Get a Smart Home for the Holidays

The holidays are known to be the most wonderful, cheerful time of the year.  However for many of us, all the planning, decorating, entertaining and coordinating can lead to stress, worry and exhaustion.  Since smart home automation has become so affordable and ubiquitous, why not use it to your advantage?   You can cut through the chaos and and make your life easier this holiday season by using Amazon Echo devices with Alexa voice technology.  Here are a few ways that smart home devices can make your holidays brighter:

  • Create an Alexa Routine – As we inch closer to the holiday season, no doubt you have a long list of to-do items that will require careful planning and time management.  Fortunately, smart home technology can help you create an Alexa routine that will make you more productive.  With Alexa routines, you set it up once and then it runs every time you need it to.  For example, you can create a “Good Morning” routine using your Echo Show 8 that will start your coffee pot, play the weather forecast, update you on the traffic, and read or show your daily schedule.
  • Connect the Holiday Lights – If the holidays mean filling your home inside and out with strings of blinking lights, icicles and yard decorations, then you know the pain of walking around everyday plugging them all in.  With an Amazon Smart Plug, you can program all the lights to turn on automatically at a certain time of day or set them to follow a custom schedule.  If you link the smart plug to a smart assistant like Echo Dot 3rd Gen, you can turn on the holiday cheer with a simple voice command.
  • Liven Up the Party – If you are having people over for a holiday get-together, you can program your Echo Dot with Clock to be the life of the party.  You can use your voice with Alexa to listen to music, play games, sing Christmas carols or test everyone’s holiday trivia knowledge.  If you install a Ring Video Doorbell and August Smart Lock, they will allow you to remotely monitor your front door.  You will be able to see who is at your door as well as let them in using your smartphone.  This will be handy if you are out partying and entertaining in the backyard.
  • Get Help With Cooking – Want to prepare a nice holiday meal for your guests?  There are few things more enjoyable than a holiday meal surrounded by family and friends.  But actually cooking that meal can be a hassle.  A smart Echo Show 5 device is a pro at searching for and finding recipes on the internet.  Just ask Alexa to look up the perfect recipe for that holiday stuffing.  Using a convenient Amazon Smart Oven, you can keep food warm until ready to serve at your holiday table.
  • Keep Kids Entertained – Keeping the little ones from tearing through their presents or toppling the Christmas tree can feel like a full-time job.  You can keep track of Santa and his reindeer as they travel around the world by using the Alexa Santa Tracker skill.  Also, if you install an Echo Dot Kids Edition, your family will be able to call Santa by asking “Alexa, call Santa.”  The kids will hear from elves, Jack Frost and Santa himself.  At the end of the festivities, you can use Alexa to stream your favorite holiday movies, discover new kid’s shows or even listen to holiday Christmas carols.
  • Smart Fire Protection – According to the National Fire Protection Association website,the top 3 days for home candle fires are Christmas, New Year’s Day and New Year’s Eve.  In addition, fires that begin with a Christmas tree are more likely to result in death.  Given these statistics, it’s very beneficial to intall a smart smoke alarm such as XXXXX.  Unlike a standard smoke alarm, an Alexa Enabled Smoke Detector can alert you to a fire even if you aren’t home.  If you have a Nest Learning Thermostat, it can turn off the HVAC system. Also, if you have a Nest Security Camera, it can start home recording so that you can tell what the problem is.
  • Finish Holiday Shopping – Holiday shopping is at the top of everyone’s to-do list.  Your Amazon Echo device can create multiple shopping lists and keep you organized.  Just say things like “Alexa, add gingerbread cookies to my grocery list” or “Alexa, add shoes to Johnny’s Christmas wish list.”  In addition, as we get closer and closer to the holidays, stores are getting busier and busier.  If you have a smart home, you can use Alexa to shop for last-minute gifts.  Just use your favorite Echo device to ask Alexa to put items in your online shopping cart and then check out and pay for your purchases from the comfort of your home.
  • Smart Holiday Assistance – Have you ever felt overwhelmed with so many things to do during the holidays?  In addition to helping you out with Christmas cooking, entertaining and tree lighting, a smart speaker like Amazon Echo 3rd Gen can help out with a variety of other holiday-related tasks.  You can schedule reminders to keep yourself on-track during the day, check airline/train schedules and verify that a package has been delivered.  Smart devices can also synchronize all your holiday tunes throughout your home so that the family can relax after a busy day.

Smart gadgets can take on your most mundane holiday tasks so that you can focus on the fun stuff!  For a complete list of Amazon Echo devices, see the post entitled “Amazons Echo Lineup – Which is Best?

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