Preparation is crucial for getting your home ready for a fabulous holiday party, especially when tech is involved.
If you really want to show off to friends and family this year, we've put together a list of the best tips, tricks and smart home skills to turn your seasonal get-together into the greatest holiday show on Earth.
Now it's time to light things up. For the ultimate control (and to avoid having to crawl under your tree every night to unplug it), connect the lights to a smart plug. Your digital assistant can turn the lights on and off either with voice commands or on a schedule -- you can even set most assistants to turn the lights on at sunset and off again at dawn.
What's a wintertime party without holiday music? Some might say "more tolerable," but they're just being Scrooges. If you've got a smart speaker -- like an Apple HomePod, Amazon Echo, Google Home or Nest Home -- you can link Pandora, Spotify or (only on the HomePod and Echo) Amazon Music. Then, just say, "Hey, Google/Siri/Alexa, play holiday music" to get the party started.
You can even be more specific and ask for "jazz Christmas music" or "Hanukkah music" or, if your subscription supports it, specific songs or albums. Say, "[Assistant], play The Chanukah Song by Adam Sandler" or "A Charlie Brown Christmas" or the "Kenny G Christmas Album."