The Thanksgiving Letter

November 26th, 2009

 (submitted by Kara at

And finally… after years of  trying, Marney agreed to sit down with AFP and discuss her famous letter.

2,988 Responses to “The Thanksgiving Letter”

  1. Caitlin Burrows says:

    I get that someone hosting such a big dinner would need help with preparation, but there is a big difference between having a family free-for-all and having a dinner so micromanaged. They could do a family sign-up sheet. Not with specific dishes, but with categories: hors d’oeuvres, salads, sides and desserts.

    The only guidelines are: remember food allergies and bring enough for everyone.

  2. Linda says:

    Just watched the interview with Marney. That in itself should qualify for an Awkward moment. The woman doesn’t appear to have a sense of humour

  3. Veronica says:

    There is no way I would ever do this to my family, nor would I allow a family member to treat other family this way. This is NOT what the holidays are about. Thank goodness this woman is not my family, I would have to put her in her place. Who does she think she is?

  4. Tasha says:

    Yeah I’m thinking spending Thanksgiving under a bridge would be better than dealing with her…

  5. Michelle says:

    While I am a bit skeptical of the first sentence of her second paragraph, I can kind of see how this type of thing occurs.

    I’ll be honest, I have a bit of Marney in me myself. My family is pretty good about cooking, and most are decent cooks, so I’m lucky there. But for average folk, pot lucks require choreography, and no one ever wants to take the helm except for us serving spoon-squeezing control freaks. Hence, the Marneys of the world.

    Listen, I’ve been to enough of those “laid-back” holiday dinners where 4 out of 5 attendees think it’s some kind of backyard bbq so they stop and grab lame junk from the supermarket on the way over. I guess they figure everyone else will be doing the home-cooking. So what ends up being served? A beautifully roasted turkey with a mind-blowing variety of dorito flavors (bonus! with a can or tub of dip!), a bag of raw apples past their prime, some stale white cheddar popcorn, a few cans of Monster soda or warm beer, pickles, brownies in a box or a can of veggies you expect the hostess to prepare for you, and if we’re lucky some exotic and spicy ethnic meat dish that doesn’t exactly go with turkey. Deny it all you want, but I know you’ve done this $#!&! Amirite?

    • Kelly says:

      Ugh, so true – every time I have to organize a get-together where other people are responsible for bringing part of the food, I think of Marney… I only had to pull together two families for Thanksgiving last year (my first time hosting) and I solved the problem by doing most of the important stuff myself (this would NOT have been an option if we’d been feeding more people!), because I just KNEW no matter what I asked, people would do their own thing. Even with asking for a specific thing (I asked someone to bring a double-layer mousse pumpkin pie, this person’s special recipe and one that my husband loves), I didn’t get it – she brought a regular pumpkin pie, which we already had three of. *sigh* If I had to orchestrate family get-togethers more often, I would definitely end up pulling a Marney!

      People who’ve never tried to pull something like this together often have the attitude, “You should be grateful for whatever I bring!” While I understand that, I also know that those people very rarely realize that hours and weeks of planning and time and money have been invested by the host or hostess, so honestly the guests should be grateful THEY didn’t have to do all that and should be happy all they have to do is bring a d*mn dish!

  6. Jen says:

    I’m still waiting for Marney to answer whether or not those pies actually showed up for Thanksgiving. The look of internal conflict on her face was freakin’ perfect! hahah ..then it just cuts. HA

  7. Wayne says:

    ROTFL. What is a, “regulation size” casserole dish? Is there a separate book of Federal Thanksgiving Dinner Regulations (FTDR)? Is it available on-line? Does she want Imperial or Metric size? This would be funny . . . once. After that, “I’m busy this year.”

    • Ann says:

      Answer: a “regulation size” casserole dish is one that actually fits in an oven, and does not require a crane to maneuver onto its own separate table, unlike the blue whale of a serving dish they dumped on Marney last year.

  8. Ali says:

    Marney sounds a lot like my sister-in-law, Mary, whose sphincter squeezes faster and faster the closer we get to Thanksgiving Day every year. Even if she’s not in charge (she never is) and even if we never ask for her input (we never do), Mary has a Home EC degree (yep) and tells us we peel potatoes wrong every year. Really? I’m wearing cut off overalls and dirty sneaks this year just to piss her off. I’ll upload a pic.

  9. Ali says:

    “Marney” is Mary, my sister-in-law. who took a degree in Home Economics (who does that?!) Only a few universities in the NATION even offer Consumer Arts anymore. Geez! You can hear her sphincter squeeze as Thanksgiving approaches. I’m 54 years old and even I get panic attacks when she hits the front door of my mother’s house!

  10. JKatniss says:

    I love this letter! Hats off to Marney for creating it! My mom used to make letters JUST like this when I was a kid, until my Aunt got tired of bringing the same thing every year and boycotted Thanksgiving until my mom stopped sending them.

  11. Beverly says:

    I think Marny may be in the catering business, or perhaps is a wedding/event planner. This eye for detail would mean she would be sought-after in these fields. Sometimes it’s hard not to take work home with you, though.

  12. mike says:

    Marney is Michele Bachman. Same look, same craziness.

    There are so many things wrong with this I don’t know where to begin.

    Why is the person bringing the pies not the same person bring the pie knife (whatever that is)? Does she not own any knives? You don’t even need a knife, just use the edge of the spatula, works just as fine.

    Apple pie is sort of an odd choice for the second pie. Pecan is a more traditional second offering for pie. Apple might go better with the ice cream, but what if somebody brings an odd-ball flavor of ice cream? Or Ben and Jerry’s?

    Why wouldn’t the choice of green beans or asparagus be the same pounds? Why 4 of one or 5 of another?

    I love how she says things must be served hot, warm or at room temp, these are your ONLY THREE OPTIONS, then in the next sentence, says “anything meant to be served cold should, of course, be served cold.” Of course! You literally just got done saying not to deviate from these three options, then say it’s ok if it’s meant to be that way and suggesting your family are idiots for not realizing that.

    I’m betting that get-togther was a blast. I would have brought a can of Spam and a PECAN pie (store bought AND store brand) and demanded a huge thank you!

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