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. Zoozie says:

    There is no way that I would ever dare participate in anything that this crazy woman organizes. I’m surprised she had anyone show up at all.

  2. bev says:

    Has anyone thought the Marney might have had years of this kind of control – you know how Mike is – maybe she is the pissed off wife of a very controlling husband who was brought up to get what he wants and never mind anyone else including his wife. Maybe her in-laws were always telling her that she was wrong and they were right. Maybe it is a case of Marney having had enough of everyone and decided to get her revenge. After all revenge is sweet !!!!

  3. Karen says:

    Aw the joy of family gatherings…

  4. Liz says:

    This is one of the funnier emails I”ve seen! Marney gives a new meaning to the phrase “control junkie”…I also smiled about how all of us responded. Some (most)thought the woman was totally controlling; & wanted to rebel. Some , some of us appreciated her willingness to take charge. Some wanted to avoid the whole thing & go to MeDonalds! Some folks probably wanted to send her to her Dr to get some medical advice: there are good drugs for this kind of problem!

    I thought the part about Lisa “now that you are married, you are required to contribute at an adult level” real sad; real telling.

    Given the names clearly being spelled out, I’d wonder if anyone has heard of these folks. It’s almost too much to believe; so part of me wonders if the whole thing was made up.

    • Angela says:

      I believe that Lisa must be a newlywed and thus the “now that you are married” combined with a dish that requires no cooking skills which Lisa may not have obtained at this early stage. An assumption on my part but a safe one I think. Anyone think this could sound right, could Marney have a teeny tiny heart and a bit of consideration in there somewhere? I think her heart may grow three sizes by Christmas at this rate.

  5. Thanks for the info says:

    If I received a letter like this, I would do the exact opposite just to see the look on Marney’s face. I would drink alot before we got there so I could laugh harder when she had the breakdown. God I love the holidays.

  6. Eve says:

    I don’t understand the people sympathizing, and going on about how their families can’t do Thanksgiving right either and how it’s soo stressful and awful to be responsible for it on their own. Just quit hosting it. Obviously, if you keep having it at your house every year while claiming it’s such an unpleasant hassle, you probably like acting like a martyr.

    Thanksgiving is supposed to be about being thankful for the good in your life right? Not trying to make your dinner look like something from a magazine whether your family cares about that or not.

  7. mom of three says:

    Actually, this is fabulous! I would love someone to make T’giving this organized, then you don’t have to think. You’ve already been told what to do, follow the directions (and nobody gets hurt LOL) and all you really have to do is just show up and drink! I too wonder what a regulation size casserole dish is. I think this appeals to me because I’m always a disorganized disaster! She must have a super tolerant family. ROTFL!!!

  8. Malynders says:

    What is a regulation size serving bowl?? hahahaha

  9. Ranjy says:

    This is great stuff! I need more! More letters, maybe some photo’s. I;m sending this link to my family and friends…. Hilarious! Thank You… I wish I could get invited to one of her get togethers.

  10. Melvis says:

    I would go to this shindig in my pajamas! She didn’t say dont wear pajamas!

  11. kelly fox says:

    Poor old Marney!
    Someone wrote this letter and signed her name to it…hahahahahha

  12. Reggie says:

    If I belonged to this family, I would go to McDonalds on Thanksgiving.

  13. nmstevens says:

    I remember once as a boy that we were invited to our cousin Sheila’s for Thanksgiving and my mother asked her if we could bring anything. “Yes,” she replied, “The Turkey.”

    And so my mother dutifully bought a turkey, got up early enough to cook it, we wrapped it up, packed in the back of the Buick and my Dad, my Mom, my brother and I, drove the forty five minutes out to Sheila and Bobby’s and they heated up the turkey and served it to the whole family.

    And now, it’s close to 45 years later, Sheila and Bobby are long divorced, my parents and my brother are gone — and I’m still telling the story about us having to bring the turkey to Sheila’s.

  14. Pseudo3D says:

    Everyone doing the opposite of what Marney wanted might be funny but wrong. She might just use that big knife on you instead of the turkey. I would do what I wanted to, not what Marney demands.

    If I was in the Mike Byron family, I wouldn’t bring turnips: Marney admitted that people don’t like them. I’d bring store brand ice cream (only if was good, which a lot of the time they are not), with one of them being vanilla, but no toppings. And I’d get a gallon of water. Oh, and I’d use aluminum foil for my dish (what does Marney have against aluminum foil?)

    If I was in the Bob Byron family, I would prepare both green beans and asparagus, and ignore the pounds. Beer yes, but I wouldn’t let Marney before hand. Oh, and I’d use aluminum foil.

