Best Christmas countdown apps for iPhone and iPad

Whether you're super excited for Christmas Day or you're dreading it and don't have any shopping done yet, a countdown app is a great way to stay on-course during the tumultuous month of December.

Some are fun; others are factual (and maybe a little boring). Here are our favorites!

Christmas Countdown! - VisialSoft

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If you want to add a little holiday cheer to your daily routine, and you also want to know exactly how long until Christmas, the Christmas Countdown! is the way to go.

It features cute, festive imagery, and multiple time modes, so you can see just how many seconds, sleeps, and even heartbeats there are until Christmas.

Christmas Countdown!! - UAB Target Works

Yes, the name of this app differs from the first by only an exclamation point, but it's different and it's lovely and worth noting.

You get a glowing, snowy scene with the number of days until Christmas front and center (you can change it to days, hours, minutes, and seconds in the settings), and when you tap the bundle of presents every day, you get a nice Christmas quote.

There's also an Apple TV app and a Today View widget so that you get your daily notification that Christmas is coming (just in case you forgot!).

If you look for this app in iTunes, it's listed as "Christmas Countdown 2016", but it's "Christmas Countdown!! in the iOS app store. Go figure.

Sleeps to Christmas 2

This app is just plain cute. It offers four characters: Santa, a snowman, an elf, and a gingerbread man, who all have a neat little animation and a sign that lists the days, hours, minutes, and seconds until December 25. If you tap, it'll break it down into individual countdowns of sleeps, hours, minutes, and seconds.

There's also a lovely soundtrack, and you can choose from five tracks, with an AirPlay button built in.

As an added bonus (and I figured this out by accident), sleigh bells ring when you shake your iPhone or iPad. Don't expect to be trilling sixteenth note triplets (it's not that sensitive), but it's a fun feature.

Countdown Tracker - Weipei Deng

Many of these apps have strange names, and that's probably because there are only so many ways to name a Christmas countdown app.

This one is particularly useful since you can add other events, besides Christmas — you just have to rate the app to unlock the feature. You can add your own background to each countdown, and you can add widgets to Today View, so you never forget what's coming up.

Christmas Countdown 3D

This enchanting app features a golden Christmas tree, seemingly made from stars. A double-tap on the tree play carols, and you can scan through them with another single tap, double-tapping again to turn them off.

Tapping the number of days remaining will cause the number to burst into lovely fireworks, and as you move your iPhone around, you move 180 degrees around the tree.

If you just like a pleasant, soothing app experience, then definitely check this one out.

  • Free ($1.99 ad-free premium version available) - Download now

Countdown‼ (Event Reminders, Timer)

Countdown!! isn't just a Christmas countdown app; you can create your own countdown to any future event.

You can manually create the event in the app or you can add an event from your calendar app. You can also add your own background photo(s) (you can set a bunch of them as a slideshow) and choose the countdown font for your countdown, and you can share the live countdown as a web link so that others can count down with you!

Set your own music to give your Christmas countdown that added bit of ambiance.

How do you count down?

Got a favorite Christmas countdown app? Share in the comments below!

Updated December 2017: These are still the best apps for counting down to Christmas!

Mick Symons

Mick is a staff writer who's as frugal as they come, so he always does extensive research (much to the exhaustion of his wife) before making a purchase. If it's not worth the price, Mick ain't buying.