Christmas is literally just around the corner. If you have little ones, the excitement will be mounting each day.
For most parents however, the build up to Christmas usually means running around like a headless chicken (ahem, turkey) trying to squeeze everything in.
So much planning goes into a family Christmas. Shopping, present wrapping, food planning, parties, outfit planning, and booking events to name just a few tasks.
This year is a bit different. We don’t have any parties to go to, and mot of our shopping has probably been done online.
We’re still OK with a bit more help though!
The smart speaker revolution
Lucky for us, those clever people at Amazon dropped the ultimate gift a few years back.
The invention of the smart speaker has revolutionised the running of most households.
In fact, you’ll find that most houses have either an Amazon Alexa or Google Home device somewhere around the house.
As well as playing your favourite tunes or telling you what’s happening in the world, they are also pretty good assisting in every day life.
Christmas is therefore no exception.
Yep, believe it or not, there are a shedload of ways that Alexa can help out this Christmas too.
Alexa tricks and skills for Christmas
Here are Warwickshire Kids, we’re all about making your life easier. So here’s a list of ways that Alexa will make Christmas easier for you and your family.
For the kids
- Where is Santa? Where the big man is right now, how many days until he arrives, and some other festive facts.
- How many days are there until Christmas? Your very own countdown with a message from Santa too.
- Tell me a Christmas joke. Forget the crackers, Alexa has all of the best (worst) Dad jokes.
- Open snow globe. Play peaceful music, and if you have a visual speaker, a spinning snow globe.
- Tell me a reindeer fact. Learn all about Santa’s special pets.
- How far away is the North Pole? Ask this and other random questions to keep the kids quiet.
- Give me an Easter Egg. No. it’s not the wrong season. Alexa has lots of silly things that will entertain the kids such as songs or impressions.
- Read what’s free from Audible? Listen to a selection of free books each month.
- Open fireplace. Show a roaring fire it you have a speaker with a screen.
- Open The Night Before Christmas. Play a 3 minute version of the traditional poem.
Preparation and planning
- Add to my list. Shopping, presents, or things to do, make a list on Alexa and automatically add to it in seconds. After that, get reminders on your phone too.
- How do I make… Ask Alexa for advice with your recipes. Likewise, ask for food suggestions.
- What’s on my schedule today? Ask Alexa to read directly from your calendar so that you don’t forget what you should be doing.
- Switch on/off delivery alerts. Keep track of Amazon deliveries, or turn them off if they are automatically enabled.
- Switch the lights off. Save energy and another job by asking Alexa to switch your smart plugs off. You can also set routines and access via the app if you are away from home.
- Remind me to… Whatever it is, never forget it.
- Set an Elf on the Shelf reminder. Never forget to check in with your elf to make sure they are still playing tricks.
- Play Christmas radio. Non-stop Christmas songs on repeat.
- Open Christmas quiz. Challenge your Christmas knowledge with a movies, music or general Christmas quiz, for example. Just ask for the one you’d prefer.
- Play Christmas carols. Firstly, register your Spotify, Amazon Music or Apple Music account, and then play Christmas playlists or carols on your speaker.
- What Christmas movies are on. Ask about a specific channel or time of the day to keep on top of Christmas films to watch.
- Open Christmas kindness. This will suggest a daily act of random kindness.
- What is Christmas number 1? You probably miss the charts completely these days, but Alexa doesn’t.
Out and about
- What Christmas events are happening today? Find out what family events are happening locally.
- What is the weather like today? Heading out for a festive walk? Ask Alexa ahead so that you can wear the right clothing.
- What is the traffic like on the M6? Get an overview of any hold ups on the roads.
- Is the 1106 train from Rugby to Birmingham on time? Check for delays and cancellations on the trains.
- What is showing at Odeon Coventry today? Check movie listings.
- What time is the Bullring open until today? Check for late night shopping times.
Keeping the kids under control
- Tell those kids to make their beds. In other words, use Alexa to tell the kids to do all of the things you’ve already asked them to do 652 times.
- Announce… Say “announcing” to broadcast a message to your speaker(s) e.g. “Alexa, announcing. Santa only comes if you all go to sleep!”.
We’re sure there are even more uses for these handy tools, but these should keep you going this year!
And if you are yet to join the Alexa crew, they have a special offer on Echo Dot at the moment.