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. Carie says:

    Did anyone else notice that the Michelle Bobble family was instructed that the stuffing sans meat was to be: “Stuffing in a casserole with a serving spoon”. This is the only place in the whole e-mail she does not specify a casserole w/a lid, so my question is does Michelle get to use aluminum foil if she wants or was she to arrive with her stuffing sans meat in a casserole sans lid/cover? I think Marn dropped the ball here… too much confusion on what to do or not do. Covered with lid? with foil? uncovered? Poor Michelle had to make up her own mind. Do you think it was a nail biting decision?

  2. wimple says:

    Ok, what I don’t get – 15 POUNDS of potatoes and only 2 pies?!?!? Doe everyone fill up on the spuds so they don’t need dessert?

  3. Judy says:


  4. Ron says:

    If Marney had prepared something similar for another holiday, they “kids” should have gotten together and used the menu and instructions from that and blamed Marney for sending out the wrong holiday card. Christmas at Thanksgiving…lets see her fix that one!

  5. Jess says:

    Dear Marney,

    Please chill the f**k out before someone plants a turd in one of the casseroles and then brings (heaven help us) a SPATULA to serve it to you.

  6. Chris in LA says:

    You’re my hero, Marney! I’d marry you if I wasn’t gay. I agree with every instruction, btw.

  7. Crizz says:

    Dear Marney,

    Your turkey or ham better be f*****g amazing!

    Sincerly, Your Guests

    PS. B****

  8. Sarah says:

    There is no way in hell I’d show up to Marney’s Thanksgiving dinner with anything but EXACTLY what she told me to bring. I know people like this (well, not as bad as Marney, but who IS?) and messing with their precise instructions is NEVER a good idea. This woman terrifies me.

    I’d like to know which year she hosted Thanksgiving went so terribly wrong she decided to start giving such insane instructions. Was it the year the Bob Byron family showed up with a slotted spoon instead of a ladle? When the June Davis family brought a casserole dish (non-regulation size) with aluminum foil on the top? Or the year the Amy Misto family brought a store-bought chocolate cake with HAPPY BIRTHDAY on it and a bottle of Two Buck Chuck?

    • Hillari says:


      At first I thought “Maybe they are feeding like 30 people, so she’s just trying to make it run like clockwork on the day”, but come on! Unless I knew a majority of people hated something, I would just bring what I was going to bring and leave early to escape her wrath.

    • Katean says:

      I think Marnie is betting they will agree with your first paragraph. And your second paragraph is laugh-out-loud funny (the dog just gave me a funny look)

  9. Kacie says:

    Why would anything that is served cold not already be cold when brought to her house? Are you going to heat up the ice cream before you bring it??

  10. Michelle says:

    Three words: WHAT A FREAK!

  11. TennGal58 says:

    What a hoot!!!

    I’m betting a “regulation casserole size” is a 9″ x 13″ dish.

  12. Becky says:

    1. I would like to tell Marney what she can do with her bottle of Clos du Bois
    2. If everyone hates turnips, just leave them off the menu
    3. I’m glad marriage constitutes adult hood for a woman, that means as long as I’m single I get to slack off & not contribute?

  13. Terry says:

    My family brings dishes for get together’s, but it is handled nothing like this. I would have to tell Marney to either “fix everything yourself if you are so dang particular” or to “stuff it, we are staying home this year!”

  14. Kathryn says:

    Oh, I hope EVERYONE brought the wrong thing!
    What an absolute psycho!!

  15. Jamesy says:

    I like Marney – she makes a lot of sense.

    Soup spoons and cocktail sauce are soooooo last year.

    Got to go now. Sorry.

    All my door handles need wiping.

  16. lori says:

    What I want to know is everything else has to be put in a regulation casserole dish but the Michelle Bobble Family has to bring the Proscuitto Pin Wheels (and God help you if you deviate from the recipe – people have been shot for less!) without a plate (and again, God help you if you show up with one). How are they supposed to carry them? On a giant stick? Or maybe they can stuff it in their pockets, assuming of course, that they have regulation sized pockets.

    • you you says:

      awesome! you have me in tears! i wondered the same thing about those pinwheels. how should they transport them without a plate?!

