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. Smardaz says:

    wow, if I was going to that party, I would have brought my “offering” without a lid or a spoon, just to show her she’s not the boss of me……

  2. Rattina says:

    YES!! Forget the Thanksgiving dinner and rally around the cause: Abolish the use of the word “veggie” –it makes my head hurt! It’s like a weird attempt to make vegetables “comfy” and “cozy” — not like the standup soldiers in the Food Army that they really are! What does a “veggie” look like? What’s the image that first comes to mind when you hear the word? For me, it’s kind of like a melted yellow pepper.. something formless and probably tasteless, slumped in defeat, hoping to be accepted into the food club but lacking confidence that it will be. I’ve kept quiet about this until now and Veg (in the above comment) is the first person I’ve heard who feels the same way, Now I’m sure there must be many of us. So let’s get that word out of our vocabulary=-and while we’re at it, let’s also get rid of “Whatevvvvvvvver” and the horrible phrase “Busting my hump.” Thank you.

  3. Linda G says:

    I am guessing that noone opted to have dinner with Marley that year.

  4. Claudette says:

    So, Marney wants you to “bring your offering”. What is this, Thanksgiving Dinner or a coven of witches?

  5. astuartgirl says:

    It’s all fun and games until you have a Thanksgiving Dinner with a turkey and 25 pecan pies! LOL Go Marney!

  6. astuartgirl says:

    i thought this hilarious and may write one myself next year! P.S. we go to Golden Corral … let them cook and clean up!

  7. punkypower says:

    I think Marney is a complete failure because there are no sweet potatoes or cranberries on the menu.

  8. buttermbean says:

    You should see Marny’s instructions for New Year’s

  9. Marney says:

    Well, turnips suck. Who likes turnips?

  10. sanjay says:

    If they bought already prepared then what is the need to bring.. lol

  11. Nick says:

    Dear Marney, do you now what…? You can go **** with you rules… I won’t go to your Thanksgiving dinner next year!!!

  12. sage says:

    What is her obsession with casseroles?

  13. Beth says:

    Lighten up people!!!!! I almost died laughing when I read this! You’re taking this letter and the world way to seriously!!!! Would love to go to a party with Marney there, you certainly wouldn’t be bored!!! lmao!

  14. Rail says:

    Why do you all assume that this is a “real” note? Perhaps it was meant as a joke? Perhaps her friends and family have kidded her about her laissez-fair attitude to Thanksgiving and she was showing them that she could be a drill Sargent if she needed to. It’s too laughable to be real so just roll with it.

  15. Frederika says:

    I come from a big family. We each volunteer to bring part of the meal. But there are no conditions on it — no “it has to be brand-name ice cream,” “you have to use my recipe,” “buy only Clos du Bois wine,” “don’t bring your blue casserole dish.” It’s tacky to put those demands on people. It makes Marney a bad hostess.

    In my big family, it’s an email exchange of: “We need a potato dish, bread/rolls, a salad, a green veggie, a dessert and appetizers. Bring your own beer, wine or soda.” Then each member of the family volunteers what they want to provide. It’s not that hard, and if you love and trust the people in your family, you shouldn’t need nasty-grams from a Marney.

    If she wants certain things — like brand-name ice cream and a certain kind of wine — then provide those things herself.

    And seriously, if no one wants turnips then why is she assigning someone to bring it?

    The note from Marney makes my stomach hurt, and if she were my aunt/mom/sister, I’d find a different way to spend the holiday. It would not be an enjoyable evening.

  16. Kat says:

    I’m such a rebel with crap like this that I would carefully read her list and then bring everything she told me NOT to bring just to piss her off! Happy Thanksgiving, Marney!! Why the frown?? haha!

  17. Scarlet says:

    OMG I had to look at the wine since she was so specific about what one she HAD to have, it doesn’t even sound like it would go well with the meal, and it’s only $15 a bottle. Here’s the description from the site :

    As fragrant as a stroll through a summertime farmers’ market, our bright and juicy Chardonnay beckons with aromas of apple blossom, ripe pear, peach and sweet lemon drop.

    apples, pears, peaches and lemon drops……..not my idea of a good wine LOL

  18. William says:

    Did anyone ever think that the whole point of this letter was either to be completely satirical or it was meant to dissuade certain guests from attending the event altogether thereby relieving “Marney” of her hostess duties for a very large Thanksgiving Dinner?

    I for one thought it was hysterical!!!

  19. Sharon says:

    This is why we floor it to Vegas every Thanksgiving. $12.95 Turkey buffet? Yuuumm. No naggy relatives: priceless!

