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How to make the ultimate Alexa routine for the holidays

Key Takeaways

  • Create a holiday routine with Alexa to turn on lights, play music, and give festive greetings.
  • You can customize your routine to include other smart home actions like closing blinds or adjusting heating.
  • Creating a routine manually is currently the only option, but future updates may allow for easier routine creation using AI.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but there are a few things about the holidays that can be a little bit annoying. There’s very little joy to be found in having to lick all those card envelopes or having to peel all those sprouts. Even turning the lights on every evening can feel like a bit of a chore, especially if the position of your plug means you have to crawl under the tree to get to it.


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Thankfully, there’s someone here to help. No, it’s not Santa, it’s Alexa. You can create an Alexa routine that will turn on your lights, play your favorite holiday music, and even wish you a happy holiday, although your Echo device still can’t peel your sprouts for you…yet.


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If you’re ready to use your Amazon Echo to create some holiday magic, then here’s how to make the ultimate holiday Alexa routine.

creating a christmas routine on the alexa app

How to create the ultimate Alexa holiday routine

If you want to use Alexa to provide a little holiday magic, then creating a routine is a great way to do so. This example uses a phrase spoken to get Alexa to provide a holiday greeting, turn on the smart plug for the tree lights, and to start a festive playlist playing from the Echo device in the same room. However, you can add even more holiday smart home magic to the routine if you wish.

Getting started

  1. Open the Alexa app.
  2. Tap the More tab at the bottom of the screen.
  3. Select Routines.
  4. In the top right-hand corner of the screen, tap the + (plus) icon.
  5. Tap Rename and give your routine a name.
  6. Under When tap Add an event.
  7. Select Voice.
  8. Enter the phrase that you want to trigger your holiday routine. For example, you can have the routine trigger when you say ‘Alexa, it’s the most wonderful time of the year’.
  9. Tap Next.
  10. Under Alexa Will tap Add an action.
  11. Select Alexa Says.
  12. Tap Customised.
  13. Enter what you want Alexa to say, such as ‘Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas, movie house! Merry Christmas Emporium! Merry Christmas, you wonderful old Building and Loan!’
  14. Tap Next.
  15. Under Alexa Will tap Add an action.

Add smart lights

  1. Select Smart Home.
  2. Tap Plugs.
  3. Select the smart plug that your lights are plugged into.
  4. Ensure that Power is set to On.

Add music

  1. Tap Next.
  2. Under Alexa Will tap Add Another Action.
  3. Scroll down and tap Music & Podcasts.
  4. Enter the name of a holiday song, album, or playlist that you want to play when your routine launches.
  5. If you’re playing an album or playlist, and don’t want the same song to play first each time your run your routine, add ‘on shuffle’ to the end of the name of the album or playlist. For example, use ‘Now That’s What I Call Christmas on shuffle’ instead of ‘Now That’s What I Call Christmas’.
  6. You can choose the music streaming service the song plays from or leave it blank.
  7. You can opt to have the music play for a specific time or leave it blank for continuous music.

Finalize your Alexa morning routine

  1. Tap Next.
  2. When you’re happy with your routine, tap Save.
  3. To make the magic happen, all you need to do is say ‘Alexa’ followed by the name of your routine. For example, ‘Alexa, it’s the most wonderful time of the year.’ Your lights should then come on and your music should start to play.

alexa routine to turn off christmas tree on alexa app

How to create an Alexa routine to turn off the holiday magic

As well as a routine to turn on your lights, it’s a good idea to set one up to turn them off again too, along with any holiday playlists you have playing. You might want to add these commands to your bedtime routine if you have one, but you can also create a standalone routine specifically for the job.

  1. Open the Alexa app.
  2. Tap More at the bottom of the screen.
  3. Select Routines.
  4. Tap the + (plus) icon.
  5. Tap Rename and give your routine a name, such as ‘pause Christmas’.
  6. Under When tap Add an event.
  7. Select Voice.
  8. Add a trigger phrase, such as ‘bah humbug’.
  9. Tap Next.
  10. Under Alexa Will tap Add an action.
  11. Select Smart Home.
  12. Choose Plugs.
  13. Select the smart plug your lights are plugged into.
  14. Ensure that Power is set to Off and tap Next.
  15. Under Alexa Will tap Add another action.
  16. Select Customised.
  17. Replace Enter what you would ask Alexa with ‘stop playing’.
  18. Tap Save.
  19. Now when you want to stop the music and turn off the lights, just say ‘Alexa, bah humbug’.

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What else can I add to my Alexa holiday routine?

This holiday routine turns on your lights and plays holiday music, but you can add much, much more to your routine if you wish. The only real limit is the smart home gear that you own, and your imagination.

For example, if you have more smart plugs, you can turn on multiple sets of lights, in the same room or around your home. If you don’t have multiple smart plugs, but do have a lot of. lights, just use a multi-plug extension to plug all your lights into, and then plug them into your smart plug. You can then turn on all the different sets of lights at once.


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If you have smart bulbs, you can set them to Christmassy settings, or turn them off completely to enjoy the full glory of your tree lights. If you have smart blinds, Alexa can close these for to make your home feel cozier. You can have Alexa play the sound of bells or turn up the heating a little. You can even have Alexa read ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas from Audible. The possibilities are almost endless.

alexa lets chat on echo show


Is there any easier way to create my Alexa holiday routine?

As you can see from the number of steps listed above, creating a holiday routine isn’t the quickest process. It’s not hugely complicated, but it does take a bit of effort. At the moment, creating your routine manually is the only option.


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However, this may be the last Christmas (RIP George) that you have to go to all this effort. That’s because in September 2023, Amazon announced that Alexa has a big update in the works, with the new version using AI to hold more natural conversations. One of the other teased features is that you should be able to create a routine just by asking Alexa. By next holiday season, all you may need to do is say, “Alexa, when I say Holidays Are Coming, turn on the smart plug, shuffle my holiday playlist, and wish me happy holidays,” and the entire routine will be created for you.

Now that really would be a Christmas miracle.

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