It’s the time of year when your underwhelming gift choices (women don’t like drill bits? Who knew?) and inability to load the dishwasher will leave you facing the silent treatment. No matter how long you’ve left the dishes rotting in the sink, Amazon’s Alexa will always talk to you. And she has some superb Christmas party tricks up her big red sleeve that could stop you poisoning your guests or throttling one another. Here’s my pick of the Christmas Alexa commands:
Alexa, read A Christmas Carol
Until the 12th Day of Christmas (5th of January 2018 for the heathens in the house), Amazon is giving away a free Audible version of A Christmas Carol. This is no half-baked narration either, starring old hams Derek Jacobi, Kenneth Cranham and Roger Allam among others. You can stop the story and continue from where you left off at any point.
Alexa, play music for a Christmas party
Don’t want to spend six hours on Christmas Eve compiling a playlist for the big day when there’s perfectly good drinking to be done? You don’t have to. Tell Alexa to play music for a Christmas party and she’ll rustle up a playlist of festive floor-fillers for you. If you’ve set Spotify as your default music app, you’ll need to add “from Amazon” to the end of that command.
Alexa, roll a dice
It’s 5pm on Christmas Day, and just as the sherry-fuelled resentment is starting to stir, you decide to bring forward the great family argument by cracking open Monopoly. There’s only one problem: the dice were last seen in the dog’s mouth Boxing Day 2016. Fear not. Stick an Echo speaker on the table, ask Alexa to roll a dice (or die, if you’re a pathetic pedant) and she’ll give you a random number between 1-6. Ah, you feckless fool, I hear you cry. Monopoly requires two dice. Well, tell Alexa to roll two dice and she’ll even tot up the total for the innumerates in the house.
Alexa, what’s on BBC1 tonight?
Forgotten to buy a copy of the Radio Times Christmas Special? That’s because it’s not 1976 anymore. However, Alexa has your back covered. You can ask Alexa what’s on a specific channel or simply ask “Alexa, what’s on TV tonight?” to get a rundown of the prime time offering from all five of the main terrestrial channels. ITV2 will have Hot Fuzz, as always.
Alexa, at what temperature should I cook a turkey?
One for the vegetarians in the house… Alexa is surprisingly comprehensive on the temperature at which you should roast your bird. Of course, she can’t tell you for how long you need to leave the turkey in the oven, as that obviously depends on your turkey’s pre-assassination diet regime, but she’ll let you know how to avoid food poisoning with a precise means of checking said bird is ready.
Alexa, where is my stuff?
Still waiting for mum’s Michael Buble CD to arrive? Ask Alexa where your stuff is and she’ll give you a quick breakdown of expected delivery dates for outstanding orders. Pro tip: do this before 8pm on Christmas Eve.
Now read this: How do I make Amazon Alexa phone calls?