Smart Holidays 2019 – Let Alexa Help

I am looking forward to smart holidays 2019! Anyone that knows me well, knows that I like using Smart Technology – from cutting the cable cord to shopping and more, I have found that Alexa is my assistant, helping me stay organized and get things done. So I am sharing some tips on how to leverage technology to get through the holidays.


Grocery Shopping with Alexa

This is one of my favorites. No more wasteful spending, just getting what’s on the list! Tell Alexa what you need – just say, “Alexa, add butter to the shopping list.”  Install the Alexa app on your smartphone. When you get to the grocery store, check the app for your items and cross them off as you purchase them.

TIP: Review your recipes and check the pantry to see what’s needed. Let Alexa know what to add to the shopping list.

Recipe Selection with Alexa

I collect cookbooks. There is something about turning the pages of a book and reading different recipes. But then there’s the frustration of not having that specific recipe I want to make, or knowing which cookbook it might be in. Here is where Alexa is helpful. Just say, “Alexa, show me stuffing recipes that can be baked.” If you have an Echo Show, you can scroll through the recipes suggested to select the one you want to make.

TIP: Review your recipes and check the pantry to see what’s needed. Let Alexa know what to add to the shopping list.

Turkey Planner Skills

A few years ago I was in Kroger Thanksgiving morning to pick up some flowers. The woman on line in front of me was buying a 20 pound frozen turkey and asked the cashier how to cook it! That bird was going to need at least 12 hours to thaw in cold water and then needed to cook! Poor planning on her part. Not sure what that family had for dinner??? Anyway, fast forward to 2019 and you can use the Turkey Planner skills on Alexa to help answer how big a turkey you need for the number people attending your dinner, and how long it will take to cook! Might have helped the lady in Kroger to get a few smaller birds???


You can throw away those dial timers! Just set a timer for each item, and be specific. “Alexa, create a 15 minute timer for the biscuits.” “Alexa, set a 3 hour timer for the turkey.” And you can check on the timers by asking – “Alexa, how much time is left on the turkey timer?”


My traditional wine for Thanksgiving always includes this year’s Beaujolais Nouveau release. I learned about Beaujolais Nouveau while traveling in Paris during Thanksgiving years ago, and it has been a holiday staple in my home since. However, it is not the only wine served, and now, thanks to Alexa, I can ask for suggestions that will pair with my meal. Using the MySomm app on Alexa, I can ask “Alexa, recommend a wine to serve with my turkey.”


In case you don’t want to watch football while you are cooking, or if you turn it off during the meal, you may want some background “noise” or music. And of course, Alexa can absolutely help with that. Just ask her – “Alexa, play Thanksgiving music” or “Alexa, play Christmas music”.

Isn’t it nice to have such a cooperative personal assistant for the holidays?

Of course, if you are starting your holiday shopping on Thanksgiving, don’t forget that Alexa can help with your Christmas shopping lists too – just create lists on Amazon. And you can also add the Black Friday Calendar skill so you can check on store hours to schedule your holiday shopping!