The Thanksgiving Letter

November 26th, 2009

The Thanksgiving Letter - Thanksgiving

 submitted by Kara at

Listen to a dramatic reading of Marney’s famous letter.

After years of trying, Marney agreed to sit down with AFP and discuss her famous letter.

And now, you can get the official Marney Shirt! Image of regulation-size casserole dish included.


3,042 Responses to “The Thanksgiving Letter”

  1. ard says:

    Thanks for reposting this!! Pure magic!!

  2. Devaugh says:

    what exactly is a regulation size casserole. who the hell is regulating the size of casseroles?

  3. Poor Me says:

    My future MIL is EXACTLY like this, word for word. AVOID, AVOID!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It is soooo scary. I am positive this is not a spoof, I have been on the recieving end of emails like this one …

  4. holly says:

    does anyone in that family do what is listed here

    and why dont they take turns making dinner

    going out for dinner is probably best

    what happened to flowers and a bottle of wine that you pick

  5. Amy says:

    Aunt Bonnie?? Is that you? Stop calling yourself Marney now. We know better.

    Seriously, this sounds just like my Aunt Bonnie. She means well. It’s how she tries to take care of the family–make everything perfect. I bought her a shirt once that said, ‘I’m not bossy. I just know what you should be doing.’ She laughed. And told me to stir the green beans with a different spoon.

  6. Amber says:

    I do agree with this part “… as a married woman you are now required to contribute at the adult level. ”

    There comes a time when you have to join the adults and do more than show up and eat. Unfortunately to many people have to be TOLD this.

  7. WT* is a “regulation size casserole dish”? Is it approved by some sporting event body/institution or something?

  8. CJK says:

    If someone sent me a letter requesting specific items like this person did, I would tell them “That’s a lovely idea!! How do you ever come up with such ideas? I can’t wait to be there!” and then I would just not go. And preferably, I’d call the rest of the family and tell them to do the same thing. Let her be all alone! 🙂

  9. LuLu says:

    My friend’s sister wrote a letter just as nasty to her family regarding what to bring to their reunion about 5 years ago. Well he was supposed to bring jello. ” MARTIN..THIS IS TO BE HOMEMADE! I DON’T WANT YOU TO BRING THE SAME SH@T AS YOU USUALLY DO FROM KROGER’S. YES, YOU ARE DIVORCED, BUT IF WANT TO CONTINUE TO BE A MEMBER OF THIS FAMILY YOU WILL NOT BE SO LAZY AND BRING SOMETHING LIKE EVERYONE ELSE. DO I MAKE MYSELF CLEAR?

    He brought an absolutely beautiful Huge Fish Bowl and made blueish, greenish jello and filled it with sardines, little by little..and it was a masterpiece! Those sardines looked like they were swimming in the jello. Their eyes were open of course and they were going in all directions.

    He added parsley down at the bottom and like jelly beans (or something) to make it look like a bottom of an aquarium. He said that she literally lost it and screamed at him to leave. They haven’t talked since and is free from this crazy woman! lol

    • Rhonda says:

      I LOVE Martin!!! That is freakin’ hilarious!!!!

    • In Love says:

      Is Martin still single, because I am in love.



    • Wow. that is hilarious and definitely something I’d do too 😉 And in fact it gives me a marvelous idea for a centrepiece for a birthday party soon 😉 My friends and I are in need of a bit of silly fun- I suspect my fish will be different though 😉

    • Matthew says:

      Oh my god, that is too funny. I keep cracking up thinking about what that would look like. If anyone duplicates Martin’s efforts here, please send us a photo!

    • Katie says:

      Oh, my word, this is the best story ever. I know this is comment is a year old but I haven’t laughed this hard in forever. What a masterpiece!

  10. ohyeah says:

    I ADORE this woman. After eating some serious crapola at Thanksgiving I agree with the specifics. Should I ever be unfortunate enough to host, this is how my invitation will read!

  11. Dee says:

    I think that I AM Marney, LOLOLOLOLOLOL. I sent just sent out a similar letter for Christmas, but with adult activities and craft ideas for the kids.

    • Ry says:

      Don’t be so proud of yourself.
      Imagine your family when they read that letter.
      Ha, they are thinkin “can’t we just have christmas here this year, Dee must be losing her mind.”

  12. Jeff says:

    At least Marney never specified a dress code. Tuxedo T-shirts for the guys and Florida T-shirts with oranges pictured on them for the women! Whoo hoooo!

  13. Coletta says:

    Is this for real? I would have to shove the four pound of green bean casserole down her throat…without a serving spoon!

  14. Kirsty says:

    I just love the bit “hey, you’re a married lady, get your cook on, it’s time. But don’t worry, you can do something easy. Just slice up some veg for god’s sake.”
    Ahhhhhhhhhh Marney is scaryyyyyyyy

  15. stepford wife says:

    I’ll gladly make you a bundt cake!

  16. Jon says:

    i love how the author has one family bring a pie knife and another family bring the pies.

  17. Marshall says:

    anyone know the size of a regulation size casserole dish?

