The 2020 holiday season has already been quite different from previous years. With stay-at-home orders continuing around the world, families will be in close quarters this winter. From the kitchen to the living room and the rest of your home, there are many ways Amazon Devices and Alexa can help make life easier and more enjoyable for the entire family. To offer some inspiration to our customers, we’ve teamed up with celebrity mom Rachel Bilson to share creative ways to use Devices to keep your family entertained this winter.

“Even though I am at home more than I’ve ever been, I feel like I have less time than ever. With the holidays coming up, figuring out how to stay in touch with extended family, shop and send gifts, help my daughter with her schoolwork, and try to get an ounce of time for yourself is HARD. While I don’t have an extra set of hands, having access to Alexa makes it so much easier.”
- Rachel Bilson

Here are a few of Rachel’s tips.

1. “Alexa, call Grandma”
“Our Echo Show 8 has helped me stay close to loved ones when I can’t physically be with them. The calling feature has been lifesaving. My daughter and I can chat with my parents, and she can call her friends from school that she hasn’t seen in a while. Alexa also helps us connect with those who are far away.”

2. TV made easy with Alexa
Ask Alexa to play your holiday movie favorites. “The Fire TV Stick is a game changer for me and my daughter. I used to have to scroll for hours on end and would end up watching reruns of the same show. Now, I ask Alexa to find holiday movies and see favorites right away. It's awesome that Alexa can search across apps instead of having to search in each one individually.”

3. “Alexa, sing my favorite song”
“The Echo Dot Kids Edition is my daughter’s best friend. Briar loves to ask Alexa to sing her favorite songs.”

Check out Alexa’s top picks for the Holiday season here and find more tips from the Devices team below.

4. “Alexa, announce it’s time for bed”
Use multiple devices in your home as an intercom system to make Announcements throughout the house. Parents find this feature helpful in keeping kids on a routine and making bedtime a little easier.

5. Keep your kids entertained with Amazon Kids+
With many of us working from home and distance learning through the winter, keeping kids safely and appropriately entertained is a big priority. Amazon Kids+ can help kids stay entertained for hours with over 20,000 books, audible books, movies, TV shows, apps, and games, which can be accessed through Fire TV and Fire Tablets. Designed for kids ages 3 to 12, all content is hand-curated and age-appropriate. Parents can even utilize simple parental controls to limit screen time, set education goals and curfews, and manage content.

6. Transform your living space with Fire TV
This year, our homes have turned into our gyms and our living rooms have become movie theaters. With Fire TV, it’s easy to create an all-in-one space with access to all your favorite apps. For a movie night, look to Netflix, YouTube, Prime Video, Disney+, HBO Max, Apple TV+, STARZ, SHOWTIME, CBS All Access, and more, or watch all the big games live on NFL Sunday. Create the ultimate at-home gym with popular apps such as Peloton, Beachbody on Demand, Gaia Yoga, Zumba, and more.

7. Put your culinary skills to the test
Now is a good time to upgrade from your old cookbook recipes. Try out virtual cooking classes with the Food Network Kitchen app on Fire TV to spice up your culinary routine. Follow along with step-by-step recipes, or get exclusive cooking classes with iconic Food Network chefs for a restaurant-ready meal at home—this could even be a fun idea for a date night or family activity.

8. “Alexa, let there be light”
Get into the holiday spirit with the new Holiday Lights Routine. Just plug all your holiday lights—from the mantel to the Christmas tree—into your Amazon Smart Plug and then activate the Routine through the Alexa app. When started, Alexa will turn on your holiday lights and start your favorite holiday playlist for a perfect cozy night at home with the family—just add a cup of hot cocoa.

3 ways to reimagine the holidays with Alexa

9. “Alexa, play holiday music everywhere”
Whether wrapping presents, baking holiday cookies, or decorating the Christmas tree, there’s nothing quite like listening to holiday music throughout the house to get you in the spirit of the season. With multiple Amazon Devices, you can spread the holiday cheer everywhere in your home through multi-room listening.

10. “Alexa, call Santa”
Excite your kids by calling Santa this year. The kids can tell him what toys they are hoping to find under the tree, and parents can give him an update on whether the kids should make the nice (or naughty) list this year. He’s pretty busy these days, so you’ll get his voicemail, but we promise he’s listening to all his messages before Christmas.

11. Spend quality time with friends and family
While we may not be able to see all of the friends and family we hoped to see this holiday, we should make the most of our time with those we’re lucky enough to be with safely in person. Host a game night with the kids in the living room using Alexa Skills. Some entertaining options include: Song Quiz a skill that will challenge your family’s knowledge of songs from the past 60 years; Escape The Room, a game where the family can work together to search the room, pick up items, and solve puzzles to find the way out; and Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader to test your brain and work to graduate up to the next level.