  20. Disco Chicken says:

    This is why I volunteer to work on Thanksgiving.

  21. AJ says:

    Wow. It’s like she’s a general planning The Battle of Thanksgiving Dinner. If I were part of the Marney family, I would have brought my assigned dish and 4 bottles of (name brand) whiskey. Well, make that 3.5, because I would need to chug half a bottle to get up the courage to walk through the door.

    Marney: Just do it yourself if you want it done a certain way. That’s what I do and it’s never wrong unless *I* screw it up, in which case, I can’t bitch. If they want to bring stuff, let them. If it’s good, put it out and eat it. If it’s terrible (this has happened to me before), set out a small, token portion and then make the one that made it take the left-overs home.

  22. Nobody says:

    Why does she REQUIRE turnips if no one likes them?

  23. Fred says:

    I feel bad for Lisa; “you are an adult now and will have to contribute at an adult level.” Did Lisa ever act as a child? This is an invitation for family psychoanalysis. Is anyone adult and mature enough for Marney? Has she ever been satisfied? (You there wipe that smirk off your face!) A full length screenplay could be made of this scenario. Happy Thanksgiving cannot imagine the disappointment every year Marney feels at Christmas. What about Marney’s husband? Help is available.

  24. Ditto says:

    You think this is bad. This is how we get instructions from our boss at work.

  25. Chip says:

    And I thought MY family was bad! I would reply with “sorry- we’re going to be out of town…”
    Our last Thanksgiving, my in-laws were charged with bringing dessert. They got a nice pie. So nice, in fact, that they decided to try it the night before. So they ended up bringing HALF a pie! Christmas? “Sorry- we’re going to be out of town!”

  26. Addie says:

    I think everyone should show up empty handed.

  27. KDominique says:

    OMG!! That is funny stuff. I’m with those who would mess with this lady she’s a nut job. It’s funny that my sister’s name is the same as this lady but spells it differently (Thank God). I love how she included someone and then added (Why she’s not even going to read the list). Oh crazy people you got to love’em.

  28. nadia says:

    just what, exactly, is a “regulation size” casserole? is there some sort of casserole competition to which i’m not privy?

  29. Angel says:

    OMG, So wish I was invited, the havoc and Chaos I could cause is unending. I would have utter enjoyment in screwing with Marney, it would be like christmas for me a month early. Talk about cheap entertainment, I’m so picturing white carpet and plastic covered sofas in this ladys house….lol…..she should have asked people to bring Prozac along with the booze

  30. Karry says:

    Poor Marney. Maybe all that Clos du Bois Chardonney is for her… I have a family member who is so bad that when you host the family event at your house and send out the “Could you / Would you bring” ‘s, she will email and/or call everyone and change it. She is being “Helpful” so that the dinner/event is “Wonderful!” I got around it one of my years by saving up, and having Christmas catered. I told everyone not to bring ANYTHING whatsoever. Nothing!!! Dear Family Member was just tied up in knots… and still snips about the cost 8 years later… It was SO worth it, though.

  31. Jamie says:

    I’m just wondering why she wants a turnip casserole if no one likes turnips?

    • Leslie says:

      I think the turnips are one of her “generous” moments. She know the Mike Byron family enjoys them, so she puts up with them bringing it. But she has to get her dig in. Someday the Mike Byron family will grow tired of her comments and stop bringing them. But for now, this is how the control freak deals with the turnips.

  32. Dee says:

    While Marney is ABSOLUTELY a hard core control freak, Ive been on her “side” of the fence many times trying to prepare and serve a holiday meal for 30+ people. My biggest pet peeve is also the person who shows up at dinnertime and starts preparing her dish in my kitchen…seriously!!?? No, you’re not in the way…no, we can hold dinner while we wait for your “contribution”…no, WE DON’T MIND!!!

    • ramona says:

      OMG I think I know that woman! Is her name Linda? Once showed up an hour late for a picnic with a bag of potatoes and a jar of mayo for the tator salad LOL

  33. HB says:

    Oh my! I’m wondering if Marney is a crazy control freak, or sick and tired of her family nitpicking how previous dinners were served so getting even by delegating it all back to them. I’d be bringing everything in plastic bowls with foil lids and teaspoons for serving it, just for spite. And, yes, I completely agree with the comment that there isn’t nearly enough alcohol listed to endure this family gathering.

