Let the countdown to Christmas begin! Anthea Turner reveals EXACTLY what you should be crossing off your to-do list as the day draws closer (including the one thing you MUST do today)

by Super User
Former Blue Peter presenter Anthea Turner has shared her tips for Christmas The 57-year-old has revealed exactly when you should cross tasks off your list Explained when cards should be sent out and the best time to buy a tree  Christmas might still be more than eight weeks away but there are already tasks that can be done if you want to make the day as stress-free as possible. Former Blue Peter presenter Anthea Turner, 57, has revealed exactly when you should cross certain chores of your to-do list over the coming weeks - including ones that should ideally be underway by Sunday night. Speaking to FEMAIL, Anthea explained why you should send Christmas cards no earlier than December 7 and shared the best time to go shopping for your tree.  The star, who recently launched a new gift subscription service The At Home Box Company, also revealed her present ideas for hard-to-please loved ones. Scroll down to read Anthea's organisational countdown to the festive season... The first step on the road to a stress-free Christmas is to buy a notebook and start making lists. 'These are lists of everything that you need to do,' Anthea explained.For presents, everyone you need to give a present to. And if you are hosting Christmas then everything you need to do to prepare for it. Lists, lists, lists.' This organisational bible will keep you on track as things start to get busier. This weekend While it might be tempting to leave Christmas shopping until the last minute, doing so means you risk missing out on some of the best offers. Anthea said: 'Present buying is something you really want to get out of the way. 'If you look around at the moment there are offers on that won't appear in about another three weeks, they won't be there. 'If you want to grab a bargain, I would say start this weekend.' One month before Once the presents are bought, Anthea advises getting them wrapped as soon as possible. One month before is a good target to aim for.   'Try and do it ahead if you can because again it becomes something horrible,' Anthea said. 'Like many things in our lives its good to do little and often. Don't leave it to the night before like revising for an exam.' Anthea also reminds people to leave plenty of time to post gifts. 'Otherwise you're going to panic, you're going to miss the post - it's just not worth it,' she added.   Two weeks before  This year Anthea took the money that she would have spent on Christmas cards and instead donated it to charity. However she will still be posting cards to a handful of relatives who she feels will genuinely appreciate the gesture.  These will arrive 'sometime during the second week'. Any earlier and Anthea said: 'I think, "haven't you got anything better to do?". When to clean?   It might be tempting to hold off on cleaning until your guests are almost at the front door but your best bet is to start the process now.  'Have a turf out now, this weekend,' Anthea said. 'Tell your children about the poor children who don't have mummies and daddies or who live in poor countries. That can all go on.'  'Leave them to the second or third week of December. Any earlier is just a little bit over enthusiastic.' One week before For many, December 1 marks the time to start thinking about buying a tree but, according to Anthea, this is actually better left until the week before Christmas. 'A Christmas tree is great for probably about two weeks - the week before Christmas and the week after Christmas,' she explained.  So while you might put up other decorations in the early days of December, hold off on buying your tree in order to ensure it stays 'sparky' until New Year.    On the day  Contrary to popular belief, it is perfectly acceptable to pop to the shops on Christmas Day.  Anthea said: 'Unless you are catering for an army of people that are staying for two days or three days or more. The shops are open now. It's not like the old days when you couldn't buy anything on Christmas day. 'We go into this strange panic and it's like we're never going to eat again, never going to find anything. It's bonkers. Calm down, chill out and keep everything in perspective.  Don't feel bad about buying things from supermarkets, they're great.

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