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9 Features To Try With Amazon Alexa This Holiday Season

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Your Echo device can be pretty helpful over the course of the holiday season. Whether that’s helping you cook Christmas dinner, getting ready for Santa’s visit, or getting into the holiday spirit. Alexa can help you with all of that and much more.

Here are nine features that you can try with Amazon Alexa this holiday season.

“Hey Santa”

New for 2021, Amazon has introduced a new holiday personality for Alexa, called Santa. It will bring holiday cheer to the whole family. You’ll be able to say things like “Hey Santa, sing Up on the Rooftop”, or “Hey Santa, Tell me a story” among other things.

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Santa also has a special duet with Meghan Trainor, which you’ll be able to listen to exclusively on Alexa-enabled devices. Just say, “Hey Santa, sing your duet with Meghan Trainor”, after you have enabled Hey Santa.

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Track Santa on his busiest night of the year

Alexa can help you Track Santa on Christmas Eve, and see when he might be heading to your home. You’ll need to enable the Norad Tracks Santa skill first, and a parent will need to approve this within the Alexa app. Then you can ask “Alexa, where’s Santa?”. You’ll get an updated location of where he is currently.

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Additionally, you can get an interesting fact from Norad’s “Santa Files”.

Playing Christmas songs all over the house

Another feature you can try this year, is playing Christmas songs all over the house. If you have multiple Alexa or Echo devices in your home, you can say “Alexa, play Christmas songs everywhere”. And it will start playing Christmas songs on every Echo device around your home.

You can also say “Alexa, ask Santa Claus if I’m naughty or Nice”. Or “Alexa, play a trivia game”. You can also set up a routine for a holiday countdown which will tell you how many days until Christmas. As well as routines to turn on your lights and/or play festive music.

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Play Christmas sounds instead of music

Not quite in the mood for Christmas Music, but want to feel in the festive mood? Then this is the skill for you. There is a Christmas Sounds skill that you can add, and ask Alexa to play it. Then you’ll hear a running stream of hooting owls, clopping hooves, Christmas carolers, and much more. This can be pretty cool, if you’re not into the whole music thing.

Listen to The Night Before Christmas and others

A feature that Google actually made popular with Assistant, is also available on Alexa and the Echo. You can ask Alexa to read The Night Before Christmas. Or even say “Alexa, tell me a Christmas Story”.

This can be very helpful to get your kids to fall asleep on Christmas Eve, so you can finish the cooking, presents wrapping and other things to get ready for Christmas.

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Use Alexa to help with Christmas dinner

Who couldn’t use some help cooking the big dinner on Christmas day? Alexa can help with that too. Alexa can help you brainstorm your ideal holiday menu, and even help you shop for the ingredients you might need. Just say “Alexa, how do you make gingerbread cookies?” or something similar.

Last-minute holiday shopping with Alexa

Alexa can also help out those last-minute shoppers. Thanks to Amazon’s super quick shipping, you can still get some last minute gifts up until the day before Christmas. Just ask “Alexa, give me holiday gift ideas”. You can also ask “Alexa, where’s my stuff” to see what’s available.

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But for shopping, you can ask “Alexa, buy Amazon gift card”. Because who wouldn’t want a nice Amazon gift card for Christmas?

Send Christmas Cards with Alexa

Did you forget to buy Christmas cards for those that you didn’t buy presents for? Don’t worry, Alexa can help you there too. You can say “Alexa, send Christmas Eve Card to Mom and Dad” and they’ll get a virtual Christmas card. Now you do need to set up these cards ahead of time and your contacts. But once you do that, it’s pretty easy.

Find daily acts of kindness

It’s the season of giving, so with the Christmas Kindness Skill, you can have a random act of kindness suggested to you, that you can perform every day. Interestingly, this is the most highly-rated holiday skill for Alexa.

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An example of this is “Let that stressed-out mom jump ahead of you in line at the grocery store.”

Wrap Up

That’s just a small taste of what Alexa is able to do, to help you this holiday season. Not just on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, but throughout the holiday season. This makes it pretty worthwhile to pick up an Echo device, if you haven’t already. There are a ton of different holiday skills available for Alexa, with more being added all the time.

Alexa is more useful than just turning on and off your smart lights or answering your random questions. Though it can be very useful for inquisitive kids that are asking you hundreds of questions a day – and questions that you may not have the answers for.

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Right now, Amazon has all of its Echo devices on sale for the holidays. You can even bundle them with different smart home products and get it for less. For example, you can get the newest Echo Dot for as low as $30. It’s worthwhile to pick one up, as it is so versatile.