Let Amazon's Alexa help you host during the holidays

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Hosting during the holiday season can be extremely stressful. From the never-ending grocery store runs to remembering who needs to get picked up at the airport to getting the perfect gifts, playing host is a major undertaking. 

Luckily, this year Amazon's Alexa, their smart virtual assistant, can help you get through it. With just a few festive phrases, your Alexa transforms into your holiday helper extraordinaire. Keep reading to find out how you can get the most out of your Alexa-enabled devices this season. 

"Alexa, help me get into the spirit"

To have Alexa set a festive mood at home, ask her "Alexa, play a fireplace video on YouTube" for some ambiance or "Alexa, play Holiday Hits" to hear all of the classic Christmas tunes. Plus, if you're hooked up with a Prime membership or a FreeTime Unlimited subscription, you can also ask her to turn on a holiday movie for you and the whole family to watch. Might we suggest "How the Grinch Stole Christmas?"

Shop: Amazon All-new Echo Smart speaker with Alexa, $79.99 (orig. $99.99)

"Alexa, add milk to my Shopping List"

Make sure you have all of the essentials ingredients for that special dish you're making by asking Alexa to add certain items to your shopping list. Ditch your old paper lists and simply check your Alexa App for a digital list when you're running around the store.

"Alexa, thaw my turkey"

While Alexa can't physically help you in the kitchen, she can connect you with the Butterball Turkey TalkLine experts! These cooking pros can walk you through everything from turkey prep basics and how-tos to coaching you through any day-of disasters.

"Alexa, open my Houseguest Guide"

We all have that relative that comes to stay armed with an arsenal of questions ready for you. With Houseguest template, you can have Alexa welcome your guests for you. Once you have each template set up, guests can say "Alexa, open my Houseguest Guide" for a guide to your home with info on everything from wifi passwords to how to work the TV.

"Alexa, turn on the holidays"

Instead of climbing behind the Christmas tree or finding a spare wall outlet, use your Amazon Smart Plug to add voice control to any outlet and let Alexa light your tree or menorah for you.

Shop: Amazon Smart Plug, $24.99

"Alexa, call Santa"

Get all of the children even more excited for Dec. 25 by hooking them up with a call to St. Nick! This month, FreeTime users can ask Alexa to call the big man up north to let kids to hear from Santa Claus.

"Alexa, set a timer"

If you are completely wiped from a morning of opening gifts but can't bear to burn the Christmas cookies (or just need to take a nap, honestly), ask Alexa to set you a timer so you don't miss a moment.

Disguised Delivery

After all of your hard work holiday shopping, get some peace of mind in a season of porch pirates by using Key for Garage. This delivery locker, that is built right into your home to keep your deliveries safe, will help you to keep track of what packages have arrived.  

Shop: MyQ Smart Garage Door Opener Chamberlain Wireless & Wi-Fi enabled Garage Hub with Smartphone Control, $19.98 (orig. $49.98)

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