  18. Comical Cupcake says:

    I’ve learned that if I am going to be annoyed by someone doing something “wrong” according to my meticulous standards, I should just do it myself. I cooked all the food (completely from scratch) for our Thanksgiving feast this year. Took me 3 days, but I was happy because everything was perfect, and everyone else was happy because they didn’t have to cook!

    • Kate M says:

      Exactly. I’m a control freak, but I do try to contain my crazy. It can’t be a perfect meal if everyone there wants you dead.

    • Wendy says:

      Same here Comical! I have it down to a science now and since it’s spread out over three days it goes pretty smooth. I hostess for ALL holiday meals since my mother-in-law doesn’t cook and they live in a studio apt. NOW, if I can only get my relatives to help me clean up afterward…. I only got blank stares and nervous giggles when I asked for help this year. I am going to draft a Marney letter of my own. “Dear Relatives, Since I do ALL of the cooking for every single holiday of the year, I am assigning clean-up duty to each of you. I am giving you VERY specific instructions so I expect them to be followed to the T. etc. etc.”

  19. Teresa says:

    The Thanksgiving letter was very bold! If I had to go there for Thanksgiving I would rather stay home and eat ppj.

  20. sassynach says:

    1. Lisa as a married woman you are now required to contribute at the adult level. You can bring an hors d’ouvres. A few helpful hints/suggestions.

    Sounds exactly like something my mother would say to me.

    • Mary says:

      Do single women get away with turning up empty-handed, twirling their fingers in their hair but with a pretty dress on?

  21. ELLIE says:

    i like how she calls extra virgin olive oil EVOO. someone watches too much rachel ray.

  22. Jane says:

    Please! We need an update! Did Marney ever get out of the ‘special’ hospital? Really, was it to hard for people to find the regulation casserole dishes?

  23. whatwhat says:

    There is not nearly enough alcohol in this list to make all of those militaristic demands worth it.

  24. Christine says:

    Still my favorite. Of all time.

  25. Kate says:

    I would write my own letter and forward it to the family giving specific instructions of my own.

  26. AwkWerrrd says:

    AHhahahahhahahahaha! This never gets old — EVER!

  27. Becca says:

    This letter SCREAMS suburbs…trust me, those people DO exist! They had me brainwashed for years. I escaped! You can, too, Marney! It’s not too late! Ruuuuuuuuuuuuuuun!!!

    • Christie says:

      I grew up in the suburbs and I think this person is IN-SANE!!! I would so show up with everything in plastic dishes with cling wrap over the top of it and plastic silverwear to serve things with.

      … And also robert mondovi chardonay instead of her specified type, just to piss her off.

  28. Samantha says:

    I think I’ve found the perfect woman for my former boss. Seriously, they could be so happy together. I want them to get married.

  29. Olivia says:

    Just wow. First time I’ve seen that, and I thought my family was organized about the holidays. Whew.

  30. CaryE says:

    This is so funny I nearly launched Dr Pepper from my nose. Unfortunately, I dont think this is “real” and “from last year” as was reported. The last time Thanksgiving was on the 28th was 2002.

    For the love of God, if no one likes the turnips, why have them? Mashed squash?!? Who actaully eats mashed squash?!? Which regulations are we using when sizing casserole dishes – English or American; and if American, ACF or NCF; and if NCF, East or West Coast?!? And why so many mashed potatoes when there are only two pies? How will the Prosucutto Pin Wheel make it without a plate?!? Finally, I will need 4 or 5 beers and a bottle of wine by myself, just to get me to a level where I can deal with Marley… This just isn’t enough alcohol.

    What if Bob likes green beans AND asparagus?
    Mike, your dishes last year were the *WRONG* size!
    Lisa, no cheating and buying prepared hors d’ourves – make em yourself!
    June, you are just doing it wrong – so here are some more particular instructions.
    And Amy, poor, poor Amy, you are one step away from an un-invite.

    • lagrange says:

      Amy, you should go to church and thank your lucky stars that you ARE one step a way from the un-invite. Marney sounds like one of the stepford wives or one of the pod people!! Sheesh!

    • Cat says:

      This letter was submitted and posted to the site last year, it is not referring to last year.

    • Mary says:

      I think one family volunteers to bring turnips because they like them and want them on the table and think others might like them, too. This seems to be a contentious issue, I suspect Marney doesn’t like the and doesn’t see why they should be brought at all, hence the passive aggressive attitude towards the delicious, nutritious and blameless root vegetable.
      Second thoughts – maybe everyone hates them but they bring them because they know it makes Marney crazy when no one eats them.

      • CBM says:

        Mary I’m with you on this one. My family always had a small token bowl of mashed turnips that only Gramma would eat…because she had to…because she lived through the Depression you see. Drove my “shades of Marney” mother crazy because the bowl was- I assume-was a non efficient use of space on the otherwise perfectly appointed table.

  31. Ellen says:

    It never gets old, no matter how many times I read it. It has rendered me incapable of saying “casserole dish” without “regulation sized” in front of it. I hope that never changes.

