Cortana gets in the Christmas spirit with new holiday themed chitchat

Christmas is arguably one of the biggest holidays, especially in the United States. Therefore, it should be of no surprise that Microsoft has programmed Cortana to respond to some yuletide inquiries with appropriate responses.

Firing up Cortana and asking her numerous questions or proclamations will inspire the digital personal assistant to respond appropriately. Here are a few examples sent to us by one perceptive reader.

Cortana Christmas responses

Cortana Christmas responses (known so far)

  • Merry (or Happy) Christmas!
  • Where is Santa?
  • Sing me a Christmas song
  • Do you like Christmas?
  • What do you want for Christmas?

Try 'em out and see what happens!

Certainly, there are other holiday themed queries that Cortana can respond to, so the challenge is for you to find them all and share them in comments. Sure, Cortana's chitchat is a bit silly, but if there is one thing Microsoft has learned, you folks like interacting with your personal AI so they seem happy to oblige.

Thanks, anonymous, for the tip!

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been here covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics and ran the projectors at movie theaters, which has done absolutely nothing for his career.

  • Specially in the US? Why? Didn't get it ... I thought that it was a Christian holiday.
  • If you lived here, I wouldn't have to explain ;) Starting on Thanksgiving eve, it's non-stop advertising, sales, consumerism, lights, etc. until the 25th. It's pretty much ridiculous. Only "holiday" that lasts like 40 days.
  • Thanksgiving eve? Try the day after Halloween!
  • Exactly what I was thinking! Hell, sometimes you see it even /before/ Halloween these days. Christmas is like two months long at this point (not that I'm complaining, I LOVE Christmas lights!!!!!)
  • Pretty much the same around here, the Christmas "holiday" starts sometime of November, as well as all the lights, sales and consumerism.
  • Yep, it's a beautiful thing. Definitely not a Christian holiday, though. Not enough weeping and repenting :)
  • And gnashing of teeth. ;)
  • @Daniel Cool Christmas my favorite holiday! Sad to see all the consumerism overtake its true meaning though.
    Daniel, Chit-Chat, as I know you know has far greater value to Microsoft, Cortana and the whole paradigm of we humans interacting with Digital assistants than being a fun gimmicky feature.
    It is Microsoft's, quite ingenious method, to engage users with the system. This has NUMEROUS benefits, the training of users, the system, data collection, metrics, voice analysis improvement etc. If the system isn't used it can't be improved. By making the assistant engaging, CHIT-CHAT, Microsoft keeps users talking to her.
    If you don't mind here are my thoughts(to place them all here would consume space) on how Microsoft is using Cortana's Chit Chat function to train USERS as well as the artificial intelligence! Your thoughts? :-)
  • So it is similar to Microsoft's inclusion of games like solitaire and minesweeper to train users on using the mouse?
  • I'd say more like the games training users to accept advertising and to see how far they can push it. Can't even play some parts of Solitaire if you don't have a network connection, and I assume it's because of the ads.
  • At most, this keeps you "chit-chatting" for several minutes. I hardly interact with Cortana for two reasons: 1: She doesn't have enough functionality yet to warrant me using her consistently 2: Can't voice activate her.
  • The same in europe.....
  • +1520
  • She has the Xmas mood here in India but ain't singing.
  • Our local mall was playing Christmas carols before Halloween this year. I love the holiday as much as anyone, but it's getting a bit crazy.
  • Actually the holiday is blatantly anti Christian. If you bothered to research its origin you'ld know :) Long story short, nothing todo with Christ, since the scriptures point out sheep were grazing during the time he was born, which doesn't ever happen during the winter. Lastly the day coincides with roman sun god worship; making it pagan and idolatrous to celebrate, therefore anti-Christian. :)
  • Christmas is celebrated in December for the same reason many Christians worship on SUNday.
    Blame the Romans.
  • It was made to coincide on the 25th to appease both pagans and christians at the time, among other things. Like the pagan cross in like 300ish CE. Anyway enough of that, religion is a red button topic. xD
    If you wanna celebrate it that's your problem not mine.
  • WOW...this is what passes for education theses days.....
  • It's actually kind of cool when you think about it. Instead of eradicating cultural pagan traditions that preceded it, they were incorporated into and shaped a new narrative's traditions.
  • Roman sun-god worship has nothing to do with Christians worshipping on Sunday, and everything to do with the day of the week of the resurrection.
  • Also, Christmas trees were pagan. Christians weren't keen on them. In America, yes didn't show up until about 1770 in Pennsylvania. Even then, they took some time to be accepted in the deep south. This is a fact from moonshiners on Discovery channel!
  • "Sheep were grazing during the time he was born, which doesn't ever happen during the winter." Because, I mean, it's not like Israel/the Middle East is a arid desert with pretty consistent temperatures all year long or anything. From the Sol Invictus Wikipedia page ( "The Philocalian calendar of AD 354 gives a festival of "Natalis Invicti" on 25 December. There is limited evidence that this festival was celebrated before the mid-4th century." It's called CHRISTmas for a reason, people. Not Sungodmas, Solmas or anything else.
  • Well, if you really want to get technical about it, it's a pagan holiday adopted by the Christians back in 4th century when Constantine made Christianity legal in the empire. According to scripture, Jesus was born in spring. Though no specific date is known.
