Most people these days give gift cards instead of actual gifts. In some ways, this is great – the recipient can choose an item they really like instead of possibly getting something they don’t like or already have – but it’s also very impersonal. In iTunes, either on a PC or Mac or an iOS device, it’s easy to select an item – song, video, or even app – to give to that special someone. Here are five gift ideas to give a loved one this holiday season – or to spend those gift cards on the following week.

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Five Apps

1. Plants vs. Zombies by PopCap

Even if all of the apocalypse theorists are incorrect this December 21, there’s still a good chance (if TV shows and movies are reliable proof) that the zombie apocalypse is just around the corner. So, give the gift of defense this holiday season with Plants vs. Zombies. Available in regular (for iPhone/iPod Touch) and high definition (for iPad), your loved one can learn how to defend their house from a zombie incursion, whether it be day or night, front or back yard, and even on the roof. And, in your down time, be sure to tend your Zen Garden and try out the mini-games, puzzles, and challenges.

2. Documents by Savy Soda

For the productive among us, there’s Documents. This app is capable of opening documents on your iPad as well as from WiFi, Email, and Dropbox. Fully compatible with Word and Excel formats as well as many others, it is capable of opening, changing, and saving documents and spreadsheets without the need of a desktop or laptop. While the free version is limited in options and file formats available, the full version has no limitations and hides the advertisements.

3. Video Tube by Yau You Music Video Professionals

This inexpensive app brings a new face to YouTube video, offering better presentation than the existing YouTube app or the YouTube website in Safari. Video Tube also offers built-in favorites that do not require a Google account to store, unlike YouTube.

4. HomeBudget by Anishu, Inc

A common New Year’s resolution for people is to get their finances back on track. HomeBudget helps you keep track of income, expenses, and bills. It has the ability to set up payees – to track expenses to a specific company – and accounts – to slot your expenses into different groups or specify which bank accounts they’re coming from. Finally, it has some built-in budgeting and graphing to show how your life is stacking up against what you expected it to be.

Calorie Counter Plus by Arawella Corporation

The other common (probably more than finances) New Year’s resolution is to lose weight or get fit. Calorie Counter Plus can help with both of those goals by providing an interface where you can quickly and easily log food consumed and exercise performed. You can also keep track of various body measurements within this app. Additionally, you can set a weight loss plan and the app will track you against it, providing calorie consumption and exercise expenditure recommendations along the way. Finally, with the purchase of a subscription, you can synch your data between your iPhone and iPad allowing you to keep track while on the go on your iPhone and then do your review at home on the larger screen of the iPad.

Your thoughts

What apps will you be giving this holiday season or purchasing with those ever-prevalent gift cards? Share your suggestions with us in the comments.