Countdown to Christmas

It’s never too late to look forward to Christmas, for those of us who celebrate it. For me, Christmas is never just a one-day holiday, but a month-long state of mind that includes tasty food, merry music, and plenty of anticipation. As I mentioned recently on GeekDad, we also revel in doing several advent calendars each year.

This year, apps are contributing to our holiday fun. Countdown to Christmas is helping my kids keep in the spirit (as if they needed help), and it is filled with puzzles to assist you in, well, counting down to Christmas. The puzzles are all of the rearranging sort, but you can set the level of difficulty, and you can share the completed puzzles. To move the pieces, just tap two that you’d like to swap places. Once you complete each one, the puzzle also animates parts of its scene, such as snow, fish, or chimney smoke. All the while, lovely instrumental Christmas music plays in the background.

The main page of Countdown to Christmas changes for each five puzzles you complete. Once you complete the five on any particular main page, you unlock the next one, working your way through the countdown. Each puzzle, starting with the one labeled “24 days” and working down to “1 night,” shows various Santa-related images on his trip around the world to deliver presents. They’re not all winter scenes, since it isn’t winter (or winter weather) all over the world in December.

This isn’t a sophisticated puzzle app, but the artwork is cute, and the instrumental Christmas music is very tasteful (songs such as Oh Holy Night, and O, Christmas Tree). You have to use discipline to only do one puzzle per day, though, since it doesn’t take note of the date and stop you from doing the next puzzle. For your perseverance, finishing all 24 puzzles, you are rewarded by being able to launch Santa and his reindeer on their way to deliver gifts for Christmas.

Great fun for little kids, Countdown to Christmas is an added treat to do each day as they wait for Christmas day, but I wish there was more variation to the puzzles. Countdown to Christmas costs $1.99 at the iTunes store.

Note: I received a copy of this app for review purposes.

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Jenny Bristol is an Editor at GeekDad and a founding Director at GeekMom. She is a lifelong geek who spends her time learning, writing, homeschooling her two wickedly smart kids, losing herself in history, and mastering the art of traveling on a shoestring.