If you are a parent and a smart home technology user, you can have a lot of fun this holiday season with your kids and your devices. If your kids are still young enough to believe in Santa Clause, you can put together a plan to help them ‘track’ Santa all through the night on Christmas Eve. Whether you have them checking up on your smart home technology through the night, or reviewing the ‘evidence’ the next morning, make some smart memories over the holidays. Here are a few ways to use your devices to keep the dream of Santa alive:
There are many apps available for digital home assistants – like the Google Home and the Amazon Echo – and several of those will be geared toward the holidays. Check out which apps are available to track Santa’s route, and make sure you enable those. Teach your kids how to activate your smart home assistant and the tracking app, and let them entertain themselves for weeks.
On Christmas Eve make sure the kids see you lock the doors with your smart lock app, or even let them do it themselves. Then, after the kids go to sleep unlock and open the door, then close it and lock it again. On Christmas morning, call your kids over to look at your smart lock app, and check the log. It will show that the house was accessed in the middle of the night, and of course you’ll deny it was you. When they ask why Santa used the front door instead of the chimney (if you have one), you’re going to have to have an excuse ready because I do not have one for you.
Motion Sensor Lights
If you have family in town or a friend or neighbor that is willing to get in on the fun, ask them to help you activate the motion sensor lights when the kids are actively awake and ready to track Santa. Have someone run around your property setting off your motion lights so that the kids get excited and rush around trying to catch Santa. As a bonus, see if you can get someone to actually dress as Santa, just in case the kids do see them!
Video and Audio Doorbells
For this, you would definitely need someone to dress up as Santa. You can either have someone do this live, or you can work on it overnight and just watch the playback with the kids in the morning. If you have your video doorbell set to start recording if something enters your yard, you can take advantage of that and have reindeer go across your yard. I mean, I don’t know logistically how you are going to make the reindeer do that, but just be far enough away from the camera that the kids won’t be able to make out all the details – like ropes and wires.
You can use flour to track Santa’s footprints through the house, then let the kids set the floor cleaner to vacuum up Santa’s footprints. Just remember to deactivate your floor cleaner overnight on Christmas Eve so that it doesn’t suck up all the ‘evidence’ before the kids wake up and see it.