Mat Gibbs shares some of his smart home tech tips to help remove the chaos from your Christmas.

In between school concerts, kinder breakups, office Christmas parties, finding new Elf on the Shelf locations and chasing after three kids (including our one-month-old son), our house is in festive chaos.

While this is sure to be our family’s craziest Christmas yet, we’ve found a few ways technology can help our silly season run a little smoother and give us peace of mind over the holidays.

Oh Christmas Tree

Nothing says Christmas like the smell of pine needles wafting through the house from a freshly cut tree, but we all know the magic really comes when the tree lights up. Switching on the lights is such a simple joy, but is easy to forget among the daily commotion. This year we’ve set up our lights to come on automatically at 5pm and switch off at 10pm. And even while I’m at work, with a quick check of our living room camera on my smartphone, I don’t have to miss seeing the kids’ faces light up when tree starts to twinkle.

Silent night

With the arrival of our new son, sleep is a precious commodity in our household at the moment. We’ve arranged our Telstra Smart Home so that the lights in the hallway switch on at night when any of the bedroom doors are opened. This means the kids can find their way to the bathroom easily without crashing around and waking up the rest of the family. At the kids’ request, we’ve also placed a motion sensor near the Christmas tree that automatically turns on our tree lights, so Santa won’t be left in the dark on Christmas Eve either.

The most wonderful time of the year

December is my favourite month. Friends, family, food, fun – what could be better? With the silly season in full swing, we’re lucky to spend a couple of nights at home each week. So, we’ve programmed our Smart Home to switch on lights, the music and Christmas tree lights at random intervals while we’re out so any passers-by will think we’re having a night in, even when we’re out and about.

Dreaming of a White Christmas

Our TV may be on a constant cycle of movies featuring the North Pole and snowmen (thanks Foxtel!), but our backyard tells a very different story. With Australian summer finally here, there’s a fine line between sky-high electricity bills and keeping the house nice and cool. We control our smart thermostat from our Smart Home app so we can cool the house down before we get home, without needing to leave the aircon on all day if we’re out.

Find out more about Telstra Smart Home, or read more about how it can help you keep an eye on your pets and get you through busy days.