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.


3,035 Responses to “The Thanksgiving Letter”

  1. jennifer says:

    Dear Marney,

    This letter has wrong sauce poured ALL over it! I’m sending the “casserole” police to your home right now…

  2. Michele says:

    If that letter was sent to me I would have laughed and have brought the opposite of what was expected of me just to piss her off. Probably would have needed to bring a 12 pack for myself just to get thru that damn dinner!

  3. Shanna says:

    I say way to go Amy “she’ll never read this anyway” Misto!! I would have stopped reading them a long time ago too :-)

  4. Tired says:

    Dearest Marney:
    I have hosted Thanksgiving and Easter at my house for more than 20 years. I spent more than a month preparing the house and the food, take three vacation days before the event to prepare, but at the end of the day am glad I did it.

    That said, I have suffered through relatives who stay until midnight (I get up at 5 a.m. to put the turkey in the oven and then work until 1:30 when the guests are supposed to arrive (emphasis on supposed to). One relative routinely brings leftovers that are so questionable her new assignment is to bring a bag of purchased ice. And forgive me if I don’t want something in a supermarket wrapper on my dessert table, so that relative is now assigned to coffee. Another relative might bring his friend, without letting me know, and so we are short a place setting and a chair. But no matter! I can pull these things out of the air. And forgive me if I no longer offer to fix the relatives who live alone a plate for the next day. Here’s the baggies and plastic containers; fix it yourself because I already fixed you a wonderful meal and I am bone tired of seeing said second meal sitting in your fridge untouched a month later. Lovely.

    A few other things, relatives: When I ask you ro RSVP, there is a reason. We borrow the tables and chairs and we wash the china and polish the silver. Is letting us know how many are coming too much to ask? And please don’t come early to watch me frantically trying to get everything done on time, then without washing your hands ask what you can do to help. Here’s what you can do to help–serve yourself a cup of hot spiced cider and go sit in the living room. Finally, is it too much to ask for you to arrive less than half an hour late because it is very difficult to keep the cold items cold and the hot items hot while 18 other people stand around waiting for you to arrive.

    Peace and love to you,
    Tired but I’ll keep doing it and loving every minute

    • MaryC says:

      Tired and Marney might want to re-examine their motives for hosting. Is it the pageantry or the people? This reminds me of several weddings where I’ve been treated like a walk-on player in a Broadway production instead of a guest:
      “My gawd!, what are you doing? PRAYING in the chapel–GET OUT! We’re seating the ‘guests’ when the photographer says so. Go stand out in foyer..I don’t CARE if you twisted your ankle on the tulle…Ok, great, the churchy stuff is over, stand here in the scorching heat, in parallel lines and (blow bubbles, bird seed, butterflies) yes I know it’s been twenty minutes, but we must have pictures, DO NOT MOVE! SMILE! Ok, reception time! Everyone find your table and mingle if you must…PLEASE stay OUT of the relish tray! I don’t care if you feel dizzy from heat, wine and low blood sugar, the bride and groom are being photographed…(several hours later)…yea!!! they’re here..everyone clap, everyone clap!! NOW-PLEASE stay seated and WATCH the bridal party serve themselves from the buffet, and do not drool, it looks bad on camera (several hours later) ok, you may serve yourself WHEN and ONLY WHEN the DJ calls your table–B5! B5! (I think they’ve passed out already–Grandma’s outside with the paramedics, Uncle Bob had a seizure)..oh, I WONDERED why he was doing the YMCA dance out of turn, well, ok, B6,B6! Shove that Chicken Kiev down…well of course it’s dry, it’s been on the steam tray for 5 hours…drink some water, don’t you DARE use the toasting champagne! Chew and watch the Bride/Groom dance, the Bride/Father dance, the Groom/Mother dance, the Bride/Money dance, the Bridesmaids/Save a Horse Ride a Cowboy’s Dance, the Bridal Bouquet FreeForAll, the Garter Grab…Please stay out of the way of the photographer! (several hours later)…hey…where did everybody go? We haven’t cut the cake? Now we’ll have to use a laugh track for the cake in the face!!”

