Solar Walk 3D
One of those classic apps used to demo iPads, this app lets you, as the name suggests, walk through the solar system - with a mass of educational information on everything from planets to Nasa rovers. It looks stunning, with 3D walkthorughs, cutaways and loads of knowledge for the budding Brian Cox.
Apple’s own word processor received a huge overhaul this year, turning into an incredibly capable, Microsoft beating tool and integrates with Apple’s iCloud online storage. Brilliantly, for new iPad owners it's also free, so what are you waiting for...
While we're on the subject of Apple's apps, GarageBand is by far the best and easiest to use music creation app on the market. It also revived a huge overhaul this year, fully spruced up for iOS 7. It can now run unto 32 different tracks concurrently - not bad when you consider Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody only used 28.
If Garageband is just a bit too indie-rock, then hit the decks with Djay 2 instead. One of the first apps to take advantage of the iPhone 5s and iPad Air 64-bit processor, Djay 2 is phenomenally powerful, letting you mix together music, and can even automatically match the pitch so your mashups will sound better than ever. It's also pretty simple to use, so you'll be mixing the Christmas carols together in no time.
Just perhaps use the headphones, for the sanity of the rest of your family.
If arguing with the family has gotten too much, why not learn another language instead? A unique approach to learning a language, Duolingo lets you learn a language through playing games against others, and you can even help translate web pages as you learn. It's surprisingly good fun, and the perfect education app, as you'll quite often forget you're actually learning as you play.