least get the lyrics correct. I mean it's not that hard to get all of the names of the Reindeer right, is it? TuneWiki doubles as both a music player and a lyric provider. Relying on fellow TuneWiki users for the right lyrics, the words will display on your screen, in sync with your current track. You can also visit their website to see where other users are and what they are listening to. Now you can fa la la la la until you're blue in the face. TuneWiki comes in two versions; a free version and a Pro version for $4.99. The Pro version supports music video stream and internet radio with lyrics as well.


One of the traditions our young family began to do is the reading of 'Twas the Night before Christmas before we went to bed on Christmas Eve. While I prefer a physical book, Softcovers is a great way to read free and paid-for eBooks from your BlackBerry. You can easily browse through authors, magazines and best sellers. Load up on some holiday favourites- especially good for the long trip to Grandma's. Shortcovers itself is free.

Forget Trimming the Tree, Trim up your BlackBerry!

To reward your BlackBerry for a job well done, make sure you decorate it for the holiday season. No, take that bow off the back of it, unless it's a gift for me. Make your way to the theme, ringtone and wallpaper sections to find fun and fantastic ways to bring your BlackBerry some holiday cheer. I'm hoping to find a fantastic Yule log theme this year!

There's no need for me to hang up the mistletoe, I'll be getting plenty of kisses for making this holiday season so easy (from my wife of course). Why not have a sip of eggnog while you download these applications or comment on some apps of your own. Make sure you also add some new accessories to your wish list. Hurry up, the holidays are just around the corner!

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