      • Heidi says:

        Are you sure you are not Marney? you sure sound just like her! It does not sound like you love hosting dinner so much, why choose to go through all that just so you can complain later?

        • Michelle Bobble says:

          Marnie Darling,

          Thank you for your list of what I am expected to bring, but really now, stuffing is so cliche, don’t you think so too? Mashed squash is so unfancy isn’t it? and a proscuitto pin wheel, well you always have me bring that every year. Sooo…..after going through some of my recipe books, I am going to change things around a bit. I have decided to make Tofu burgers, a cheese souffle, my famous 5 alarm chili and a nice 5 bean salad.

  5. Donna says:

    Would LOVE this in My Family. The meal is left to 2 or 3 people and the younger ones do nothing to help. Maybe this lady is tired of having to do it all and decided to take action. Alot of the younger ones never think to help or contribute to family mels they need to learn what it takes to feed everyone. How else will they know if someone doesn’t tell them. Just saying, Love this one.

  6. sally says:

    This is awesome! As the hostess of most every Thanksgiving and Christmas Dinner each year, I appreciate the sheer humor in this!!!

  7. Hadley says:

    I think I figured it out…. Mike and Bob are her 2 sons that she coddled to death and now she knows they can’t get anything right. Lisa (recently married at 19 and never brings anything to any family gatherings) , June (the somewhat responsible one) and Amy are her daughters…Amy got pregnant at 17 and is living with her deadbeat husband and they don’t own a computer. . Michele is a bit of a mystery….she might be the young neighbor couple that has no where else to go for Thanksgiving and happens to own a great set of cutlery, hence the pie knife comment. I wonder if the previous T-givng was such a disaster that Marnie had to give such specific instructions so history would not repeat itself? Hmmmm….I wonder if they were all thankful on the special day.

    • Hadley says:

      oh – and HJB is Henry James Byron….her poor husband, of course.

    • Lisa Byron says:

      Hi Marnie,
      Nice to hear from you and thank you for recognizing me as an ‘adult, married woman’. That makes me feel very special. As an adult married woman, I totally agree that I should contribute at ‘the adult level’. I think you’re letting me off too easy with just having to bring hors d’ouvres though, so I am going to bring more than that. Here’s what I will be bringing:
      3 frozen ‘Healthy Choice’ TV dinners left over from my diet last year.
      A bag of Pizza rolls
      A can of Spam
      A can of Pringles potato chips
      A half empty box of Pop Tarts
      Ding Dongs
      Circus Peanuts

  8. Craig says:

    For being so particular, she chose really crappy beers.

  9. Adrienne says:

    Wow… Just wow… I go to my aunt’s house every Thanksgiving. She tells us we don’t need to bring anything! This lady who wrote this letter needs a chill pill bigtime

  10. noni gulliford says:

    This is delicious! It is better than the Thanksgiving where I roasted and glazed a ham with the plastic still on! My brother-in-law refused to eat it, but hey…I thought it tasted pretty good!

  11. Heatherrrrr says:

    This Thanksgiving, perhaps all the families could give Marney an intervention for her anxiety disorder? Just show up with booze and ring for takeout? LOLs

  12. Monica says:

    Dear Marney,

    I think I love you!!! How delicious to know that you are a complete pain and have absolutely NO self monitoring system to prevent you from torturing your family in such a way. If only, we could all always use our outdoor voices inside more often the world would a much more honest place.

    My only hope is that on the day you stood at the door smoking incessantly greeting your guests and inspecting each and every item.

    Next year you should also tell them what to wear and where to buy it, etc….. You know just say it like it is. Share with June that she should wear black because it’s more slimming since she’s put on so much weight, am I right?

