If your kids want to talk with Santa during the holidays, Alexa is ready to make the connection.
If anyone in your household has an Echo Dot Kids Edition or a subscription to FreeTime on Alexa with other compatible Echo and Fire devices, you can make calls to Santa’s workshop at the North Pole without further activations or downloads.
Now, to be clear, callers don’t actually speak to the rosy-nosed Big Man. When you say, “Alexa, call Santa,” she will respond with one of several responses such as “What a great idea, I’ll put you through” or “OK, let’s see if we can connect with him.”
After a short, jingly ring, someone answers, but odds are it won’t be Santa. Most often the call is answered by someone at the workshop switchboard or another helper who asks how they can help. Alexa does the talking, asking to speak with Santa, and after one or two transfers, Santa comes on the line.
The conversation interchanges between Alexa and Santa are scripted and upbeat, with lots of ho-ho-ho-ing. Santa is very busy this month as he’s sure to mention, but he’s always happy to fill callers in on the latest chores or goings-on in preparation for the upcoming flight.
It’s probably a good thing Alexa leads the Santa calls because many young children could be lost for words in the overwhelm of the moment. But kids have plenty more chances to interact with Alexa during the holiday season.
During December, when kids say, “Alexa, open my toy box” or “Alex, open my gift,” they’ll hear a different response each day, including jokes, fun facts, stories, or songs.
Children can also use the Santa’s Letter Blueprint skill to compose a letter in which can include their wish list. Each kid in a family can write a separate letter to Santa. After sending the letter, kids can say, “Alexa, open Santa’s Letter” for daily updates on the letter’s delivery progress. Santa also responds with a message once a week. Parents can optionally customize the letter skill with updates they would like Santa to give in his weekly responses.
Additional holiday-related questions to ask Echo Dot Kids Edition or FreeTime on Alexa include:
- “Alexa, what are your favorite winter books?”
- “Alexa, tell me a winter story.”
- “Alexa, what are your favorite winter movies?”
- “Alexa, can reindeer fly?”
- “Alexa, what’s your favorite holiday cookie?”
- “Alexa, will we get a white Christmas?”
If your family talks with Google Assistant, Google recently released its own list of holiday-related features.
- Publish a new Alexa skill this month and Amazon will give you an Echo Dot
- Alexa will trick or greet you with custom doorbells this Halloween
- How’s your Spanish, Alexa? Some Amazon Echo devices pick up a new language
- The best games to play with Alexa
- Amazon’s horde of new Alexa-powered audio gear includes subwoofer, new amplifier