Christmas is coming (the goose is getting fat, etc.), and what used to be a simple holiday, where families got together to celebrate, has been complicated in recent years.

For those in the USA, some families are split down the middle by their opinions of US President Donald Trump. In the UK, families are often horribly split by Leaver and Remainer mentality, especially following the results of the recent general election. Worry not, as Amazon’s Alexa has just the thing to stop those predictable political arguments over the Christmas table.

‘Alexa, change the subject’

As reported by Yahoo Finance, research run by Amazon reveals that 6:30 pm on Christmas Day heralds the danger zone in which family arguments are likely to rear their ugly heads. To bypass the problem, Google has added a special feature to the smart speakers to get Alexa to step in and put a halt to potentially damaging arguments.

It’s pretty simple, if an argument seems like to start over the dinner table, simply use the phrase, “Alexa, change the subject.” These few simple words will cause your AI-powered assistant to attempt to start a different, non-political debate, by asking everyone questions, including such gems as “Is Die Hard a Christmas movie?” While anyone that has watched the “Die Hard” films will emphatically say no, this takes the conversation on a whole new round.

According to Amazon, Alexa could ask something along the lines of who each family member’s celebrity crush is, or when preparing scones, should you put the jam or cream, first. Another gem could ask everyone what their preferred superpower would be and why.

However, according to the survey run by Amazon, it’s not just politics (believe it or not!), but also money is one of the major issues that can cause the family to argue – especially if one family member has shown off by purchasing hugely expensive gifts.

There are also arguments as to which team would win in popular sports, or someone being a poor loser in a game of Monopoly, for example.

With whom do arguments mainly break out?

Interesting to note, Amazon’s research also finds that arguments break out mostly between siblings, or with their mother. Dad must be playing Santa Claus or something! As noted by CNET, however, this new service is not only for the festive season, but can be used at any time a break is needed in the family tension.

That report also points out that Alexa can perform a number of holiday-related actions besides breaking up fights. She can be used to accurately track the arrival of Amazon packages, control the Christmas smart lights, send out Christmas cards, play Christmas melodies or, if you are not already munching your way through your chocolate Advent calendar, can even tell you how many days are left until Christmas.

You can also ask Alexa to add certain food items to your festive shopping list or get her to read you “The Night Before Christmas” or another moving Christmas story. She can also help you find the perfect Christmas movie to watch.

It sounds like a bargain. Now if we could only get her to tell me how to survive January financially, after spending too much on the family’s Christmas gifts!

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