It's Christmas, which means you might well be spending more time than usual at home – and that means you'll be getting to know your smart speaker of choice a little better too.

If you've got some Christmassy smart lights that work with Alexa – and the likes of Lifx and Philips Hue bulbs do – then you can switch them on (and off) with a voice command.

Alexa can be quite witty when it wants to be, and if the conversation flags around the dinner table then get your Amazon Echo to tell the room a (family friendly) joke.

"Hey Alexa, set a timer for..."

One of Alexa's most useful features is its timers, so take advantage – have your Echo count minutes and seconds in the kitchen and ensure Christmas dinner is cooked to perfection.

One of the Christmas-related skills you can enable on your Alexa device is this one: it'll suggest a small act of kindness you can carry out for someone to spread the festive cheer.

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