Many people like to send cards to their friends and relatives at Christmas, but you can up your game this year by creating a Christmas-themed video instead. Whether it’s a personalised message from Santa, or an amusing dance video starring your face, there’s much to keep things festive if you’ve got an iPhone.
We show you how to bring a little yuletide technical magic, by making a Christmas video on your iOS device.
Also, if you’re still looking for that last minute present then be sure to check out our Best tech gifts for Christmas 2018 to find some inspiration.
While the name of this app might sound like some kind of Laplandian insult, it’s actually a very fun way to transform yourself into one of Santa’s little helpers.
Elf Yourself has a pre-made video of elves dancing around Santa’s workshop, and by either taking a selfie or selecting an image from your photo library you can add your face to their lithe bodies.
The app supports up to five elves, each of which can have different faces, with each video starring the relevant amount. This avoids the catastrophic mistake whereby you find your dancing persona surrounded by headless, jigging monsters - or Night of the Living Riverdance as it's known.
Elf Yourself is a great way to make you and your friends laugh. It’s free for the workshop video, but others are available from £0.99 in-app purchases, or £5.99 for all 19 dances. Just remember to tag Macworld when you post it on Facebook, so we get to watch.
Create a personalised message from Santa
PNP - Portable North Pole has long been a favourite for those looking to surprise their children with a message from Santa.
The videos are personalised through the parents selecting various options from menus that describe likes, dislikes, hobbies, friend’s names, and other factors that will convince the child that Santa is talking directly to them.
There’s also the option to upload a photo of your child, and enter their name along with its correct pronunciation, so they appear in the video.
When your little one watches the finished result, you can use the built-in Reaction Recorder to capture the looks on their face as Father Christmas reveals whether they’ve made it onto his Nice list this year.
The app is free, but for the personalised video to have all the features available you’ll need to make the Premium in-app purchases which start at £1.99/$2.99. Install here.
Tappy Video Editor
This Christmas app won't get you in touch with Santa or make you a dancing elf, but it's great if you want to add effects to existing videos and send to friends, or share online. Tappy lets you add animated stickers on top of your videos, many of which also have sound effects. You can share to Facebook, Instagram and Facebook Messenger directly from the app. Download it here.
With your festive video now created, it could be time to sit back and compare it with others made on a slightly higher budget. Read Our Best Christmas movies on iTunes guide for a selection of the finest.
And if you shoot in portrait mode when you meant it to be landscape, or vice versa, here's how to rotate a video on iPhone.