From everyone at MFA, we want to wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving. Here are some things we’re thankful for and reflections on the year as the holiday season ramps up.

I am thankful I get to spend time with my family. Oh, and my dog, Zoe.

Laura Carty, MFA Exhibitions Manager
MFA Exhibition Fellow Laura Carty's dog Zoe
Zoe, getting into the holiday season.

My family has a tradition that involves a holiday neccesaity: champagne – and here is why. After Thankgiving dinner, but before desert, everyone gets champagne (or sparkling water or juice – depending on age). Then we sing to each person, one by one, from youngest to oldest and – and the end of their song, they chug. This year we will start with my 5 month old granddaughter Sloan and end with my husband Bill.

Joann Vaughan, MFA Executive Director
Photo by Wendy Wei on

The holiday season starts for me in June or July. For the last few years, I have gotten together with my closest friends and we make a batch of Alton Brown’s Aged Egg Nog. We continue to get together every other month or so to make more batches. This way, by the time December rolls around, we each have 12 to 16 quarts of egg nog to welcome in the holiday season. In the week before Thanksgiving, these same friends and I get together and make, from scratch, all of the pies we need for Thanksgiving dinner – we each leave pie day with an apple pie, a pumpkin pie, a chocolate silk pie, and a pecan pie. Frankly, it is less about the egg nog and the pies, and more about being deliberate about carving out time in our schedules every month or so where we know we will all be together for a day. Even during COVID, we set up stations outside of someone’s house, socially distant, and made egg nog and pies – these days became our coping mechanism and our way to look forward to the holiday season.

Ann Cole, MFA Assistant Executive Director
Photo by Daria Shevtsova on

If I could spend a holiday season anywhere, I’d really like to keep it at home, at home with my family is really what makes a holiday a holiday for me.

Julie Ochs, MFA Intern
Photo by Taryn Elliott on

Ever since my siblings and I started college, the holiday season has been one of the only times we’re guaranteed to get together throughout the year. We pick each other up from the airport, jam out to songs from when we were kids, and go get a late-night donut. I’m looking forward to picking up my sister this week and jamming out to some Hillary Duff on the way home.

Martha Campbell, MFA Communications Manager
Photo by cottonbro on

If I could spend Thanksgiving anywhere, I would choose Ireland! It would be so exciting to explore the beautiful landscapes, whimsical forests, and historic castles. My family and I would stay in a cottage with a beautiful garden, a homely fireplace, and hidden rooms. Giving thanks in Ireland with family would be so wonderful!

Stephanie Wyvill, MFA Intern
Stephanie’s Thanksgiving table from 2020, including a pumpkin to represent her Marine brother who wasn’t able to come home that year.

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