    • Jane says:

      When I went to a potluck, they asked me to bring a casserole. I asked if it needed to be regulation sized. Several people knew what I meant! This one always makes me laugh!!

  32. Lynn says:

    I wonder if my Aunt wrote this and I am “The Amy Misto Family”. Sounds just like her…guess I should check my email for a Thanksgiving Letter from my Aunt.

  33. Nutsy says:

    This really puts the ‘pot’ back in ‘potluck.’ Last year my cousins asked us to bring
    HOMEMADE pickled jalapenos as condiments to the hamburgers. They even put homemade in caps in their instructions. We took a jar of jalapenos and emptied them into Ball jar. We said it was a family recipe from the other side of the family and gave them that wide-eyed ‘we’re insecure, aren’t you going to tell us we did a good job’ look.

    • butcherbaby says:

      “This really puts the ‘pot’ back in ‘potluck.’”

      i think you have just coined my new favorite “old saying”. all i can think of is amy misto bringing not pies but a pan of her “extra special” brownies.

      lord knows marnie could use them!

  34. ellen says:

    What on earth is a ‘regulation size’ casserole dish? And why does moving up to the adult level mean that you have to now be treated as a child????? This year, I’m thankful I don’t know this woman.

    • Jimbo says:

      Excellent point!

      • Steve Miller says:

        A regulation sized cassarole dish you ask? It depends on if you go by the American Cassaroler Federation or the European Cassarole League rules. Both use different sizes and of course the Europeans measure in metric.

    • tbuck says:

      I searched for “regulation casserole size” because I, too, wondered what the heck she was talking about. 19 of the first 20 results were links to other sites with references to this letter, including a web site about life in Beijing. So, apparently, Marney has created an internationally recognized casserole standard. Unfortunately for her family, only Marney knows what that standard is.

  35. lottiedottie says:

    can you imagine being her husband? or child?!

  36. Jeff says:

    “Here I am! I hope I brought enough baked beans for everyone!”

  37. oscarella says:

    Why have we never heard from Kara? (I think it’s Marney GOTTI btw…) oh…dear…

  38. tracy rohner says:

    Someone forward all this to Marney please….intervention needed.

  39. jazzcarol says:

    Hmmm…. no 2009 update. I wonder if something… let us say… unfortunate… happened at last year’s gathering? My guess is: Lisa, in the dining room, with a regulation size casserole.

  40. Jess says:

    Marney is one of those creepy, control freaks we see on reality TV. As much as I hate reality TV, I’d love to spend a day in the life of this lady, I can’t even imagine what her family has to go through!

    • PromisedPlanet says:

      Reality TV? Every family has at least one member like Marnie. Constantly trying to gain control over life because Mommy and Daddy didn’t love her enough.

      Skinny? Check.
      Jittery hands? Check.
      Explosive anger over small incidents? Check.
      Valium? Doctor please!


  41. Sue D. says:

    Apparently Marney owns stock in Clos du Bois!

    I don’t get it- if someone had a choice between bringing a CASE of beer and a BOTTLE of Clos du Bois Chardonay, um….gee, which one to bring?

    • DrnknSailr says:

      I’d buy two cases of beer and drink one before we headed over to Marn’s. This way I’d be too sloshed to take her seriously.

    • Josh says:

      A bottle of Clos du Bois costs about the same as a case of beer…

    • Amy says:

      Sounds like you would want to bring WAY more than Marney’s minimum requirement for alcohol. The only way to get through that dinner is to be blitzed when you walk in the door and keep on drinking until you leave!

  42. AiXeLsyD13 says:

    Genius. Makes me laugh out loud every time. Ha ha ha.

    I want to hire Marney if I ever need an event planner. Ha ha ha.

  43. Aaron says:

    OH MY GOSH. . . She’s as bad as Monica in “Friends!!” You wouldn’t see me anywhere NEAR her Thanksgiving party!!!

  44. Morgan says:

    I’m guessing this was Marney’s last time hosting the Thanksgiving dinner.
    If I were a guest, all of my assigned dishes would come in tupperware with aluminum foil lids, soup spoons (or no spoons…), unbaked, cold, with messy cheese, sauces, etc. And definitley store brand ice cream.

    • Robin says:

      Most definately, I would love to see her standing on the table going nuts, if everyone got it all wrong…. It would be fun to see her, go balistic

  45. grannypanties says:

    omg, someone has control issues, lol what a b!@ch

  46. Sharon says:

    My family and I would be spending Thanksgiving at home. Marney is a nut or a complete control freak.

  47. Kat says:

    She would never see me at her house. Something is definitely wrong with her.

  48. Aaron says:

    I would love to find out how this dinner actually went. I would mess things up on purpose just to mess with the author

  49. JCT says:

    Unfortunately, I have a few of those in my family. This person sounds “old school”–the way I see it, it’s once a year! I can deal with it. (as long as I am not the one assigned to 15lbs. of potato!) …BTW: How do you measure that????
    Happy Holidays everyone!

  50. Atahualpa says:

    Hyacinthe Bucket, is that you?

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