Georgie Gardner in the TV special Christmas with the Australian Women's Weekly.
Georgie Gardner in the TV special Christmas with the Australian Women's Weekly. Channel 9

Get into the festive spirit with Georgie Gardner

CHRISTMAS is less than one month away and that means the start of the festive season.

Journalist and newsreader Georgie Gardner hosts this year's Christmas with the Australian Women's Weekly special.

"You're hard pressed to find someone who doesn't feel the excitement and anticipation of Christmas," Gardner told APN.

"It represents for most people a bit of down time, time with family and friends and festivities - eating and drinking and making a lot of fun."

The one-hour special features Australian food icon Maggie Beer and her recipes for roast turkey and trifle, as well as MasterChef winner Julie Goodwin holding a seafood master class at her cooking school.

Kids WB host Lauren Phillips shares some kid-friendly Christmas crafts, while sports journalist Erin Molan and Today weather presenter Emma Freedman pose in a North American-themed photo shoot.

Karl Stefanovic and Olympian John Steffensen also serve up a Mexican alternative to the usual Christmas fare, indulging in a cheeky margarita next to the barbecue.

"We love to start the day with fresh mangos and champagne and fruit toast, and we try to not overindulge too much first up," Gardner said of her family's Christmas Day traditions.

"Then we have a lovely spread for lunch and the past few years we've spent it with friends, which has been really fun."

Gardner and her husband, Tim Baker, have two young children, Bronte and Angus, and Gardner said she has enjoyed spending more time with her family since stepping down from the Today show in June.

"Christmas is all about them (the children), and they're at the beautiful ages where they get extremely excited. It's very sweet and infectious," she said.

"They asked me recently what I wanted for Christmas and I said I'd love for them to make me something. Nothing beats a homemade Christmas present at their ages."

It's good to be Santa Claus at the Gardner/Baker household.

"We leave carrots and water out for the reindeer and we usually leave a beer and a fruit mince pie for Santa," she said.

"It all gets consumed without fail (laughs)."

The 44-year-old hopes viewers of the Christmas special will find inspiration for the holidays while also remembering to enjoy the day.

"The emphasis is to keep it simple and not to get too caught up," she said.

"More than anything it's about being together, having a lovely meal and just appreciating the day."

Christmas with the Australian Women's Weekly airs tonight at 6.30pm on Channel 9/WIN.