  • Yep, true. Christianity was an outlaw type of religion until around 330ad.
  • That's if you believe in spring :P
  • Guys, the whole point is, it's not only special at the United States. That's it.
  • Because USA is love, USA is life, USA is the world. We don't have amazing offers during Christmas in this third world continent called Europe.. We don't even have Christmas. End of sarcasm. Americans have this idiotic pride and they keep throwing it in our face. Yes, the sales are great in USA but just because 80% of the population have no idea how discounts work. Hell, they have no idea that Denmark is a country, reason why this article states "especially in the USA". It's not like rest of the world got amazing discounts as well, is it? OP, stop referring to the whole world as USA please. - a mad European who knows that Belarus is a country without googling it.
  • That's exactly what I'm talking about. Thanks Liviu for understanding. But Daniel I wouldn't have to explain if you don't live where you live :)
  • Tell it liviu
  • I totally made up that 75% of Eurpeans make massive blanket generalizing opinions about the population of the US which is about 350,000,000 people at the moment. Cause it's wrong to make generalizations about populations for being ignorant? Wait, excuse me... Pot, meet Kettle.
  • I'm in India and it's responding quite well about Christmas .....
  • Cortana tell santa that we want windows 10 preview for christmas
  • Or denim
  • Windows 10
  • Bring 1030 for Christmas. I've been a good boy.
  • Happy holidays of course works as well. Quite nice to see some seasonal greetings.
  • Not working on German language. Guess we have to wait to get Cortana features way after US version as always.
  • Alpha is not Beta.
  • All of these work in alpha with the exception of sing a Christmas sing... So...
  • No,but Alpha Beta used to be a grocery store chain :).
  • If it helps... "Merry Christmas, Samir"
  • Ha ha /_\ < that's a tree
  • Now say it in German please. ;-)
  • Frohe Weihnachen!  (I think)
  • Cortana can bring me a flagship Lumia on T-Mobile for Christmas
  • Good luck with that
  • Santa may be magic, but some miracles are even too much for him.
  • I wish! Unfortunately, 2014 was the year Windows phone and flagship hardware stopped speaking to each other.
  • Ha, there is just as much chance Verizon will release an update as T-Mobile getting a decent Windows phone.
  • Cool, but not in German :(
  • Jo, dat is' schon schade :( Aber gut, ist halt noch Alpha, leider...
  • Dummkoph
  • Ok
  • die ist ja auch erst vor ein paar Tagen rausgekommen. Die meisten Sachen sind noch nicht mal mit der Synchronsprecherin aufgenommen worden
  • For the love of God, please, please Cortana make them release Denim already! One can only wait so long!
  • how nice that would be
  • i wonder whats the thing with denim update... on my old phone i got tge update in summer, my 830 has it per default. why is there so many people who dont get the update? on the same phones?
  • I love how the UK version talks about the queen's speech, nice little localization there :)
  • Not local for Australia! Very mechanical and far, far from the Australian speech.... US version is better suited to Aus.
  • I got the Australian version here in the UK too horrible compared to the English one. She pronounces barbecue as barbics lol
  • i aggree  
  • "Do you want to build a snowman?" works also...
  • Ya but that brings about a generic response that is used for many questions Cortana doesn't have specific answers to (a circle may be infinite, but my answers are not).
  • Star Wars : Jar Jar Binks :: Frozen : The Snowman
  • Say "sing me a Christmas Carol"
  • It responds the same when u ask her to "sing me a Christmas song" but still cool.
  • Is Christmas not that popular in the uk then?
  • This is so cute!!!
  • Christmas is pretty big everywhere - but the Middle East - I  imagine.
  • Even in the middle east its popular but not for Muslims , only Christian people celebrate or do their activities.
  • Try bah humbug .....
  • Me: Cortana what would you like for Xmas? Cortana: I honestly can't tell if that's a trick question. lol
  • Ask "what are you doing for Christmas" .
  • Wow, it works in Australia!!! Great... Now change her fking voice from this shitty UK robot to the US voice!!! PLEASE!!!!!!!
  • Cortana, will Santa get me a 1030? I've been good :)
  • "Have you been naughty or nice?"
    "What did you ask Santa for?"
  • Generic answers.
  • "tell me a Christmas joke" works!
  • Not on my phone in Canada :'(
  • "Are you my secret Santa?"
  • Generic response.
  • And this kind of gimmcky flim flam is why this is happening...
  • LOL, I've seen many different test with many different results.  Some say Cortana is better others say Google Now is better and a few(very few) say Siri is better.  Cortana works fine for me and I like her "gimmicky flim flam".
  • cortana is of course the best :) not just because its cortana (i loved her in halo) but because her features. first a very good voice, then the reminders, quiet hours and other stuff and the most important thing: when you type your question, she answers with text, google now and siri always talk to you, although you might dont want it. i love cortana.
  • Week that's just fine and dandy if you are in the US. The UK version is shit. But the facts are there, it's a poor third to the others currently.
  • i used the us version in germany and couldnt do many things because the us availibilty, but although it was way more fun than siri or now.
  • Not facts. Just another mans opinion.
  • Say "Bah Humbug" and Cortana responds with "I'm detecting low levels of festivity."
  • Ya maybe if I wasn't on FUCKIN Verizon!!!
  • You should just sign up for the developer preview. I did like 4 months ago and my Lumia 928 on Verizon has never been better!
  • Still on Lumia black though
  • No response to "happy festivus" :/
  • Meh
  • Is there any available command for Cortana ?
  • If Cortana was released in our country, she wouldn't be able to do a thing.