    • Katean says:

      Good point – its not like there’s a lot of room for creativity in the instructions…

    • MomR says:

      Everyone knows the Michelle Bobble family should transport the Proscuitto pinwheels in a perfectly formed tinfoil swan! I am sure that would blow all the lids off Marney’s regulation sized casseroles. If I were invited, I would bring the absolute opposite of what she asked for. Then I would poor myself a glass of unapproved Chianti from a basketed bottle and raise a toast to the best hostess ever–Amy Misto!

      • Susan McD says:

        I’d definitely put something on a stick but it wouldn’t be the damn pinwheels.

        • skeeter says:

          Someone should just show up with a sack of White Castles and hot chocolate. Poor Marney would probably put her head in oven!

  17. Brenda says:

    My husband’s folks are Texas Aggies and every other year we get together for Thanksgiving in College Station, because the A&M – t.u. game usually comes the next day. One year my father-in-law insisted on having Thanksgiving outside at the Olson Field Pavilion next to the RV park. It had to be 10 degrees below freezing with a strong north wind . We kept running our regulation size casserole dishes in and out of the campers where we would try to warm them up again, but it was no use, everything was ice cold. We were so cold we couldn’t feel our eating utensils in our hands. We were all miserable, but at least we didn’t have Marney to contend with!! A Food Nazi like that has got to be a Baylor grad!! And Thanksgiving without the soupy grean bean casserole would make my kids cry!!

  18. Michelle says:

    Amy Misto sounds like the smartest one in the bunch. I wouldn’t read that crap, either. I also wouldn’t be going to her house for Thanksgiving or any other holiday.

    Also…if most people hate turnips why make them????

  19. dynamo says:

    OMG I am so glad I am an Australian and we do not celebrate thanksgiving here and even if we did it is usually boiling hot at that time of the year so we would be eating cold Seafood most likely. Mind you on our Christmas Day some really cook up a storm even though it is still boiling hot .

  20. Deb says:

    I’m thinking a CASE of wine and a tinfoil hat wouldn’t help me make it through Marney’s Thanksgiving gathering. Bring on the turkey coma and HURRY!

  21. Embers says:

    I think they were frightened to submit the next years missive – I can imagine Marney carefully writing each letter with subtle differences, so she would know exactly who had sent it in!

  22. Jessica says:

    – There is nowhere near enough alcohol at this gathering. I want to know why Marney needs to know if the Bob Byron family is bringing chardonnay or beer before the 22nd when Thanksgiving is the 28th. Seriously?
    – I can just imagine Marney greeting everyone at the door with a tape measurer (to see if the casserole dishes are “regulation” size) and a scale. “14.9 lbs of mashed potatoes, June? I clearly said 15.”
    – Lisa must now contribute at the “adult level”. Is there a “child” level?
    – I’m dying to know “how Mike is”. Allergic? Picky? Gassy? So many unanswered questions.

    • kross says:

      lol Jessica…funny!

    • rachael says:

      I TRULY hope they all went to Amy’s – ordered pizza and watched movies.. and laughed their collective ass off!

    • Leigh Ann says:

      I can tell you about the “adult level” contribution. Our big extended family used to have three-day family reunions. We got a pretty specific list of who was to bring what. Nothing nit-picky like this, “dessert” meant “dessert of your choice”. College students and young 20s weren’t asked to bring anything more than paper goods or a couple of boxes of cold cereal. Once you were older and settled, you got advanced to something like dessert (which could still be store bought cookies), a casserole, vegetable dish or something like that. My guess is Lisa’s never had to bring anything more than a token item now she’s expected to contribute more. And in Lisa’s case, a veggie platter and dip is still easy. I’d buy the big grocery store platter and transfer it to my own dish.

  23. Car says:

    Marney–Get a grip! Take a valium and chillout

  24. Kim says:

    I guess Marney probably spent Thanksgiving alone. Amy Misto had thanksgiving at her house instead.

  25. Kay says:

    After reading this, I am so relieved I have not had holiday meals with my family for YEARS. Why on earth would anyone want to go to this thing?

    What if everyone got together and agreed to secretly switch lists? Let the woman have a nervous breakdown and hopefully not recover before the next big holiday.

  26. Christina says:

    Save the DATE!! for a Piss Marney off Party !!!

