If you’ve taken on the tasks of hosting Thanksgiving, we’re excited for you. But we know it’s not always a cake walk. In fact, it can be hard to know where to start. That’s why we created this handy Thanksgiving planning checklist.

Fear not! Here’s your list of to-dos to make sure your gathering is a great one.

Decide on the type of your gathering. Is your gathering going to be casual or formal? Will it be kid-friendly? Asking yourself these questions and looking at your guest list will help you to determine what kind of mood to set for your Thanksgiving dinner.

Invite guests. Make sure you invite your guests as early as you can before Thanksgiving so everyone will be on time. You can help set the mood for your occasion by sending each of your guests an invitation. Both print or electronic invites will get the job done.

Start planning out your menu. The number of guests will drive the menu. If you are planning to feed five people, for example, a small 15-pound turkey will do. If you have more than five people attending, you will want a bigger turkey. You might even ask guests to bring sides or a bottle of wine to make things a little easier on your part.

Figure out what help you need. Based on how many are coming, you will need to decide if you can do the planning and set up all on your own or if you need help. This will help you be better prepared to know exactly what to buy when you go shopping.

Shop for food and drink. Now that you have your guest list set and your Thanksgiving dinner planned out, it’s time to buy the food and decorations. Make sure you buy your turkey at least the weekend before Thanksgiving. If it’s frozen, leave it in the refrigerator so it can thaw. The turkey will need about five hours per pound to thaw, so if you buy a 15-pound turkey frozen on Saturday it should be thawed by Tuesday evening. You can keep it in the fridge for a couple of days after it’s thawed. If your turkey is much larger, buy it sooner to give it more time to defrost.

Get your house in order. You might consider doing a deep clean if it’s been a while since you’ve given it the proper attention. You might consider buying some new table decor to freshen things up. Speaking of fresh, don’t forget a candle can create an inviting atmosphere. We recommend one of our Bake Shop scents, which are 15 percent off through Nov. 15.