Happy Holidays from the Google Family!

Keep track of amazing deals

My Gmail inbox is flooded with emails from online stores during the holiday season. When I find a great deal or the perfect gift, I star the message so that it shows up in my Primary tab and I can easily find it later.  - Elena

Gift wish lists for kids

Every year friends and family send me emails asking what gifts they should purchase for my kids, so in recent years I’ve been using Google docs to create a list and share it with them (including links on where to purchase them). That way, people can strike it off the list as they make purchases online or in-store. The kids get what they want and I don’t have to return anything that they didn’t want, doesn’t fit, or is a duplicate gift.  - Eunice

Keep track of your holiday budget

Every year, my parents put together a Google spreadsheet where they keep track of what they spend on gifts, dinners, and other events during the holidays. When either of them adds something to the spreadsheet, the other parent can see these changes in real-time, keeping them from overspending.  - Max

Find your family in crowds of shoppers

My family is full of last-minute shoppers, so we visit a lot of stores just before the holidays. It’s hard to keep track of who’s going where! That’s why we all share our exact locations with each other through Google+. We're always able to find each other, even in a crowded shopping center.  - Betsy

Track your packages

If you’re an online shopper like me, you’re eager for your gifts to arrive. To track your packages, enter the UPS, FedEx, or USPS tracking number in the search box on Google to see the package’s delivery status.  - Courtney

Organize your recipes

Baking is one of my favorite parts of the holiday season! All year long I collect delicious recipes from friends in my "Recipes" label in Gmail, so now its time to preheat my oven, find a festive recipe, and get baking. As I try new tasty treats at this year's holiday gatherings, I'll also be asking for friends to email me the recipes.  - Sam

Stay connected with family from miles away

If you’re not able to visit your family during the holidays, use Google Hangouts to have a virtual celebration. My parents live thousands of miles away, so we use Hangouts when we can’t be with each other on a holiday. We sometimes add my aunts and uncles to the conversation, which makes it feel like a big gathering.  - Caroline

Never forget a task or idea again

Whether it’s a new recipe or the perfect gift idea you finally came up with, Google Keep for Android lets you note down everything that comes to mind. This can be in the form of a list, or even a picture you add to your notes.  - Henning

Get home for the holidays

I live across the country from my family, and getting home can be a challenge during the holiday season. To make planning my trip home easier, I use Google Maps to search for flights and get driving directions from the airport.  - Laura

Check flight status

Do you have family flying in for the holidays? Before heading to the airport to pick them up, search on Google for their flight to make sure it’s getting in on time. Just enter the airline name and flight number [alaska air 920] to check the progress of the flight.  - Becca

Download maps before heading out for the holidays

I travel abroad during the holiday season to see my family and friends. Google Mobile Maps comes in handy wherever I go, but it’s not so useful when I’m abroad. I don’t want to get huge data roaming charges! Before I head out for the holidays, I download a map of the area that I’ll travel to, and view the map offline on my phone during my trip.  - Lynn

Plan a trip together

I like visiting new places during the holiday season. To involve my family in planning a trip, I share a Google document and they contribute by adding ideas, information they found online, or recommendations from friends, which we then discuss by inserting comments. Tip: Share the exact location of your favorite spot with a Google Maps link!  - Marta

Follow Santa around the globe

Each year, Santa goes on a journey, giving gifts around the world. You can follow him on Christmas Eve with the Google Santa Tracker, which is a thrill for kids who can’t wait to see what he brings them.  - Josh