  13. GreezMonky says:

    As I have no inkling of the person that wrote this or any of the familes involved, I have to say if it works for them, then so be it. IF not, then thats their problems. But I have to say the “bring what ever you want to” at my family’s functions usually ends up with my mother trying to cook everything and clean up all her dishes as well, and a hodge podge of a meal. Granted there are some staples, as I would be willing to bet that my sister Kathy is going to bring Green been casserole, and my sister Becky will bring some desert, most likely chocolate pudding pie. My dad or I would be requested to bring soda or chips or something that if not brought, would not cause a catastrophe or could be picked up along the way with no preperation required. And with a dinner time of say 4pm, we would eat around 6pm because of my mother trying to cook everything. So, if there were SIX families (of how many each, who knows?) that were coming to my house (OMG) or going to someother house (yes, please god!) then I would thing that a blueprint for what was going to serverd would be good. As for one family being told no pie knife needed, and another one to bring one, it could be because of the silverware the one family has or doesnt have, or from past experience, they are forgetful and would not take it with them, causing a headache to get it back to them.
    Again, I don’t know the circumstances of their dinner. But if she wants to choreograph my family’s (1 family, 3 adult children, 1 with 2 adult children w/ girl/boyfiends) holiday dinners for free, I am all for it.

    • Rprtr37 says:

      So, the only thing worse than being in Marney’s family, (likely a bunch of people who would pitch in without everything being run by a control freak) would be to be in your family (by your own account, a bunch of inconsiderate lazy people who leave all the work to one person.) My family is looking better every minute.

      • Vanessa Conde says:

        hahahaha GreezMonky! You are a nut! Who in their right mind would let Marney cordinate thier Thanksgiving dinner! hahaha I’m guessing you are into the torture thing! lmao!

  14. Maddie says:

    what the hell?!?!? 15 frickin lbs. of potatos??? Jesus lady…

  15. Jody says:

    OK. I’m laughing aloud. But truly, how practical. She is only requesting what is common sense. And, truly, what we all would like and appreciate. Koodos to Marney!

  16. Phyllis says:

    They’re probably used to her by now, so if she were in my family, I’d already know not to read it.

    I wouldn’t show up, either.

  17. Lollygagum says:

    Someone should send the memo and all the comments to a Hollywood script writer. I smell a great holiday film in the oven!

  18. katie says:

    marney may be “looking forward to the 28th” but no one else is!

  19. Jessy says:


  20. Sara says:

    …I mean seriously, who is that anal and rude to their family? She should just be THANKFUL they actually want to be around her. Geesh.

  21. Cyndie says:

    I found it hilarious that she assigned one person to bring a pie server and the people that are supposed to bring the pies are told no knife needed!

    • Cait says:

      Well, she did say the people assigned to pie probably wouldn’t read it. I would bet that she has stand-by pies just in case…rofl

  22. Chad says:

    I do like my Thanksgiving to go well, so I always count on doing it all myself. If someone asks what can I bring, I tell them whatever you would like to bring and be done with it. This woman has issues. If I got a invitation letter from her, I would tell her she could shove it up her casserole dish.

  23. Bobby says:

    What exactly is a “regulation sized casserole dish,” is Thanksgiving a sport now?

  24. Unbelievable says:

    I have read this letter probably 20 times and it makes me more angry each time I read it! I am mad right now and I didn’t even receive the letter.

    • Annette says:

      Apparently Marney is not the only one with “issues” here…This is supposed to make you laugh, not get mad, especially if it is not happening to your family. LOL

  25. Dana says:

    Two Words- Golden Corral!

  26. Diane says:

    Wow. I will NEVER complain about being assigned buns and Jello (yuck) again!

  27. Grow Peppers says:

    If I am one of the members of this family, it would be so boring and definitely I would wait someone to start the conversation—that is, a genuine conversation with the family. It is so funny that someone is actually giving the thanksgiving dinner instructions before the meal time. “Bring your own serving spoon on the Thanksgiving?!” that is actually the most hilarious things I have ever heard in my life. I hope this family is getting along well.

  28. Robert says:

    I wonder if Marney ended up stuffed in a casserole dish with a spoon.

    Also, “The June Davis Family” is an excellent band name, especially if all four bandmembers are skeezy-looking men.

    • Wow says:

      As long as she was stuffed in a regulation casserole (with lid, not foil), that’s fine.