    If I was in the Lisa Byron Chesterfield family, I’ll bring a huge supermarket-bought vegetable platter and shrimp cocktail.

  15. Bess says:

    To quote Downton Abbey, “(She) rather begs to be teased.”

  16. laura says:

    you poor people, I thought my in laws were bad,but that is just awful.

  17. Soms says:

    I wonder if when they got there she has proper how-to-eat-your-food instructions, too? Just wow, haha.

  18. Tschakko says:

    Well, I think this is an interesting way of organizing a TG dinner. I would make it much easier instead. Just cook everything by myself and devide the total costs through the people that will attend… Of course tell them ahead to not ruin the evening…

    • bash says:

      Ok, Johnny you and Mary had the appetizer, 2 slices of turkey each, one helping of mashed potatoes and green beans that will be $25.
      Sue you and Stan, drank two bottles of the good wine, turkey,mash,beans $65.
      Kim, those kids of yours destryed the carpet spilling all that gravy during their shennanigans at the kids table, replacement carpet will be $2500.
      Please remember to tip your hostess.

      • Thanksgiving Dinner Does Not Make Itself says:

        Asking people to just contibute dough at the end of the evening has another name: going out to TG dinner at a restaurant! Less obnoxious too…..

  19. ladyj says:

    I wonder if she sends Santa a list like this for Christmas:

    “Dear Santa,

    I would like the black fuzzy slippers from Kohl’s located in the center display between juniors and misses clothing. Not the ones with the gray dot in the sole, the other ones. I need them in exactly a size 8 3/4. Also, I would like it wrapped in the silver wrapping paper in the 1/2 empty container right by checkout lane 4. I would like a red and green bow with 24 loops. Please only use Scotch tape for wrapping purposes and I want it placed next to the wine bottle opener (see next entry) when you leave it out for Christmas.

    Sincerely, Marne”

    I wonder if she would act surprised when she opened it?

  20. Kayee says:

    Wow. Did she get anybody to even show up for this?

  21. Darcey says:

    nobody tells me not to buy store brand, I’m cheap and happy!
    She’d never see the likes of me at any gatherings… and probably be happy about it 😉

  22. Amie Clark says:

    OMG did anyone else find it funny that contributing at an adult level meant brings a handful of veggies and dip?lol

  23. Tinala says:

    My mother-in-law has a very large family that gets together at Thanksgiving. There are always about fifty people there. We all brought food, usually more than one dish. Her nephew’s wife always brought a small bowl of macaroni and cheese (made from the little dried cheese kit) for herself and her husband, and their three teenage kids. The reason it was macaroni and cheese instead of a green bean, a pea or a slice of bread was that was the only thing their obnoxious 16 year old son would eat. They weren’t poor, they had plenty of money. Marney would have chased these people out of the house with a cleaver.

    Sounds like these folks need to bring Jack Daniels instead of wine.

  24. David says:

    There needs to be rum. Lots and lots of rum.

  25. Angela says:

    I’d say the turkey is not the only one whose full of it.

  26. Tia says:

    I’m glad she has a good sense of humor and jokes around all the time. From that letter you could take her to be grumpy.

    I would love to get a letter like this from someone in my family. It would be christmas come early…My REPLY would be christmas come early for everybody else.

  27. chains says:

    Amy Misto is my favorite.
    She has stopped reading this crap long ago.

    I would never attend, but if I did, I’d bring the spoon they give with sample cups and a gallon of cocktail sauce.

  28. Karen says:

    I would follow the directions to the letter, deliver the dish, then promptly leave to go somewhere fun (and maybe take the rest of the family). Marney never asked me to stay!
    I wonder how long 15 lbs of mashed potatoes lasts if only one person is eating it…

  29. poppy says:

    Apparently she has a good sense of humor, and likes to joke around?

  30. Dave says:

    If I were the from the Davis family, I would cook up about 75 pounds of mashed potatoes and bring them in a metal laundry tub, ice cold, with tin foil over the top. I would also let her keep the snow shvoel I would bring for searving them.

  31. dawn says:

    hey all…the funny part is this is a very true letter. it originated from my coworker’s sister in law…so scary..

    • I love Amy Misto says:

      Aaaaahahahaha, I’ve never seen anything like this in my life, but I can just make myself believe it’s real. Cheers to Amy Misto for ever having resisted reading what this relative sent out, seeing as thousands of us read, incredulously, to the end. And cheers to the relative who posted it; glad to see you can still keep a sense of humour when exposed at regular intervals to a relative like that. I’d be moving far, far, far away.

