With the backdrop of a global pandemic, it is certain that this year’s festive season is going to feel a bit different to normal. With Christmas parties cancelled and many of us having to spend Christmas at a distance from our loved ones, you may find it difficult to think of ways to get into the festive spirit.
Still, even if your Christmas holidays look a little different this year, there are plenty of ways to find, enjoy, and spread joy in 2020, while keeping ourselves and others safe.
Fortunately, Google Home is one of those ways. With the help of a smart speaker, Google Assistant offers several commands which you and your family can use to celebrate Christmas and make your holidays feel more festive. And let’s face it, we could all do with a little extra boost to cheer us up.
From turning on the Christmas lights to providing hours of fun family entertainment, here are 5 ways that Google can help you to celebrate the festive season.
1. Track where Santa is or call the North Pole
This year, you and your family can track where Santa is by using your Google smart speaker. However, you won’t be able to start tracking Santa’s whereabouts until Christmas Eve. Just say, “Hey, Google, where is Santa?”, and Google Assistant will tell you whereabouts in the world Santa and his sleigh is, so you can ensure everyone in your household is tucked up in bed ready for his arrival.
Whilst you are busy counting down the days until Christmas Eve, Google offers you the opportunity to phone the North Pole and speak with Santa himself. To make the call, just say “OK, Google, Call Santa” to your Google Home device. From here, you will hear a dial tone and then be connected with an elf, who will then eventually transfer you to Santa. Although you can’t talk about your Christmas wish list with Santa, he does ask you a series of questions before playing a Christmas song based on your answers.
2. Control your Christmas lights
Are you tired of searching under your tree each evening to find the switch for the Christmas lights? Well, you will be happy to know that you can turn on your Christmas lights with Google Home – given they are connected to a compatible smart plug. So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to turn on your Christmas tree lights with just your voice by saying “Hey, Google, turn on the Christmas lights”.
2. Play Christmas music
Filling your house with your favourite Christmas tunes is a great way to make your holidays feel even more festive. Luckily, Google Home can do just that, by moving the festive party to your home. With a Google speaker, you will be able to stream music from Spotify, Google Play Music and YouTube. Just ask, “Hey, Google, play Christmas music”, and it will start to play a series of festive songs from your music service of choice. You could also use your music streaming service to create a festive playlist to listen to on the run-up to the big day.
4. Watch your favourite Christmas films
What better way to get into the Christmas spirit than to catch up on your favourite Christmas movies in front of the fireplace. With your Google Chromecast enabled TV, you can play Christmas movies from your Netflix account by saying “OK, Google, play Christmas with the Kranks”. If you are unsure what movies are available, just say “OK, Google, open Netflix”, and you can browse through your choices before settling down to watch a film. Don’t forget the hot chocolate and a mince pie for a mid-movie festive treat!
5. Listen to a funny joke or positive news story
After this year, all the bad news floating around may have left you feeling run down. Luckily, Google can help to lighten the mood this Christmas. By asking “Hey Google, tell me something good”, your Google smart speaker will tell you a positive news story. The uplifting stories focus on people who are solving problems for our communities and our world, according to Google.
If your guests don’t want to hear a news report, you could always ask Google to tell you a funny joke to lift their spirits. Just say “OK, Google, tell me a joke”, and it will begin to make you laugh with an entertaining joke. Google Assistant has plenty of cheesy, and hopefully, funny jokes up its sleeve.
Here is a list of other entertaining Christmas commands you can ask Google Assistant:
- “Where is Santa Claus?”
- “Tell me a Santa joke.”
- “Sing me a Christmas song.”