      • Robert says:

        I hear Clos du Bois Chardonnay makes a great in-a-pinch embalming fluid, too. You could have her under the floorboards for years and she’d still look fresh a daisy when the CSI team found her.

  29. Fran says:

    A “regulation” casserole pan is probably a 9X13″. I’m thinking they all said what they could bring or voted on what they wanted, and Marney had to assign everything out. And maybe she lives alone & has a small kitchen, so she knows exactly what will fit in the fridge – everything with lids can be stacked, etc. And it has to be cooked/warm & ready to go, because the bird’s taking up the oven. Do any of YOU people ever COOK?

    • SUnny says:

      as a professional cook.. i can attest to you Marney has “issues
      that go WAAAAAAY beyond the kitchen!

      • Heidi says:

        You are soo right. I already hate the woman and don’t even know her. I would bring the complete opposite preferably some stinky cheese.

    • Jon W says:

      Fran? are you sure this isn’t marney!

      • Lovetocook says:

        Marney is obviously the stepmom from Hell!! The only reason any of those people would show up, would be for moral support for their poor father. It’s really a lot more fun when everyone brings the ingredients and we all gather in the kitchen and make it together. What a joy and way to make family memories, and a great way to pass down recipies and tradition.
        I feel sorry for Marney and her rigidity.

    • Angela says:

      Casserole lids often have a handle or knob on the top, making it impossible to properly stack them in a fridge. I think she is suggesting lids over foil for display reasons… Look at the mashed potato directions. Also, I don’t know too many families who “vote” on what they want for dinner. I’m sure there was some discussion about who could bring what and she wrote it all out, but the way it’s directed is WAY too controlling.

  30. I would go to this family dinner, and bring a non-regulation casserole and a plastic serving spoon, of course I would bring whatever was mine, with a cheesy, creamy sauce that is bean based, because I know how mike is. Come on, anyone that is that controlling can’t possible let you eat indoors, so an outdoor November meal could be promising.

  31. The Bob Byron Family says:

    Aunt Marney,

    Sorry we all missed Thanksgiving dinner with you. I’m truly shocked that no one told you we’d all already planned to be at Lisa’s this year. I’m sure the oversight was purely coincidental. You’ll be pleased to know, however, that we all enjoyed a chilly glass of Boone’s Farms Peach Daquiri in your honor. It went well with the chicken from Boston Market and the veggie tray that we picked up at Publix on the way home.

    As it turns out, the family has decided that next year we’ll be spending our Thanksgiving holidays in the Florida Keys. We’d invite you, but they’re already over-booked. Sorry.

  32. Raine says:

    I feel bad for the poor lady, I mean she did start out sounding like one of the families favorite comedians. So she likes things the way she likes them. I think she probably just laughed politely at anyone who did not follow her specific instructions, and rolled her eyes or cringed inwardly.

    • Kathy says:

      My money’s on the carving knife, myself.

      • Kevin says:

        I agree.

        But that b*tch Amy… lets face it, she should read her freakin’ e-mail! The shame of it all. Seriously, you plan and plan, and then there is a maverick. Can you imagine the horror if someone went nuts and brought Jello!?!?!?!? I repeat, JELLO.

        WWJD? He would have brought a serving spoon if one was required!

  33. customcartoons says:

    Furthermore, how can she so casually ask HJB to just bring “Dinner Wine”, as if such a thing could be trusted in the hands of another human being?? HJB really gets let off the hook.

    My money sez she lives with HJB, or she IS HJB, and she’ll be there to direct the wine selection when the time comes.

    • Susan McD says:

      My thoughts exactly! HJB is probably the poor, mousy, Walter Mitty husband who is absolutely TERRIFIED of asking for a divorce.

  34. customcartoons says:

    Firstly, I hope she’s just kidding poor Lisa Byron about being an adult now, the way families rib each other.

    Being a recovering control freak myself, the sad part is, this is probably this lady’s idea of actually being FLEXIBLE. I can hear it in her tone, she’s really going out on a limb, offering people two, maybe even THREE choices this year. A real loose cannon.

