Sending a Christmas card may be a heartwarming gesture, but it's far from efficient - it takes you longer to find a pen than it does for someone to read your work, realise there's no money attached and then chuck it in the bin, after all.
But instead of your Christmas cards ending up in a landfill, Alexa can now help bring your half-baked, barely legible holiday token into the digital age. That's right - the smart assistant can send a personalized greeting to all your friends and family's Echo devices on your behalf.
Read this: Funny things to ask Alexa this Christmas
All you need to do is build an Alexa Skill through Skill Blueprints. And though this may sound intimidating, the entire process should only take around 5-10 minutes. Below, we'll tell you exactly how Alexa can send all your Christmas messages in one fell swoop.
Create your Alexa greeting card
To create your greeting, you're going to have to head to Skill Blueprints > Hallmark Holiday Greeting and follow the on-screen instructions. This includes picking one of four themes (that pop up on screened Alexa devices, such as the Echo Show, and recording a message to play.
As you can see from the image above, we decided to record the iconic 'Merry Christmas, you filthy animal' clip from Home Alone and turn it into our holiday greeting. Once you've gone through the slides and recording, and named your greeting, click Create Skill in the top right corner and wait a couple of minutes.
Sharing your Alexa greeting card
Ba-bam, you're in the game - who knew you could make an Alexa Skill while this hungover? Anyway, this is all fairly useless - obviously - unless you start sharing it around, or if it sounds a bit naff.
To check how the greeting comes out through a speaker, head to the Alexa app > Skills & Games > Your Skills > Blueprints to enable your new greeting and give it a spin by saying, "Alexa, open [name of your Skill]".
Once you're confident this definitely isn't a bad idea, it's time to share it. To do so, click the Share With Others option on Alexa Skill Blueprints webpage. It's from here you'll be able to choose how this is sent - either through email, Facebook, text, or, of course, to an Amazon device.
Be aware that the recipient of your card will also need to enable the skill on their Alexa device, but they can do that by clicking the option from your provided message. Once they've cleared that hurdle, they can then say, "Alexa, open [name of your Skill] to hear and see what you cooked up. It's as simple as that, friends - long live the spirit of Christmas.
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