    I got a freakin stomach ache just reading Marneys requirements..My Mom is like this and
    none of us can EVER relax at her house..We are all afraid to make a move..seriously!!! live States away now ..but Marneys letter brought flashbacks of I wish we would have just went out this year..No one can have a good time or really is sad because Thanksgiving is about making family memories and being thankful not being a Drill Sargeant or the food police..I feel so sorry for Marneys husband and Children..Everyone else gets to go home..If I was her family I would Keep her Drunk on her precious Clos Du bois Chardonnay and avoid her as much as humanly possible..this letter is really funny to imagine but to those of us that have lived it..I am so sorry for your Pain…This year you need to organize a Piss Marney Off Party
    And Please invite me!! I will walk through the mud before entering her house..bring her some Boones farm strawberry hill !! And several regulation casserole dishes covered in Tinfoil that I will use to back up every toilet in her House…LOL

  27. Pat says:

    Anyone know how to spell passive aggressive biiiioootttccch from hell? Ugh…I’d rather starve than EVER break bread with such an undermining icky person! Please tell me this person has passed on and come back as something nicer like the cockroach I just mashed in my hallway!LOL

  28. Mike says:

    I just ran across this and it was strongly reminiscent of a mass email that recently went out for an organizational picnic. It consisted of not less than 7 paragraphs detailing every aspect of the event, from diagonal parking to the exact time that hamburgers would be finished. It was astonishing. I am happy to see that this is a relatively common syndrome.

  29. Sher says:

    Oh my, this sounds like my sister’s MIL! I had to send it to her, she’s going to be like been there done that! lol Marney needs to drink an entire bottle of that Chard before everyone gets it too short to be this anal retentive.

  30. Jessica says:

    Omg funniest thing ever! Marney needy a HAPPY meal…I’m glad I show up to my grandmas house with a pie (store bought) on thanksgiving and everything else is easy:’D

  31. Grassbur says:

    This would be awful if she were serious. But I think it’s meant to be ironic and is full of inside jokes for members of a large family that spend lots of time together.

    • Melissa says:

      one would hope

      • Mary Pat says:

        I’m beginning to think that also- pretty apparent in the letter that this family has been sharing Thanksgiving together for a number of years…if she was really that big of a dictator the list would probably be much shorter

  32. Leslie says:

    Hysterical, but I feel Marnie’s pain! More than once, someone (Pat) has volunteered to bring the beans to a potluck at work – meaning exactly that, a can of beans. No serving dish, serving spoon or even a canopener!

  33. Taylor says:

    This reminds me of the time we took a group trip to Disney World and one of the dads made a color coded itinerary so we could squeeze in as much fun as possible. I’m pretty sure we threw ours off the top of splash mountain. Marney and Greg need to get to know each other apparently.

  34. Figpox says:

    Do you think poor Lisa Byron Chesterfield had to disclose her Thanksgiving adult participation requirements to her spouse before they got married? I think not, because apparently the marriage took place anyway.

  35. Rainey says:

    Perhaps poor Marney is the little girl in the photo with the Mein Kampf book?? Hilarious reading. At least this girl knows what she wants.

  36. Bobbie says:


    GET A LIFE, woman!!! If I were in that family, I would wait until the last minute and then call and say we are eating out this yea!

  37. Schilldog says:

    it would’ve been easier just to cook it all yourself

  38. Tracie says:

    I have tears streaming down my face!! Not from the letter, but from all of your comments – funniest stuff I’ve read in years!!!

  39. Amy says:

    So Marnie’s real name is…Martha? LOL

  40. Tori says:

    Yeah. See, even though I could SO see one of my sisters writing this letter, this would NEVER GO OVER in my family. Why, You ask? Because with exception of my sweet Mother, EVERYONE ELSE would purposely make something else just to be contrary. Yeesh!

    • Amy says:

      I was just thinking that. I would bring something off the wall to piss her off like 100 spoons with peanut butter on them or a giant non regulation vat of Cocktail sauce

      • kross says:

        lol AMy…that cracked me up! THis women is my mother-in-law. We aren’t allowed to “scoop from the middle of the bowl”. If she sees us doing it she will immediately come over and say something about it.

        • Jeanne says:

          You have to make a moat for the mashed potatoes? That is hilarious. Next year take some little boats to place in the moat after you’ve scooped from the sides.

          • Lisa says:

            I wonder if there is a proper form to submit if you want to bring something else like cooked carrots or a cake… cake allowed or can there only be pie? If I was the one to bring the veggie try I would bring a store bought one in my own container with a bottle of ranch dressing. LOL My family would take it as a joke and most likely not bring anything much less something in a regulation sized dish. Also, if you are getting help making a meal you should be grateful there are people helping period.