  35. Cynthia says:

    Any chance on getting a response from the family. Also, would like to know about “Marney” challengers – did she have any and how successful they were. Wishing the “family” good luck for the next one!

  36. Kristen says:

    LMAO This lady is terrifying!!!

    And what exactly is she contributing to “her” dinner? It sounds like she delegated everything except the turkey.

  37. PaulaNancy says:

    “I will supply the deep-dish-crazy-pie. Goes great with the vanilla ice cream! Can’t wait! Love, Marney”

  38. Kathy says:

    Dear Marney,
    We all decided to have Thanksgiving at Amy Misto’s house this year. Lisa is picking up a tray of hotwings and some shrimp with cocktail sauce. Please bring a regulation size bucket of chicken and a bottle of clos du bois chardonnay. Also, please bring some Beano (you know how Mike is!)
    Your family

  39. Yuurei says:

    And Marney wonders why she spent the holiday alone? Good god.

  40. Jason says:

    This is one of the craziest things I’ve ever read. It reminded me a lot of the Jerry Seinfeld’s book “Letters From A Nut”.

    This lady is my worst nightmare. She is all kinds of crazy. I can see her re-enacting the “NO WIRE HANGERS” scene from Mommie Dearest if anyone were to have disobeyed her instructions.

  41. Lance says:

    “Two half gallons of ice cream, one must be VANILLA, I don’t care what the other one is. ”

    Oh, I have a hard time believing THAT is true!

    “The Amy Misto Family (why do I even bother she will never read this)”

    What do you mean? She’s probably the one that posted it!

  42. Janet says:

    Sounds like Marney has a bit of resentment about hosting Thanksgiving dinner. Maybe she got strong-armed into it and she’s trying to make sure it never happens again!

  43. Joline says:

    Dear Marney,

    1. Due to the tough economy we’re bringing boxed mashed potatos, boxed wine and boxing gloves.

    2. Marney – Go “eff” yourself and try not to spill any regulation BEAN casserole.

    That would be my reply. Who in their right mind would want to even attend a get-together like that??

    • Kevin says:

      Choice is so over rated.

      Last Thanksgiving I brought 200 cubic tons of mashed potatoes, 375 gallons of gravy… The person in charge of the dinner admonished me, and rightfully so. She specifically said 195 cubic tons and 373.5 gallons of gravy. I was in the wrong. What was I thinking?

      And the worst part? I showed up with a really big spoon and a ladle. She didn’t tell me to do that, but my rebellious side kicked in. I was in the wrong, obviously.

      And did I think about how Mike is? Not for a second! I don’t think I’ll be invited back next year. Oddly enough, I am still liked better than Amy.

  44. Blind says:

    I wonder if they are given little scripts telling them what to say during dinner as well.
    That would be thoughtful, wouldn’t want to offend Marney.

    • Barbie7 says:

      this is the funniest/saddest thing i’ve seen in a long time! I love your idea – bet they have to pass a little bowl of ‘topics’ on little cards to discuss. All dishes must pass to the right as well, or her wheels will fall off…..

      • June Davis and family says:

        I’m suprised she hasn’t enforced a dress code for the occasion or told everyone in advance where they are to park their cars!

  45. Drew says:

    Marney needs her own realty show!!

  46. Teddy C says:


  47. Fred says:

    OMG that is funny. I would do opposite of what she asked just to see her throw a fit!

    • Pixie says:

      I’m with you. I’d go rogue for my portion just to watch the vein in her neck pulsate and then explode.

    • CarrieM says:

      Totally! I’d bring a bag of Nacho Cheese Doritos and tear it open and set it on the table, see what happens.

  48. Michelle says:

    I’m just “thankful” that I’m not a member of her family!!! YIKES!

    • margie says:

      i am already feeling i need to take an anxiety pill after reading that. maybe someone should have the dnnner at their house.

  49. Dennis says:

    This Thanksgiving Party should be made into a movie and i would watch it in a heartbeat. Dying to know what happened then?

  50. Emma says:

    This would never happen at my Aunts house. Only because she is such a control freak we are not allowed to bring anything.

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