Consider Alexa your holiday entertaining assistant.
The data is in and Amazon has reported selling millions of Alexa devices this past Black Friday holiday shopping weekend. Whether you're one of the new owners or you already have a spiffy voice-controlled device sitting at your home, here are five neat things you can do to make the most of Alexa this holiday season.
1. Organize holiday shopping lists.
"Alexa, create a Christmas brunch shopping list" may be a good place to start so you can keep track of everything you need for those apple-pecan streusel muffins and cheesy grits soufflé. Alexa can also save the day when it comes to elf work for friends and family—"Alexa, add a white blanket to Dad's Hannukah list"—and lists can be synced with organizational apps like Cozi, as well.
2. Fill your home with festive music.
It may not be quite as poetic as the turntables of our childhood, but Amazon Music has rolled out 30+ holiday-centric music prompts you can use with your device. If you have Amazon Music Unlimited (new subscribers can get three months for $0.99 during a limited-time special here) or Prime Music, give Alexa's playlist prowess a whirl with “Alexa, play me some songs for wrapping gifts” or “Alexa, play me music for lighting the menorah." (There's also music for drinking eggnog, phew.) If you're a Spotify user, there's also plenty of options for Alexa integration. The music giant is currently offering a holiday special for new users where you can get three months of Spotify Premium for $0.99.
3. Track Santa!
You thought ole Saint Nick didn't have GPS? With the Norad Santa Tracker Skill start off by stating “Alexa, enable the Norad Santa Tracker Skill.” After approving the skill in your Alexa app, let the fun begin. Two of our favorite phrases? "Alexa, can I get a fact from the Santa Files?" and "Alexa, when will Santa be at my house?"
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4. Get in good spirits.
An incredible trivia maestro, Alexa has an extensive collection of holiday cocktail knowledge (her arsenal includes around 200 cocktail recipes along with information on serving glasses, garnishes, and more). A few fun ideas to ask Alexa to get the wheels turning: What's in a Negroni? What kind of drinks can I make with white rum? How do I garnish a whiskey sour? (Of course, Papaw would be appalled if you didn't know the last answer is a lemon rind, orange slice, Maraschino cherry, and a sugared rim. Best to leave your inquiry for when he and other omniscient guests are not sitting in your living room.)
5. Stock up on holiday must-haves.
Low on candy canes? Bag of Dreidels mysteriously disappear? Need a few extra strands of Christmas lights? Alexa makes shopping a breeze (you can also order with Prime Now if you're running low on time and the service is available in your area). Indeed, it won't be quite as fun as swiping Costco samples, but that sweet sigh of relief when a box of Dreidels arrive the night before your Hannukah party makes up for it.