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How a Mom of 3 Makes Time For Family Over Winter Break

How This Mom of 3 Makes the Most Out of Family Time Over Winter Break

We’ve teamed up with Amazon Echo to spotlight real moms who came up with ingenious uses for the technology.

In theory, Winter break should be relaxing. It’s one of the few times of the year when kids and parents alike can escape the distractions of soccer practice, spelling tests, and work emails to just spend time together.

Reality, of course, isn’t always that simple. Between all the holiday parties and family get-togethers, your Winter break schedule can fill up quickly. Steffanie Siebrand, a mom of three kids ranging in age from 5 to 13, knows the feeling well. Those few weeks in December and January are some of the few when she’s not busy with her work as an actor and director, chauffeuring her kids to the 16 dance classes they take each week, planning activities for her son’s Cub Scout group, or attending baseball games. In fact, Steffanie is so busy that she often sets reminders on her Amazon Echo so she knows when to leave the house! Ahead of the busy holiday season, we caught up with Steffanie to find out how she plans to spend quality time with her family and discover how she uses her Amazon Echo to make it happen.

The Siebrand family typically goes out of town for the holidays, in part to leave behind all their usual obligations. “We go to San Diego to spend Christmas at my mom’s house,” Steffanie said. “She always wants my kids to experience a white Christmas, so she has a local ice company blow snow all over the front lawn.” Though it's hard to compete with those epic lawn decorations, Steffani also said that she tries to make the interiors look festive with all kinds of holiday decor. In the weeks before Christmas, she puts her Amazon Echo to use ordering all the garlands, ornaments, and stockings she needs for the holiday.
When they do have some downtime, Steffanie's family likes to bake cookies together or make handcrafted holiday cards. Even during Winter break, the Siebrands enjoy maintaining their active schedules through play dates with friends and family gatherings. “Keeping my family on task is key!” Steffanie said, so she counts on timers and reminders on her Amazon Echo to keep track of all their commitments.

No matter what they’re up to, Steffanie’s family loves to listen to music together. "Whether it's using Echo [Dot Kids Edition] to play loud wake-up music to get the kids up and out of bed or for [parents to ask Alexa to play music for] dance parties at night, Alexa is always there as a DJ.” During the holiday season, you better believe that means Christmas carols.

Credits: Photography: Hannah Heinrich; Art Direction and Prop Styling: Emily Baker; Hair and Makeup: Lavonne Anthony; Wardrobe Styling: Johanna Cranitch; Production: Sasha Bar-Tur, Bryan Carroll, and Cassie Doyle