How we do Thanksgiving

Before preparing to host, cook or hit the road this Thanksgiving, we asked Branigonians to provide their go-to strategies, traditions or tips for getting the most out of (or just getting through) the holiday. How does one assemble the perfect outfit? What’s the ideal method for eating as much as humanly possible? Discover all that and more below. Have a safe, happy and delicious Thanksgiving.


It’s less of a strategy and more of a ritual: Have a great brunch with my family and always, always, watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade!

– Kathleen Dohearty, Managing Director

Food And Wine

We always have two gatherings and meals to attend on Thanksgiving Day. Same time every year – noon and 4 p.m. My strategy is to eat a light meal at noon and skip dessert. Then I eat a full meal for dinner (often second helpings!) and top it off with homemade from scratch apple pie and Gilles frozen custard. There are always turkey cutout cookies too, so I of course have to save one of those for the next day.

– Marlo McCormick, Senior Account Director

My usual Thanksgiving strategy involves not eating until noon, but I just found out my mom is going all out for Thanksgiving breakfast. Looks like all bets are off this year!

– Emma Wallo, Assistant Account Executive

A typical Thanksgiving starts with a well-intentioned strategy of pacing myself so as to better enjoy the entire bounty of food before me. Then the snacks arrive. I abandon any plan or hope of restraint whatsoever. Works every time.

– Griffin Gotta, Digital Strategist

My Thanksgiving strategy is to sleep in, go easy on the appetizers and enjoy late night laughs with relatives.

– Maggie Thelen, Assistant Account Executive

My Thanksgiving beverage strategy is to drink red wine at dinner because it seeps between the cracks of the food and doesn’t fill you up.

– Julie Dohearty, Office Manager

Fashionable Feasting

I have a very specific Thanksgiving clothing strategy. My family is big on pictures at every holiday, which usually requires a nicer (but restricting) outfit. That’s why I always bring my “comfies” as backup – stretchy pants, loose top and a cozy sweater or sweatshirt. I wear my nice outfit right up until mealtime, then change into my comfy outfit for the feasting ahead.

– Ashley Thill, Account Director

My Thanksgiving strategy is to always wear leggings! Because leggings look super trendy worn with an oversized sweater, nobody will think twice about your outfit. But the main perk of wearing leggings on Thanksgiving is comfortability as you indulge. As you stuff your face with delicious food, the stretchy waistband will basically be your BFF. 

– Kate Kazan, Senior Account Executive

And Finally ... Meditations From The Pie Kitchen

There is so much to be grateful for – family, friends, the start to a joyful season, warm memories and togetherness . . . but let’s cut to the chase . . . it really comes down to pie.

All other Thanksgiving offerings pale in comparison to pie. If you can manage to maximize your pie enjoyment you will know grateful on the deepest level. The strategy here should be to bake happy, honor tradition and mix in something new. In order to bake happy this year there was a pumpkin pie cooling on Monday for eating while baking throughout the week. Feast-day pies from the Branigan kitchen will include two traditional pecan, a double-crust apple, two chocolate and one new contender, the hazelnut coffee pie. The glossy photo shows a gooey Kahlua flavored center with beautifully browned hazelnuts studding the surface. It looks like a sure-fire catalyst for a grateful heart. Happy Thanksgiving!

– Sally Branigan, CFO