    • Wendy says:

      Yes! Passive-Agressive Wendy would badly want to come out to play if she received this letter!

  41. nanerbug says:

    Oh my gosh, this is what I am going to turn into! I already re-load the dishwasher any time someone else doesn’t load it “properly”.

    • songbirdcindi says:

      Me too, but only so I can get more stuff in. The way my husband and kids load it, there’s way too much wasted space. OMG, I’m OCD!

      • fancypants says:

        No, honey, you are ECOFRIENDLY!

      • Tammy says:

        Sadly, I’m the same way. My kids love it because they never have to load the dishwasher, only un-load it.

        • Joey says:

          You don’t have OCD… You have what most of my clients have, an assumed form of OCD. What you really have is ARD, anal retentive disorder! LOL, & good luck, cause it is a hard habit to break!

          • Suzanne says:

            Hmmm, ARD must be what my grandma has. Whatever my grandpa does for her (clean the house, wash the dishes, load the laundry, load the dishwasher), she redoes it if it’s not done how she wants it done. My mom calls it OCD, but now I definitely think my grandma’s just very anal about things. :0)

    • trouble says:

      Oh wow! I didn’t know there were so many others out there like me! Let’s all start some sort of dishwasher loading support group!

    • Marijane says:

      ….so do you load the silverware UP or DOWN ?? No kidding, I flip them so they’re all UP (except the sharp knives) so the dirty water will run AWAY from the eating end

  42. Kathy T says:

    I don’t think I’d like Marney, but I think I’d get along with Amy Misto. She can come to my house next Thanksgiving, and she can bring any damn thing she likes.

  43. Rachel says:

    One of the things that I find most jarring is that the Michelle Bobble family was asked to bring the pie knife, but the Amy Misto family is bringing the pie (no knife needed). This seems to be an unnecessary division of labor. And if the Amy Misto family shows up with a pie knife, would they be asked to leave?

    • Kathy T says:

      Marney may have learned from experience that Amy uses cheap Dollar Store pie knives, and we just can’t have that, can we? If Amy were to be so defiant as to bring a knife, Marney would hastily convene an emergency family meeting, on the spot, to determine an appropriate punishment.

    • torresongs says:

      If I were Amy I would that pie knife in Marney’s neck! Actually she could probably only be killed with a wooden stake to the heart!

    • TES says:

      I think she meant there was no need for the knife b.c. no one likes your cooking and therefore the apple won’t be eaten

  44. Aimee says:

    I think if you want up a “jazzed UP” green would totally rock to mix green beans and asparagus…exactly 2.5 pounds of each, covered in a cheesey sauce (screw you Mike) topped with panco AND almonds…now THAT is jazzy, Marneypants.

  45. william says:

    Just for an experiment, The Mike Byron Family and the Bob Byron Family should fix and bring the other’s dish (or whatever)…. and see what kind of gasket Marney blows when they arrive.

    • Diva Donna says:

      This makes me REALLY love my sis in law!

    • CC says:

      Brilliant! Simply brilliant!

      This letter makes me appreciate my mom…I’m going home and tell her that tonight! Of course, she once served a lemon pie with a used matchstick that ended up in my brothers mouth…

    • marcia says:

      that’s absolutely brilliant, william! she would freak out!

  46. Susanne says:

    I love this letter! In fact it got read aloud at my house during the holidays, and I think that it’s going to become a yearly tradition!

    • linden says:

      How about no one needs to show up at her house and meet up at someone elses!
      That’ll teach her…although she’s probably speaking the truth based on what happened the year before!!!

  47. Jessica says:

    Dear Marney,

    Please get a job.

    Anyone who’s ever met you

  48. Ashley says:

    A regulation size casserole dish??,,, LOL,,,, wow this lady needs to chill out

  49. mrswaltenburg says:

    Yeah! You know how Mike is, that finicky little…. Somebody get this lady a bottle of clos du bois chardonnay, for crying out loud!

  50. Jen says:

    Funny thing is. I didn’t find the email funny, it sounded like one from my mom. Only difference was that she didn’t bold and underline things all over the place.

    • psquad says:

      omg, no! i’ve never gotten something like this from my mom…she’d be afraid i wouldn’t show up and instead cook at home for her grandkids! lol

    • Bekki says:

      Wait…are you my sister, Jen? Seriously. I have a sister named Jen. And a Mom who is like this.

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