    • Kathleen says:

      I’ve heard of controlling people and this one certainly fits the bill. Why even have people
      bring food if they can’t use their own rescipes to share and enjoy?
      Righto-no amount of vodka would contain my surliness if I was ever attending a function
      of this sort. Actually, I would not even go, un unh.

  34. tay says:

    i think this is hilarious. people seem to be taking it so seriously. Personally i would show up to this party bcos id imagine it’d be just as entertaining as the letter.

  35. Mrs.B says:

    I am just really stuck on why she would require someone to being the pies and require the family who is supplying the suqah & stuffing bring the pie knife…..???

    The food is not what makes the day special…nor is the container the food is in……..

    • sarah says:

      Haha i totally had the same thought about breaking up the dessert bringers and the dessert spoon bringers lol

    • Mark O'Polo says:

      It’s Cuz the Michelle Bobble family has this really awesome pie knife (that Marney gave her last year for Christmas and by hell, she better still have it), but she can’t make pie.

  36. nyarlathotep says:

    She’s certainly not telling people to bring enough booze. God knows I’d be hittin’ the Canadian Club pretty hard if I had to endure this level of holiday micromanagement…

    • Gwen says:

      Loving this comment. Cracked me up. Sad to say I know somebody, not related who would think this is a normal way to go about things!

      • Verity says:

        I totally agree, forget the food and bring more booze! I’m looking forward to seeing Marney and clan on the Maury show someday, where lie detectors will be given to members of the family to ascertain just WHO is the one who brought the aluminum foil wrapped, soup spoon clutching voodoo doll and left it in Marney’s kitchen?

  37. Christine says:

    GOOD GRAVY!! Can u imagine how bad past Thanksgivings have been for Marney to feel the need to send out that letter to her family?!? LMAO. On the flip side, she could be an anal retentive control freak, and if thats the case, her family knows what they are dealing w/before they even darken her door….(I shudder). I definately agree w/the other posts though, messing w/her idea of the “perfect” idea of Thanksgiving dinner would a highlight I don’t believe could be passed up if I was unfortanate enough to be a part of that family dinner…that being said…Marney needs to relax and eat whatever the hell her family brings, even if it’s leftover KFC. The idea behind Thanksgiving is being grateful for anything and EVERYTHING on the table your family has been blessed enough to put there. If I were 1 of her relatives, I would bring the toothpicks!! (: (Thank Jesus I’m not!) LOL

  38. tbare2011 says:

    and we wonder why so many people HATE the holidays. just to be a meddling little elf i would bring the complete opposite of what she wanted. what a presumptuous, pompous, blow hard.

  39. Eugene says:

    I am from a big family. There is always enough to feed twice as many attendees when it gets started. There is always something for everyone.

    The most important thing is that YOU show up. Anything you bring is appreciated.

    The important thing is that you are there with family.

  40. Melissa says:

    My thought is that she sent this letter out to the family because she really didn’t want anyone to come for dinner, but didn’t want anyone wondering why she didn’t invite them for Thanksgiving dinner….lol

  41. Maesan says:

    If I was in her family I wouldn’t even go. I’d have my own thanksgiving

  42. Dana says:

    If I was any of those other family members, I’d get together with the others and scheme:

    Mike’s family, you’d be bringing a pecan pie (covered in tin foil) and 4 serving spoons. Bob’s family, you’d be bringing a tossed salad, 3 kinds of bottled dressing, and a loaf of french bread. Lisa’s family, you’d be bringing a 13X9in pan of lasange. Michelle’s family, you’d be bringing 2 cases of Diet Coke and 3 serving spoons. You get the idea…

    Sorry, I’d just feel the need to mess with her. 😉

    • Teri says:

      Couldn’t stop laughing at this comment!! Hilarious!

      • Jolly Rogers says:

        Precisely my thoughts!

      • Lynn says:

        Same here.

        • Kelee says:

          Don’t forget the turducken. Of course make sure it’s ready to go in the oven so you don’t hold up the festivities!

          Meanwhile more hors D’vours and bring on the booze.

          After dinner will truss up Marney, decorate her and put her in the tree stand. Ready for Christmas!!!

          • Flyte says:

            OMg, I can’t BREATHE for laughing. You know what I would bring? 10 pounds of tuna noodle surprise stuffed into as many tupperware containersas I could find, with little plastic spoons to serve it with. The tuna would be canned and the noodles would be whatever I had leftover. This is too funny!!!

          • Flyte says:

            Somebody should bring an ice-cold tofurkey and ask if the oven could be “cleared out” for “just a few minuites” while it heats up.