  32. kathy says:

    I love this because I seriously need one of these for my family. Otherwise they bring NOTHING and I’m spending $200 plus for Thanksgiving dinner while they bring a burnt 8×8 pan of something no one eats anyways. Love it! I relate to it!!!!

  33. Lu says:

    To all the people who commented:
    How nice it must be to not have one of these in your family. I have at least three (my Dad’s sisters), and then I got married and there’s a few in that family too.

    Lisa, who is now expected to contribute at an adult level, I feel your pain.

  34. JoJo says:

    Marney, please get some therapy before next Thanksgiving.

  35. Miriam says:

    I want to know what Lisa previously has bought along, as an unmarried woman contributing at a less than adult level! Perhaps comedy shaped turnips, or fish fingers or alphabites? Maybe fun finger food or jaffa cakes? Who knows, but I think I would like Lisa!


    LOL! How could anyone possibly enjoy themselves at that dinner? Too late Marney will learn that this is too fucking stupid. Asking everyone to contribute is all good but all the micromanaging really REAKS of megalomania. Poor Byron kids.

    • Linda says:

      I like that a few times she lists that they can choose what they want, but then tells them what she wants and how to prepare it exactly.

      I have seen people say you bring a side dish, you bring a dessert, but sheesh…

      And then to comment on what they brought last year (not that blue bowl from last year… basically go purchase the “regulation” casserole dish. What governing body regulates this again?

  37. Dawn says:

    This is funny. Those that know me, well If I received this letter I’d just have to rock the boat and bring all kinds of sauces, fill each container to the brim ect….this is to funny! I wonder if she has a dress code too?

    • ken says:

      I would do everything in my power and my wife be right next to me to seriously piss her off.Give her a terminal melt down.I would contact every family member and get them in on it and do everything oppisite what she wanted.Then hope she never invites us ever again.i ask for people bring certain dish that their really good at making but that’s it.

  38. lisa lisa says:

    i love this person – they are nuts !!! if anyone in my family were told to do any of these things they simply would not ! they would do what they wanted when they wanted and bring whatever they wanted however they wanted – o yea and it all still taste pretty good ! good luck marney :}

  39. Naomi says:

    Someone should be given therapy for Christmas…..

  40. darlean says:

    Upon reading this for the tenth time it occurred to me that Marney’s request of “no cocktail sauce” is my favorite part of this letter. Maybe some of the diners like cocktail sauce! Maybe the people bringing it would like some. What would Marney do if I wanted cocktail sauce and brought my own — tear it from my hands?

    Freaking Marney. Cocktail sauce nazi.

    • Holly says:

      Your post made me laugh until I cried! I sent Marney’s instructions and your post to my sis who does our TG every year.

  41. wahahaha says:

    Wow I never knew people like Marney even existed! That is truly a fearsome thing to behold. It’s one thing to be verbal that way, but to be in written form…pity his own family…lol

  42. Amber says:

    This is HILARIOUS! Thanks for sharing it.

  43. Flash Harry says:

    My reply would be:
    Dear Marney
    Get stuffed! Oh and please use my recipe for that, not your own one that you brought last year.

  44. Jeff Adams says:

    What a RIDICULOUS micromanager, I would immediatlely RSVP “no thanks!” and that she should never host anything. I’m sure a horrible time was had by all….

  45. why do i even bother she will never read this says:

    “You know how Mike is”.

    I love that bit

  46. June Davis says:

    Where can I find the regulations handbook for mashed potato casserole dishes?
    Thanks for all you do and are.

  47. anya from liverpool uk says:

    It sounds like the script for a “I LOVE LUCY” show, oh you Americans crack me up so ya do, but love ya sense of humour, Tata x

  48. Casey says:

    To Much ! Epic ! I sent this to my Auntie who busts her butt every year doing it all for 15-20 people… She roared in laughter… This can’t be real !

  49. Rachel says:

    Hm…. My 3rd grade teachers name was June Davis…. I wonder……

  50. ladykale says:

    What exactly is Marney cooking? Anything beside the turkey???

    • naturgesetz says:

      She has to bake the pies, since the Amy Misto family will never read the letter.

      She also has to prepare the scalloped oysters and the creamed pearl onions (not store bought in a jar).

      And she’d better get a lot more wine than two bottles of chardonnay for that horde — you know how Mike is, and a lot of the others aren’t far behind — and make some of it red for the dark meat eaters, a Chateau St. Jean merlot will do.

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