Most people can easily conjure up New York City’s holiday’s magic: the glow of the Rockefeller Center tree, the Radio City Rockettes, and the smell of roasted chestnuts. But for New Yorkers, the reality is typically more ordinary.
“I have like seven jobs and two kids, so I’m all over the place,” said long-time resident and television personality Andy Cohen. “As a single dad, I just want the kids to feel like I’m around a lot. So I don’t have time to mess around.”
Between juggling kids and jobs, how does someone like Cohen find the time to gather presents, cook, and decorate his apartment? For one, he relies on Alexa, Amazon’s voice artificial intelligence (AI). “I have Alexa taking care of me,” he said. “Alexa gives me the gift of time.”
Cohen said he has been using his Amazon devices and Alexa to hack the holidays. Here’s how:
1.Andy’s custom Alexa Routine
Cohen used the Alexa app to build a custom Alexa Routine that lets him establish the holiday mood. Cohen simply says, “Alexa, let’s get lit,” and Alexa plays holiday music on his Echo Dot, turns on the smart plugs that control his Christmas tree lights and his favorite disco ball, and pulls up a fireplace screen on his Fire TV Omni QLED Series (Cohen’s building doesn’t allow real fires).
“I’m the kind of guy that when I walk into my apartment, I want the whole scene to be set,“ he said. “The lights are such a great way to set the holiday mood, and I just love feeling good and cozy.”
Cohen said that during the holidays, his apartment has a revolving door of friends and other guests, and with his Alexa Routine, “everything is set up and ready to go, so I’m always guest-ready.”
2.Fresh-baked goods with Amazon
Cohen said that if he has time, he likes to make things from scratch. But with a 2-year-old and a 4-year-old, he rarely has time.
That’s why he uses his Alexa-enabled Echo Show 15 to find recipes, set timers, and cook. Cohen also uses the devices to help ensure he’s always got some nosh for unexpected guests. All he has to do is say, “Alexa, order chocolate chip cookies,” and Alexa will have fresh-baked cookies from Amazon Fresh delivered to his front door.
He also uses the device to fetch other staples. “I use Alexa to make sure my fridge always has some munchies for when friends swing by,” Cohen said.
3.Greet your loved ones with the perfect gift
For Cohen, the holidays are about being together with the people he loves. Cohen’s parents are flying in from St. Louis this year to help celebrate, spend time with the kids, and exchange gifts. “For me, giving is way more meaningful than receiving because you can put so much thought into it,” he said.
But for Cohen, like many others, running around and shopping for those gifts can be time consuming.
That’s where the Echo Show 15 comes in. Cohen just says, “Alexa, give me gift ideas,” and he can shop through millions of items from Amazon.com. He’s targeting a train set for his son. “Don’t tell him,” Cohen said.
Cohen’s holiday hacks help give him some rare down time to enjoy. By helping take away the stress of holiday prep, Alexa helps Cohen focus on the things that matter most: the people he cares about.
Want to try Cohen’s holiday hacks yourself? Scan the QR code below to use his “Let’s get lit” Alexa Routine in your own home.