    • Helen Leeks says:

      i’m loving these comments. a year ago i was wondering how much longer until a brain tumor killed my mother (only 3 more weeks) and found joy in nothing. i love AFP and it’s helping me get back to my happy place. then i read something like this and get sad again because this is exactly the kind of thing mom and i would have laughed our butts off over. i can imagine her suggesting exactly what Dana did. thanks, dana, you’ve made my entire week.

  43. Randy says:

    Oh Hell No! I’d kindly reply with … we’ve opted for The Blackeye Pea!

  44. Chez says:

    Anyone else have the suspicion that “Marney” is a pseudonym Sheldon Cooper is using???

  45. Steve says:

    Time for Marney to take a break for a few years….

  46. Tattie says:

    I don’t think I would go to this old biddy’s house for dinner.
    Tell her if she wants everything done to perfection she can do it herself or just have dinner by herself.

  47. Sean says:

    OK, I think people who identify with this are missing why this letter is on this list. This person is dictating how people should experience an event. This person is creating an expectation of perfection based upon an ideal that exists only in her own mind and assumes everyone wants the same, or more likely, doesn’t care what anyone else wants. So what if someone shows up late or doesn’t bring the vegetables? You laugh about it, improvise and focus on what is important–time with family. I suggest that if you want to impose a theme, then take responsibility for the whole event. Otherwise, give some suggestions, relinquish control and enjoy the ride! With this, you might find true happiness.

  48. Krystal says:

    WHAT THE FREAK. Seriously?? …


    I’m sorry I’m a bit speechless. lol.


  49. JENNIFER says:

    Marney is Right On Track! You go, Girl!

  50. ewench says:

    Yes don’t judge until you’ve tried cooking a big family meal on your own, I can sort of identify too though I’d never be so specific in my requests.

    I’ve asked my sister in law to bring veggie side dishes and she has shown up with things like quiche or bagels – another time I asked friends to bring a veggie side dish and they showed up hours late, as we were sitting down to eat (we tried waiting dinner for them as long as we could) with huge bags of raw string beans, saying they still needed to cook them.

    As for brands – one time I made a lovely french themed buffet and put out of all kinds of organic homemade delicious healthy food I had spent hours on – and someone brought Hostess mini powered donuts (which are delish but just didn’t go with my theme!).

    So I do feel Marneys pain – though maybe she is a bit too abrupt 🙂

    • Terry says:

      I agree she’s way overboard but I sympathizes more with her than most. And oh, I’ve been there with the raw veg, mine was mashed potatoes. This is why I refuse to let people “help” by bringing anything the day of and just do it myself; or ask they drop it or the ingredients off the day before.
      I’ve had someone who was supposed to come early with a veggie tray and help set up, show up very late (we were at coffee) because they had to stop at Costco to pick up the veg. (as in whole vegetables not the convenient tray they sell). I was literally handed a flat of whole fresh veg at the door. I agree with the “just grin and bear it and laugh it off later” policy though. I had scrounged up enough of my own veg for a small tray and dip and had all new fresh stuff for two week after.

      • Christine says:

        Ok, here’s an idea .. why don’t you both make a dinner ALL BY YOURSELF and not ask anyone to do anything. If it is too much, then DON’T DO IT ! No one asked you to make dinner for 30 people. IF people offer to help, which is the logical thing to do, then either accept what they bring or say you will handle it. The problem is you, the server, want everything YOUR way and if that’s the case, then DO IT YOUR SELF. There are ALWAYS senseless people out there (even your family) and things will not be perfect … and so again, you either grin and bear it and see the importance of what a Thanksgiving holidays means (NOT food) or do it yourself.

        • michelle says:

          that’s right. blame the person trying to make a nice holiday for the family and not the bone heads who can’t grasp a simple idea. While Marney would not have had me as a guest because of the temerity of her “letter” I do understand her need for one. She should have rethought things before sending it however.

    • Veg says:

      “I’ve asked my sister in law to bring veggie side dishes and she has shown up with things like quiche or bagels” – maybe the problem is semantic: personally I REALLY dislike the word “veggie”. It can be interpreted two ways: 1) a shortening of “vegetable”: a “veggie” dish is a dish of vegetables or containing mostly vegetables or 2) a shortening of the word “vegetarian”: a “veggie” dish is a dish suitable for vegetarians (where I guess your sister-in-law was going with the quiche and bagels…)


      • Eve says:

        All I can say is, you care waaaaay too much about the food and not the people if you’re upset that someone brought mini donuts, because it didn’t match your theme.

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