With just a few days to go until the big day, Amazon are sharing some new Alexa features for Christmas, including a Christmas countdown routine, an all-new “Hey Santa” feature, voice activated RNIB letters from Santa and Fire TV Christmas films.

The “Hey Santa” experience on Alexa

We’ve introduced Santa, a new personality for Alexa that will bring Christmas cheer for the whole family. You can ask Santa to tell you a story, sing a song, crack a joke, set a timer, and more. Just say “Alexa, enable Hey Santa” to get started.

Santa also has a special duet with award-winning singer-songwriter, Meghan Trainor, which you can listen to exclusively on select devices with Alexa by saying “Hey Santa, sing your duet with Meghan Trainor” after enabling Hey Santa.

You can have Christmas fun with Alexa too, by asking questions such as “Alexa, am I on the nice list”, “Alexa, sing a Christmas song” or “Alexa, do you like my Christmas jumper?”

Hey Santa utterances to try (after enabling Hey Santa):

  • “Hey Santa, sing We Wish You a Merry Christmas.”
  • “Hey Santa, sing the 12 Days of Christmas.”
  • “Hey Santa, sing Deck the Halls.”
  • “Hey Santa, tell me a story.”
  • “Hey Santa, tell me the North Pole news.”
  • “Hey Santa, tell me about your reindeer.”
  • “Hey Santa, can you laugh?”
  • “Hey Santa, what is your favorite food?”
  • “Hey Santa, merry Christmas”
  • “Hey Santa, let’s dance.”
  • “Hey Santa, tell me a joke.”
  • “Hey Santa, let’s play a game.”
  • “Hey Santa, give me advice.”

Additional Christmas utterances to try with Alexa:

  • “Alexa, where is Santa?”
  • “Alexa, sing a Christmas song.”
  • “Alexa, tell me a Christmas joke.”
  • "Alexa, how many days until Christmas?"
  • “Alexa, do you like my Christmas jumper?”
  • “Alexa, do you like my Christmas tree?”
  • "Alexa, add roast potatoes to my shopping list."
  • "Alexa, am I on the nice list?"
  • "Alexa, will it snow on Christmas Day?"
  • "Alexa, wake me up at 7 a.m. to Jingle Bells."
  • "Alexa, tell me a Christmas story."
  • “Alexa, how fast does Santa’s sleigh go?”
  • “Alexa, what is Santa’s address?”
  • "Alexa, what's the best Christmas movie?"
  • "Alexa, what do you want for Christmas?"

In the Alexa app you can also set up a festive Routine for a Christmas countdown, which tells you how many days until the big day, turns on your Christmas lights (with a smart plug) and plays festive music.

If you need help in the kitchen this festive season, you can ask Alexa for help with that too. Alexa can help you brainstorm your ideal Christmas day menu and help you shop for the supplies you need. Just say, “Alexa, how do you make gingerbread?” or “Alexa, how do you make mulled wine?”

The new way to discover Christmas films with Fire TV

To help family and friends choose a movie that will preserve the magic, customers can now use bespoke Alexa utterances to summon seven festive family films from the Santa Safe List when using an Amazon Fire TV device.

For instance, when you want to watch Arthur Christmas, you can say “Alexa, Operation Santa Claus is coming to town!” and Arthur Christmas will open on Fire TV’s Prime Video app*.

The new child-friendly Alexa film utterances for Fire TV are:

  • Arthur Christmas (Prime Video): “Alexa, Operation Santa Claus is coming to town!”
  • The Polar Express (Prime Video): “Alexa, there’s no greater gift than friendship”
  • The Snowman (Prime Video): “Alexa, we’re walking in the air”
  • How The Grinch Stole Christmas (Prime Video): “Alexa, what’s that stench, it’s fantastic!”
  • Saving Santa (Prime Video): “Alexa, let’s save Santa”

Alexa will keep the magic alive when asked “Alexa, is Santa real?”. For parents who want to create their own answers to questions that kids may hear, they can use the Custom Q&A Skill Blueprint to programme their preferred response.

To discover more Christmas movies with Fire TV, customers can use the new Fire TV Stick 4K Max, which is 40% more powerful than Fire TV Stick 4K.

For older children and adults, there are more festive Alexa utterances that can be used to launch classic Christmas films. For instance, say “Alexa, keep the change ya filthy animal” and 1990 comedy caper Home Alone will play on Prime Video.

What to ask Alexa on Fire TV this Christmas:

  • Elf (Prime Video): “Alexa, take me to the seven levels of the Candy Cane forest”
  • Home Alone (Prime Video): “Alexa, keep the change ya filthy animal”
  • The Holiday (Prime Video): “Alexa, I’m Mr Napkin Head!”
  • A Street Cat Named Bob (IMDb TV): “Alexa, this animal is my co-pilot”

“Alexa, read my RNIB Letter from Santa”

Sight loss charity the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) and Amazon Alexa have teamed up to ensure that more children living with a vision impairment can listen to a Christmas message from jolly Old Saint Nicholas himself.

For more than 20 years, RNIB has ensured that no child with a vision impairment misses out on the magic of Christmas by creating letters from Santa in accessible formats. These include braille, large print and audio, which comes as a CD. This year, a fourth format will now be available through Amazon’s Alexa. Customers just need to say, ‘Alexa, read my RNIB Letter from Santa’ to hear the message in Santa’s voice.

Last year, the elves at RNIB sent 1,465 letters from Santa to blind and partially sighted children living across the UK, helping them experience the same magic as sighted children. Thanks to this new collaboration between RNIB and Alexa, a further 14,500 young children with a vision impairment could benefit from the scheme.

Andrea Jones, RNIB’s Head of Individual Giving, said: “Our Christmas mission at RNIB is to make sure that every child with a vision impairment is able to experience the same festive magic as their sighted peers. This step by Amazon helps us to achieve this aim and we couldn’t be more grateful to them for working with us to bring some Christmas magic to thousands more children.”

For more information about RNIB’s Letters from Santa scheme, visit RNIB Letters from Santa.